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Arts and Entertainment

Neil Gaiman Will Read Us The Cheesecake Factory Menu, But Only If We're Good

Photo via Neil Gaiman's Facebook
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Fantasy author Neil Gaiman performing a dramatic reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu out loud is the dream you never knew you had. On some primal level, doesn't your soul ache to hear the "American Gods" and "Coraline" author extolling the virtues of Loaded Baked Potato Tots and Skinnylicious® Chicken Pot Pie? Now that dream is close to becoming reality, thanks to the efforts of writer-comedian Sara Benincasa and the magic of Twitter.

It all started when Benincasa reached out to Gaiman directly in a May 19 tweet. “Last week I watched an episode of the sublime TV adaptation of American Gods, went on a goddamn elegant date to Cheesecake, woke up, drank coffee, and went into some kind of inspiration blackout," Benincasa told Eater. "When I came to, I discovered I'd asked Neil if he'd read the entire Cheesecake Factory menu onstage in exchange for a $500,000 donation to a charity of his choice.”

Much to everyone's surprise, Gaiman responded in the affirmative just a few hours after Benincasa first slid into his mentions, tweeting out a solemn vow to read the Beverly Hills-foundedchain's menu aloud if fans raised $500,000 for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) by World Refugee Day on June 20.

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Benincasa quickly put together a CrowdRise page to fund the project, promising to make the dramatic reading available to the public via livestream or video. She also noted that, "The hashtag for this silliness is #neilcake. Why? Because it is silly and good." The #NeilCake campaign has attracted over $7,000 in donations in just a few days. Here's hoping Benincasa will be able to raise the rest of the money by June 20; after all, from the folios of Shakespeare to The Cheesecake Factory menu, great art is meant to be heard aloud.

LAist reached out to The Cheesecake Factory for comment, but did not immediately hear back. However, we did discover that the Cheesecake Factory website's FAQ page contains an entire section devoted to "Whole Cheesecake Questions," which also piqued our interest.

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