Now that the Too Many Cooks‘ theme is permanently stuck in your head (somehow, that song is more maddening than watching a BOB from Twin Peaks-like crazy man kill a woman hiding in a closet), it’s time to meet the insane weirdo who put it together. His name’s Chris “Casper” Kelly. He’s written for Squidbillies, Harvey Birdman, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force; created Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell; and discovered future Oscar-winner Gwydion Lashlee-Walton.
What kind of budget did you have? How long did it take to film?
I don’t know the exact budget. I know it was super-low because it was infomercial money—money where you’re meant to just have a person talking with a product. But I called in favors with production companies. I do a show called Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell and that uses a lot of special effects, so I used them for the effects, and a company called Fake Wallpaper to do the shooting. We shot it over two days and maybe one pick-up day. We didn’t hire actors. We had a few actors, but most people were just extras, so we worked hard to get the right look. We said, “We can’t pay you much, but you will get a screen credit.” A lot of people were really excited about that.
Wait, those names are real?
Most of them are real names. I think they all are. I thought about doing joke names. We tried it, but then you ended up just reading the credits, and we didn’t want to do that. We wanted it to just wash over you entirely.
I’m sorry, you’re telling me Gwydion Lashlee-Walton is a real name?
That’s real. He’s cool enough to pull it off.
So did these actors really know what they were signing up for?
Uhh…no, I don’t think so. [laughs] But they do now. (Via)
So stoked I already own that sweet leather vest. Anyway, EW also asked Kelly where the idea came from (“I think it was probably one of those shower ideas that you don’t know what to do with”), how much it cost (“super-low”), and the research he did (watching old episodes of Small Wonder and TJ Hooker, basically). Plus:
What does this all mean? People are going to dissect this thing and pull out the themes and deeper implications. What do you want the takeaway to be?
That’s a tough one. Here’s what it is: I’m a fan of David Lynch and Charlie Kaufman and Tim and Eric, and I wanted to try to do something weird like that. I was working intuitively, and there’s a quote Elvis Costello has that I really like. He said, “You start out imitating your heroes, and the way you f*ck up becomes your style.” I was just working on a feeling, working intuitively. I could analyze it but that’s how I approached it originally. I look forward to reading all the analyses. (Via)
In other words, don’t bother trying to make sense of Too Many Cooks. It’ll spoil the broth.