By now, you may have heard of the viral video “Too Many Cooks” and wondered how something include the phrases “’80s sitcoms,” “puppets” and “serial killer” in the same description. If you’re curious but still a little scared to watch, we are here to fill you in.
What is it?
Before it took off online, “Too Many Cooks” was an 11-minute short that aired in the coveted 4 a.m. timeslot on Adult Swim a couple weeks ago, where the channel generally airs fake infomercials.
What’s the gist?
It starts as a parody of goofy ’80s sitcom TV title sequence: You know, the ones where mom is cooking dinner; dad comes home from work; adorable kids are playing; and maybe a nosy neighbor stops by. The actors’ names flash under them on the screen in bright font as they throw a knowing look for the camera to freeze-frame..
Meanwhile, the annoyingly bouncy theme song: “It takes a lot to make a stew/when it comes to me and you. . . . too many cooks — too many cooks!”
The catch: The theme song plays repeatedly throughout the whole video “The notion was simply, what if you had this credits sequence to a ‘Full House’-type show that went on and on and on…” creator Casper Kelly explained to Rolling Stone. (Warning: It will be stuck in your head forever.)
Is that it?
No. After a dizzying number of cast members are introduced, the credits continue to introduce ever more, including puppets and inanimate objects, through a number of jarring genre shifts:
Oh, and then around three and a half minutes, things take a weird, weird turn. As in, a serial killer starts running around cutting people’s heads off with all kinds of bloody special effects.
And people think this is funny?
Well, it all takes place as the same cheerful theme music plays in the background and you can’t look away.
What if I want to look away?
Okay, if people getting limbs cut off with machetes isn’t your thing (even for comic effect), take note: The bloodletting starts around 4:19 when a guy randomly gets stabbed on a tennis court by a guy holding a machete. Then a sorority girl gets stabbed (though you just see the blood spatter) at 5:35. At about 6:05, there are a couple beheadings, and then at 7:00, the killer cooks and eats the victims and their severed body parts.
…What happens after that?
It gets slightly more “normal,” and by that we mean there’s a spaceship, aliens and. . . honestly it’s better that you just watch it rather than let us ruin the joke.
What weirdo created this?
Casper Kelly, an Adult Swim writer and producer behind the show “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell”; he’s also worked on “Squidbillies” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” He had no idea the video would blow up the way it did and was stunned to see it as the top item on Reddit last week.
Kelly told Vulture the idea was inspired by David Letterman or Andy Kaufman-type repetitive comedy, along with the “Small Wonder” title sequence. And no, no one was on drugs during the creation process. “I can’t work that way,” he joked. “But I do think that this was designed that if you’re under the influence of something that has time dilation, this will really mess with you.”
Has the video’s 15 minutes of fame already expired?
“The Today Show” hasn’t aired a segment on it yet, if that’s what you’re asking. But it is already inspiring tweets from local government, so there’s that.
you crazy for this one city of cleveland pic.twitter.com/hd66XuMXrX
— martin rickman (@martinrickman) November 10, 2014