You’ve probably watched Too Many Cooks by this point, and you’re a nut if you haven’t. I’ve forced almost everyone I know to watch it and even made the creepy connection that my friend looks exactly like the murderer in the clip. It is probably one of the funnier things I’ve seen in a long while and I don’t mind writing about it one more time.
We got a little insight into what went into Adult Swim’s viral hit from Casper Kelly himself via an interview with Entertainment Weekly, but the normal folks at Reddit got to pick his brain a bit during his recent AMA alongside editor and creative consultant Paul Painter. You just don’t know what you miss when you’re so caught up in the weird genius of it all, so let’s take a look at the best of their Q&A:
How many times do you think you guys listened to that song? Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but jesus, I can’t get it out of my head and I only listened to it twice. It’s pretty maddening.
CK: Rough guess but maybe 1000.
Did you have any idea this would become as big as it did? Also was the timeslot it was put in part of the joke or was there some other reasoning behind it?
CK: No idea. I knew we liked up but no idea it would work at all.
I didn’t think people would ever watch it more than once so I was even wondering if I should have arrows pointing to William so they would get those little Easter Eggs. That was a bad idea and luckily I didn’t do it.
PP: The timeslot gave us our budget and we filled it. I thought 100 weirdos tops would see this. It was truly a passion project.
Do you realize that you’ve completely shut down and demoralized countless visual comedians like myself by completely mastering and finishing the genre? You bastards.
Nah, the real question is how did this idea come into being; how did you pitch it? How did you come up with it? It’s such a unique idea so I understand if there wasn’t much more thought behind the idea than you were watching some sitcom and your mind wandered.
CK: I think it was a shower idea – just simply the idea of a show sitcom open that doesn’t stop. It made me laugh. But I didn’t think it could work for 11 minutes so I didn’t do anything with it. Then my coworker Jim Fortier (Squidbillies) told the idea to Mike Lazzo (head of Adult Swim) at a party and he laughed. So I decided to go for it. I told Mike I wasn’t sure it could work for 11 minutes – just adding actors. Mike said even Andy Kaufmann would only do that for about 4 minutes – and then I needed to start zigging and zagging. He was right.
PP: The story I heard was Casper was talking about it, Jim Fortier liked it and said pitch it, Casper told Mike Lazzo “I want to do this thing,” and Lazzo said do it. Then we were shooting. Oh, and the name “Two Many Cooks” was thrown in by Dave Willis.
What’s been your favorite response to Too Many Cooks so far?
PP: “And now there are no Cooks. Thanks a lot, hobo serial killer Terry Gilliam” — Gonzo
Terry Gilliam is one of my few heroes and I got to chat him up at DragonCon this year. I didn’t notice the slight resemblance, but this just cracked my sh*t up.
CK: Edgar Wright and Rian Johnson are up there. But my god all of it. I can’t tell you how weird this is to know your heroes have seen something you did.
During the Battlestar Galactica type intro, did you have someone get a bunch of model kits and scramble them together or was it CG? They looked like models to me, but I can’t tell anymore. Best part of TMC if you ask me, then again, I love models and the original Battlestar.
CK: CG! We didn’t have time to build models. Yes, we used state of the art graphics to simulate shitty spaceship sets and spaceships on strings.
PP: We used some Battlestar footage and Space 1999 stuff in the animatic rough cut, but all that stuff was created by Awesome Inc.
Are there any cameos? Were you aware “John Curran” is a known director? Who came up with “Lars von Trier as ‘Pie'”?
CK: Nick Gibbons has a bunch of cameos. There are some easter eggs. We knew John Curran as an actor in a lot of the stuff Alex Orr has worked on. Casper was a fan of his and then showed me the Mike Brune short “The Adventure,” which I loved.
PP: We’re both huge HUGE fans of von Trier, but it was all Casper’s idea. We greedily wanted to be connected to him on our IMDB pages. Didn’t really think anyone would ever see this.
Is this a homage to David Lynch?
CK: I love him so much it has to be an influence. And Andy Kaufmann. Charlie Kaufman. Beyond the Black Rainbow. And of course Small Wonder.
Too Many Cooks is one of the most brilliant and funny things I’ve seen in a long time. Thank you for making it.
Was there an inspiration for the creepy killer?
CK: I think also a see a bit of Killer Bob from Twin Peaks and a bit of Jack Nicholson in the Shining there.
I can see the resemblance…
Has there been any easter eggs no one (that you know of) has found yet?
CK: I’ve been too busy to read people’s posts about the Easter Eggs. Did people notice the painting?
I want to know… were y’all giggling maniacally while making TMC? Cuz I’d like to think you guys were.
CK: Yes. And then when we would get sick of it. And then like it again.
The part where the Dynasty type sequence repeats was an accident. It was a glitch of playback where that bird repeated and it made us laugh.
PP: He thinks it was a glitch. It was me being a bad editor. Much maniacal laugher, and much being way too sick of hearing the (amazing) song. You’ve only heard it two days.
Did Smarf touch the button or not before he died? I have to know before I die.
CK: Should I even say what I think? What if you disagree?
Who wrote the jingle?
CK: I wrote the lyrics, the song was written by Shawn Coleman (Squidbillies sound genius) and Michael Kohler (sound genius who did Stroker & Hoop theme, Archer sfx, Harvey Birdman etc.) All out of Atlanta! We didn’t have a lot of money so they had to work on it between gigs. They both said it was the hardest project they worked on.
PP: It was the hardest project I’ve ever worked on.
The way that it evolves is nothing short of genius, I’m also interested who composed this masterpiece of modern expression.
This city’s like a pressure cooker turned up to HIGH
CK: That specific line was Shawn Coleman. You should check out his songs for Squidbillies too.
Is he the lyrical genius who crafted “I like to drive in my truck, Auburn sucks” ?
What joke did you really want to put in, but for some reason couldn’t?
CK: I had a bit on the ending credits that was like “Coming up next, Two in the Bush! Chloe has her hands full!” and then Chloe does a funny soundbite. But we decided it was funnier to rush to the ending.
Is this a one-shot deal or do you plan on continuing this? Also, pardon my ignorance, but what else have you guys made/worked on that we may know?
CK: Continuing? Maybe! I have other weird ideas to try too though. But it has been discussed. Your ignorance is pardoned. I co-created/write/direct a show with Dave Willis (Aqua Teen) and wrote a book called More Stories about Spaceships and Cancer. Paul is best known for his ballet work.
I love Wonder Woman. That spin was amazing. How do you feel about her?
CK: That was a segment a lot of people in the building didn’t like us stretching out. I liked highlighting sort of the awkwardness of the idea of it, but at the same time it is sexual. But mostly awkward.
Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks?
[EDIT: Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS. Too many cooks. Too many cooks. TOOO MANY COOKS.]
CK: You’re giving me PTSD.
Vulture also got a chance to chat with Casper Kelly, covering a lot of the same ground as the AMA. They did add in this gem of a question, though:
Has Adam Scott or the Greatest Event in Television History responded yet? Like, you just kicked the game up a notch.
[Laughs.] Good question. I had this idea, but I sat on it, and then that came out and I did worry, Wow, they crushed it. But hopefully there’s enough space for both of us. I’m honored to be in the same sentence as them.
Also Vulture’s West Coast editor Joe Adalian tweeted about an older MadTV sketch floating around that shares a lot of similar qualities with Too Many Cooks. It’s hard to deny the similarities, but also harder to deny that the folks at Adult Swim to it to the next level. I like both though because funny is still funny.