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You know how in comedy, the rule of three is generally considered king? Well sometimes things get taken a little farther than that for laughs, as evidenced by Sideshow Bob’s rake gag and at least 30 lesser quality Family Guy jokes. Enter the exquisitely random and exhausting “Too Many Cooks,” an incredibly dark Adult Swim one-off that has taken the Internet by storm…that has taken the Internet by storm…that has taken the…anyway, just watch it below.
Are you having trouble looking into a mirror now without seeing your own name written across your midsection? Seriously, “Too Many Cooks” was almost designed to be a cult phenomenon. Adult Swim aired the bizarre short at 4 a.m., during the time it has recently devoted to oddball faux infomercials. Squidbillies writer and Stroker and Hoop creator Chris “Casper” Kelly created “Too Many Cooks” as a way of extending a humorous situation ad nauseum, and the result is one of the most memorable and nightmarish things that Adult Swim has ever aired. Considering how small its budget was, awards should be granted here.
“Too Many Cooks” is essentially an endless line of opening credit sequences, though it twists that central conceit in a dozen different directions. At first we’re just introduced to a regular family who all look at the camera and smile, a trait that many pre-2000 sitcoms would share. But instead of drifting off into an episode narrative, it just reverts back to the beginning of another introduction sequence, complete with the same terrible theme song that will probably never leave my head until the end of time. (Or at least until a bearded man sticks a machete in my scalp.) Here’s one of the seemingly random characters that tips viewers off that something strange is happening.
The “story” then introduces a peeping tom, a pie named Lars Von Trier, and a cop drama’s cast, which is where the bearded murderer comes into play. This dude takes over a Dynasty-like credit sequence, killing all of the cast members/characters before the short’s structure breaks down completely and a potential victim is running around a TV studio’s backstage while her name is still superimposed over her body, which leads to her doom. We’re then treated to some of the previously shown scenes, only with the bearded murderer in the place of the original characters. It’s fucking weird, and it’s somewhat scary.
And then, of course, the short takes on a sci-fi angle, which then leads us to the real heart of the matter: the main “Dad” character from the beginning is suffering from some kind of disease which makes his credit and theme song appear at all times. Then it breaks down EVEN FURTHER by having the credits themselves as the sitcom characters, while the actual human beings take the place of the superimposed names.
I suppose it comes to a logical conclusion, but I have no idea. I kind of don’t know anything about anything anymore after watching “Too Many Cooks.” Yet I know I want more. What do you guys think?