For January, we are starting a new series, all starting with “Help, I’m Trapped…” In this series, the main characters are trapped, either literally or figuratively somewhere and cannot initially break free. The next entry in the series is called Too Many Cooks. Created by Casper Kelly, this is an eleven minute short that aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim during their “infomercial” segment at 4 AM. It became a huge viral video and scored millions of views on YouTube. Fair warning, Too Many Cooks has an extremely high level of gore and violence, though it is depicted cartoony.
The short starts out as credits for an eighties sitcom, complete with ear worm opening credits song (“Too Many Cooks”) and the font for the individual credit of each cast member that evokes the style of the 1980s. It begins in a typical family home and the characters look at the screen and smile. The song ends at one minute…and then another credits sequence begins, with new characters and the same soundtrack. Then all the characters start to be jumbled in together, in the midst with the new ones. A puppet character is introduced, similar to Alf.
Then at 2:57, the style changes again, and now the sequence shows an eighties cop show, with a freeze frame, which was popular with the shows around that time. That transforms into a show similar to G.I. Joe, followed by the most random sequence so far, multiple transitions between an image of a mansion from the sky to a hawk, which was evoking TV series like Dynasty.
When the Dynasty style credits sequence actually starts, that’s when things get crazy. A bearded man with stingy long hair who had been popping up in the background in the earlier sequences, suddenly starts jumping towards the people in the credits…and killing them with a machete. Then in the next sequence evokes college setting by starting with older teenage three girls in a pillow fight. The credits start on one of the girls, and the killer appears behind him, and the video “pauses” for a second, which the girl uses to escape. With the earworm song playing lowly in the background, the girl runs between the sets, but her credit name is stuck to the front of her body and she runs past other, frozen characters with their credit name in front of them. It’s as if the truth is revealed: all of the characters are stuck in this credits sequence with no way out. When the killer starts appearing, they can do nothing except enduring being killed.
Next, a wonder woman type and geeky superhero guy are quickly dispatched, followed by a homicide deceive. Then bodies left and right from the eighties sitcom are dispatched, then the killer starts appearing in all the roles from the previous first sequence, but every time his name appears, his name is covered up in static. Then a laser from the puppet shoots and explodes him, and it is revealed that the puppet is actually a robot. Then it transitions to a science fiction series, with the main characters fighting the villain, who happens to be the killer again.
Then things get even weirder: in a hospital bed, the man in the bed has the credits on the front of his body and is murmuring something about a theme song and a laugh track. The credits music start again and a credit appears on the doctor, who nervously pleads for someone to “kill me!” Then all of the different characters from all of the different shows introduced start becoming juxtaposed with each other. Name credits start forming into bodies and the people are stuck in the middle, as if the credit and person have switched places. Finally, the puppet, bleeding and weak, crawls to a red switch on the kitchen floor. Then it transitions to the characters in blue boxes like The Brady Bunch, zooming out to reveal hundreds of people. Finally we see the dad character from the first sequence, who takes a timed picture and jumps in with the entire cast of Too Many Cooks…only for the picture to show the killer one more time taking the place of the dad character. As a final joke, the show actually starts, only for the first character to speak to be cut off by a To be continued… credit. Brief fake closing credits appear and the video ends.
In Too Many Cooks, whether they like it or not, the characters are stuck in endless credits sequences, with no way to escape the crazed killer that is attacking them, and later the credits themselves are messing with them. Some characters try to escape, like the college girl, but it is no use. They are stuck in Too Many Cooks forever.