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’s about how Too Many Cooks song almost just turned into the song from The Office.
The ‘Too Many Cooks’ Song Almost Turned Into a Parody of ‘The Office’
Too Many Cooks would be nothing without that song, and it actually took two separate song-writers to bring it to life. Michael Kholer came up with the classic sitcom theme before passing it along to Shawn Coleman, who took it in a bunch of weird directions.
Here’s Coleman on how he transformed the music to parody other genres, and the one cut that didn’t make it into the final video:
I know the trick of dancing the line of nodding to those songs but not ripping them off. I want you to remember it. The trick is to jam a bunch of things from that era together. Your brain remembers. Like with G.I. Joe also use Thundercats. I steal a bunch of things so it’s not illegal; you’re not just straight-up ripping anyone off.
Initially, I did The Office music when we get into the office setting. I did a Dunder Mifflin-y kind of thing, but at that point we were still trying to bludgeon the main theme.
When you work on music in any kind of audio mixing, so much of it is listening to it over and over again. I would hate to be in the back of the room listening to it loop. Over the course of the year it was pretty insane. It was like the Apocalypse Now of audio mixing.
There are still some things I wanted to change too. I figured we’d put it out and then make additional changes. But then it went viral and I couldn’t change it. It never resolved. Kinda bothered me, but that’s exactly what’s supposed to happen. It just keeps going up. It never resolves.