Four years after the release of Too Many Cooks, Inverse spoke with 10 key people who helped bring the surreal sitcom parody to life, from creator Casper Kelly to the puppeteer who made Smarf, to the extra who stole the show as a surprise villain. The result is this 6,000-word oral history about making weird art on the fly that you think no one will see — and having it “go viral” at around 20 million views.
Among the stories in this history assembled by Inverse: Too Many Cooks later became a musical. The creators finally confirm they just ripped off the logo from Full House. The actor who played the killer would keep a machete in his car for selfies. The song nearly turned into the theme from The Office.
Below’s a pull-out from our feature. This one confirms that Too Many Cooks did indeed rip off the title card of an iconic sitcom.
The ‘Too Many Cooks’ Typeface Was Stolen From This Classic Sitcom
Creating Too Many Cooks meant borrowing ideas from pretty much every other TV show out there, including the credits font. In that case, they stole liberally from one of the most iconic sitcoms around.
“I downloaded a bunch of sitcom openings off YouTube — Full House, Small Wonder, the Urkel show Family Matters — and put them all together with a fake stock music tracks,” editor Paul Painter tells Inverse. “The Too Many Cooks font was a direct lift from Full House.”
Creating an early concept meant pulling from a ton of different shows, including some very deep cuts.
“We pulled a ton of stuff and it took a while,” crew member Matt Foster says. “I’d come in and they’d pull five shows each day. I walked in one day and it wasn’t even Beast Master, it was Manhunter. I had no idea what they were even watching, just women turning into falcons. We watched probably 40 or 50 sitcom intros and used nearly all of them to create that early video.”
Paul Painter adds, “We practiced seeing how long we could keep that going. Once we saw stuff that was working, Casper had someone storyboard it up with classic sitcom moments, like accidentally roller-painting someone’s face. That one feels like a trope, but we couldn’t find it online.
“All the best stuff comes from making your friends laugh.”
“We didn’t think anyone but the four of us would enjoy it so we just tried to make each other laugh. All the best stuff comes from that, making your friends laugh.”