Too Many Cooks

Tucked quietly into the 4am slot, Adult Swim occasionally broadcasts a segment listed simply as “Infomercials.” Most of these have been parodies of late-night infomercials, but for the last week, they’ve aired something a little different.

Have you ever watched something, and knew as it unfolded that you were witnessing the birth of a cult classic?

Please allow me to introduce you to everyone’s favorite late ’80s sitcom, Too Many Cooks:

Finished? Good.

Some things you might have missed (spoilers):

  • The credits appearing over each character are their real names. The IMDB page is suitably nuts.
  • If you slow the end credits, nearly every character’s last name is “Cook.” Also spotted: Cooke, Van Cook, O’Cook, McCook, Bake, Broil, and B6-12.
  • The stalker, credited as “Bill” on IMDB and “Featuring William Tokarsky” in the credits, appears in the background many, many, many times before he’s officially introduced. Watch it again.
  • Hardest to spot? The serial killer appears in a background oil painting.
  • Lars von Trier as “Pie,” who has his own badge.
  • The dad, Ken DeLozier, is the patient infected with “Intronitis.” His face is replaced by William Tokarsky’s as soon as the final photo’s taken.
  • Katelyn Nacon aka “Chloe Cook” is the teen daughter introduced third. She’s introduced again around the dinner table, and looks bored to tears.
  • The magazine read by both grandmas is called “Magazine: The Magazine.” The cover promises “Pages Inside” with words and paper.
  • The creator, Casper Kelly, also writes Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell, a live-action workplace comedy set in Hell.
  • Vulture and EW both interviewed Kelly about the film, which was in post-production for over a year, and they did a Reddit AMA.

Like meta-TV intro credits humor? You may also enjoy this inferior One for the Road, a MadTV sketch with a similar starting premise, USB’s Hart and Home, and Adam Scott’s The Greatest Event in Television History series.

Rush Coil released a ridiculously great chiptune cover:


    I have watched this about four times now, and I hope you’re proud of yourself.

    I’m also left thinking about the logistics for this thing. The IMDB lists 50+ people. About fifteen seconds of animation. Four or five sets, outdoor shots, the indoor studio tracking shot, all the special effects, the green screening, the costumes, the puppetry, the various songs.

    A lot of effort got poured into this.

    My only regret is that I didn’t experience this as intended: coming down from the acid, couchlocked, not quite realizing what Adult Swim was showing me.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but I think Andy’s mentions predate the Reddit thread. The Reddit post is timestamped Nov 6 23:16 UTC. Andy’s Tweet about the video is Nov 6 19:00 UTC, a couple of hours before. I don’t know if the Reddit post was inspired by Andy’s or totally independent and I suspect Reddit has more reach than Andy directly. But having experienced both Waxy and Kottke viral traffic before, they tend to be the thing that starts the snowball rolling downhill.

    Casper Kelly and crew did an IAmA on Reddit yesterday that’s pretty fun.

    My son showed this to me on his phone a couple days ago (HOW he already knew about it I don’t know). I’ve been humming “Too Many Cooks…” ever since. It’s a more persistent earworm than any other comedy jingle I know (and I know a lot, I grew up in the 80s).

    Mad TV’s wonderful “One for the Road” may be inferior, but it’s clearly the source material for the spoof, right down to twins and puppets and the show ending a mere moment after the overlong credits. True, Adult Swim took it much, much further. I wonder if the creators will be honest to enough to admit they were inspired as much by 80s TV as they were by the original Mad sketch.

    I’d be shocked if Casper Kelly ever saw the MadTV sketch. Spontaneous invention exists, and there have been several people that have run with the “endless credits” idea, and I’m sure they all thought they invented it. No comedian wants to copy someone else.

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