Guy Fieri has addressed his recent comments in which he said he plans to “die broken” and leaves nothing to his sons unless they meet certain criteria.
Speaking to ET’s Kevin Frazier from Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIII alongside his two sons and nephew — Hunter, 27, Ryder, 17, and Jules, 22 — the 55-year-old “mayor of Flavortown” doubled down on his rule that any potential successors earn two degrees to take over.
While he still believes in his sentiment – which is similar to that Shaquille O’Neal made about his children earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees to receive a legacy — Fieri says he’s more and more convinced every day that his three boys will make it through.
“Jules was in the law program at Loyola Marymount, Rider’s high school, Hunter was in the master’s program at the University of Miami. I told them, if these guys want it, they have to give me two degrees,” Fieri told ET. ‘Two postgraduate studies and then they can go after it. But they’re going to run this show. I’ll be gone, folks.’
In December, during a conversation with Fox newsFieri first shared his controversial and now viral comments about Hunter, Jules and Ryder’s takeover of the company – including its restaurants and food businesses – stating that he follows O’Neal’s golden rule when it comes to pursuing higher education.
“I told them the same thing my father told me: ‘If I die, you can expect me to die broke, and you’re going to pay for the funeral,’” Fieri told the station. “And I told my boys, ‘You’re not going to get any of this that I built unless you come and take it from me.’”
“Shaq said it best: If you want any of this cheese, get me two degrees,” Fieri said. “Well, my two degrees mean postgraduate. So they’re coming.’
During their recent interview with ET, Fieri’s three children — two of whom he shares with wife Lori, 52, and the third whom he took under his wing after his sister’s death in 2011 — expressed doubt and skepticism about the fact that the Food Network icon will one day truly hand over the reins.
“I’m sure you’ll never leave, okay?” Hunter said. “And you’re never going to retire, you know that? I know you.’
One thing he wants to give his sons control over is his Flavortown tailgate at the Super Bowl every year, which he says he has enough confidence his sons will pull off.
“This is my last year,” he said of the epic celebration during the NFL’s big game. ‘From now on it’s theirs. So we’re going to appoint Hunter as its general manager, Ryder will be in charge of all the activities and Jules will be in charge of the music.”
Hunter added that they would still pay their father accordingly for his contributions, which Fieri said he would find a way to get anyway.
“I have to take care of him,” the eldest son told ET.
“I’m going to skip straight from the top,” Fieri joked. “I’m going to do this Vegas style – I’m taking my little piece.”
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