Mr. Brown, who describes himself as “difficult” and “a terrible workaholic,” has never been in a more reflective period. His divorce from DeAnna Brown, his second wife, with whom he had a daughter and built an empire, became final on May 13, 2015. She got the 7,000-square-foot historic brick home in Marietta, a couple of miles from the compound, which went to him. “It was a sad time,” said the Rev. Bryant Wright, the pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, where Mr. Brown was immersed in baptismal waters in 2006.
There are lots of people who can be happy and really outgoing in public, but in private they can be misanthropic and dark. Especially Southerners. It's sort of a character trait with Southerners more so than people from other areas of the country. I'm thinking of all the Faulkner characters as the Platonic Ideal of misanthropic Southerners, but there are lots of other examples.
His show Good Eats is/was a great combination of food, science, and humor. Alton Brown seems like one of the funniest people I know, but it seems like really funny people can have a darker side. Maybe that's somehow a balance to the happy, joking side of them.
I'm sure his divorce and tensions with his church had a profound effect on him, but it seems like he's in a good place. You never really know about people, though.