If you have somehow managed to avoid the bombardment of Too Many Cooks in the past 24 hours, you have managed to do yourself both a favor and a disservice. Starting off as a parody of 1980s sitcom openings — annoyingly catchy song and all — Too Many Cooks eventually forays into very strange and deeply disturbing territory.
The short first aired last Friday at 4 a.m., a part of Adult Swim’s “Infomercials” programs, and as such, Too Many Cooks seemed destined to fall under the radar of the greater population. But in the world of YouTube, Too Many Cooks managed to rise above and potentially become something even greater.
Up until the night of November 6, nearly a week after the short aired, the world had remained largely ignorant to its presence, that is, until some big names like Edgar Wright, director of films like Shaun of the Dead, started tweeting out the YouTube link. The following morning, it had been shared over half a million times, and Too Many Cooks became a viral hit in the making.
“I was nervous if it would work for 11 minutes,” creator Chris Kelly told the Wall Street Journal. “You really have to figure out when it starts repeating, do you need to change it? Trying to get that timing right was tricky. It was a bear.”
The creator also opened up about the origins of the idea for Too Many Cooks to Rolling Stone.
“I’ve always been a fan of humor that just pushes things past the point of funny. When you watch those Andy Kaufman routines, or the old David Letterman bits where he keeps repeating and repeating a joke until it becomes banal and irritating — and then eventually works its way back to being hilarious again — that, to me, is the funniest. So the notion was simply, what if you had this credits sequence to a ‘Full House’-type show that went on and on and on…”
While the short does manage to go on and on with a typical old-school opening of sorts, Too Many Cooks also goes into some serious deranged territory, with a killer pushing his way through the show, murdering the leads.
“These things are 11 minutes long. It sounds short, but when you have to fill that time slot and keep the attention of people who are usually watching TV at four in the morning…it’s long. So I thought, I need to throw every notion I’ve got into this. Even when you start switching genres, and it turns into, say, a cop show — that joke may be funny for a few extra minutes and then that’s going to wear off. And as soon as people get tired of that, I have to hit them with something else. That’s where the idea of the killer came from.”
Take a look at the Too Many Cooks above if you haven’t already, and keep in mind it’s a bit NSFW due to violence.