Five years ago today, at 4 AM in a block called “Infomercials”, [adult swim] plunged a nation of insomniacs and stoners into the nightmare world of Too Many Cooks.
Much like the Avocado’s own Dad’s Casa, TMC is a TGIF sitcom that never existed, but with a more overtly surreal and horrific valence. Most of the short is a “turn to camera” intro that goes on and on, morphing and mutating through every genre of television as its marauding serial killer villain sneaks closer and closer to the cast being introduced. Eventually the televisual universe experiences complete ontological dissolution, existential horror supplanting the gore, before reconstituting in time for a few seconds of the “actual show”. Roll credits.
The fact that Too Many Cooks can even be summed up that briefly makes it more accessible than some of the other surreal horror-comedy that [as] has run in that 4 AM time slot, but that very accessibility is what allowed TMC to break out into a major viral hit in a way none of its predecessors or successors could. Since it was uploaded to YouTube a week after its original airing, it has accumulated nearly 20 million views.
For a deep dive on nearly every element of the production, check out this excellent oral history that ran in Inverse a year ago.
It takes a lot to make a stew
A pinch of salt, and laughter too!
A̸ ̸s̸c̶o̵o̷p̸ ̷o̸f̸ ̶k̵i̷d̶s̷ ̷t̸o̶ ̷a̶d̶d̷ ̶t̶h̶e̸ ̷s̶p̷i̴c̵e̴
Ạ̷̀ ̴͉̇d̷͔̐a̵͇̎ś̴̡h̸̰̓ ̸̡͗o̴͖͝f̷̫͛ ̶̖̕l̴͎̃o̴̹͒v̷̡̆e̷̘͑ ̷͇̾t̴͝ͅo̴͇͊ ̷̣̚m̵̨̀ǎ̵̰k̸̘̊e̵̢̓ ̶̞̒ī̸̹ț̵̏ ̸͓̆n̸͕̾i̷͙̽c̷̼̈e̵͔̎
Ȧ̷̝͜n̷̗̆d̷͓̈́̈́ ̶͙͑y̵̡̓o̶͙͒͝ụ̴̂’̵̛̮͈͛v̷̙͆̂ȇ̵̯ ̷̪̦́ḡ̶̘͘o̷̬̿̈́t̵̡͛̐…
T̸̛͖̊͗O̸̲͈̪̦͒Ŏ̸̠̊̈́ ̸͍̰͓͆M̸̧̻͍̀A̵͈̓̿̉̈N̴̘̍̽̆͝Y̸̡̜͇͍͐́͘ ̷̘̗̐̋̔̎Ć̸͙̱͜ͅO̷̡̩͎̻̅O̵̧̫̺͌͗̂̓K̴̼̄͐̃͝S̷̘͂̈́̇
T̵͉̣͇̍́̍̽ͅo̶̤̹̫͊͗̕o̴̪̹͈͕͘ ̷̧́̂M̷͓̤͈̔à̷͙͐̿̆n̸̡̳̫̬̈ÿ̶̮̲̬́͒ ̵̳̑̀C̷̥̮͖̄͝ǭ̸̦̳̿̾o̶̢̬̎k̷̩̉́͆̋s̷̝͓̥̓̈
T̶̟̳̞̺̈͒͝O̶̞̖͝Ṑ̷̥̿ ̵̺̌̀Ḿ̸̫͓̞͓̜̓͋͋͘Ȃ̷̲̝͖̭̗Ǹ̷̢̟̟͙̹͂̃͐Y̵̛̛͙̻͓͐ ̷̗̞͊̐̋Ĉ̷͔̟͐͜O̵̯͕̬̹̙͑͑̒̕O̴̟̳͙̐͊͛͋͝Ķ̴̪̽̽S̸͉̦̦̹͘̚͜͝
T̴̛͚̻̰̝͚̾̑̒͂͘͜o̵͈̳͈̜̅o̸̼̐̓̕ ̶͓̪̩͉̖̣̄̃̑͝͠͠M̶̮̰̟͆̑͘a̸̖͔̰̔̔̑̊n̷̜̖͈̽̽͜͝ͅy̵͉̹̱̯͒̓̅ ̶̦̘͇͇̌̈́͝C̴̝̻̦͒ó̵̭̭̎ͅo̵̳̹̘̞̗̅͐̾k̷͕̭̀̾̐̀̓s̴̼̰͍͍̝͆
T̵̘̮̩̀͗̒͋̊Ȍ̵̡̪͙̳̣͍̓̀Ǫ̴̛̞̱̪̺̙̩̑̚ ̸̢̠́̉M̶̫̞͔̻͕̭̼͋Á̶̡̲̖̮͉̖̤̐N̵̩̈́̂̈́͆̽Y̷̛̭͎̾̑̀́̈́̚͜ ̷̢̛̺̜̲̩̭̀́̾͂͌́C̴̨̯̠̭̖͖̅̊̿ͅŌ̴͎̫̼̂̒͝O̶͍͊͌̒Ḱ̴̡͔͊͜S̴̻͙̙͋̊̒̕
T̷̹̙͈͋o̶̢̤͖̱̘͉̣̐͌̋o̷̭̗͕̒̆̈́͑̿ ̵̢̧̳͚̙͙̭̊̽̿͆̓M̸͖͇͊̃͝a̷̩̗͇͐́͗̎́̈́̀n̷̢̛̯̜̣̰̫̳̅y̶͆ͅ ̸̧̙̝̰̗̪͈͗̀̍C̴͈̽o̸̪̺͚̮̒̒͜ǒ̴̧͕̣̱̝̞͑̈͆͝k̸̠͝s̸̬͒
Ṱ̷̠̦͉̫̣̲̮̎̎͋̽̎̾̋̈͑͝͝O̵̧̪̯̜̩͎̺̣̜̘͐̓̐̌̊̇͛̆̆͜͝ͅǪ̶̢͔̰̱͚̞̍̋̓̈́́͗͒̓̔̇̎͘̚ ̵̨͖̮͙̞͓͓̹̖́͗̊̌͋̊̑̅̍̃͝͠M̶͉͚̰͖̦̭͖̙̮͙̓̍̽͛̅Ǎ̴̻̜̬̰̱̼̼͔̈̓͆̑̍͗͜͜͝N̷͍̫͊́̇͋̒̄̾̕Y̷̡͔̫͎͖̥̩͑̿̕͜ ̵̡̨̼͈͔͖̻̖͇̩̲̎̉̊̓́͠Ċ̵̢̢͙̦̞̟̣̯̖̦̗͇̓̋̔͐̉͆́̑̃̃̚͝O̴͚͈͓̼͍̒Ö̸̢̩̹̟̞̞͖̩̯̰͚̲͎́͒̉̍̀͋͗̅̆͒̊͘K̵̲͔̞̲̼̓̽̐̀̄Š̴̨̬̍͋̎̋̕͠͝͝