Too Many Cooks And The Surreal Comedy Craze

If you happened to be watching Adult Swim at 4am during its infomercials block the last week of October, you probably saw Too Many Cooks, the 11 minute short that has the internet in a frenzy.  The genius short begins as a spoof on opening credits sequences and then morphs into a surreal, twisted plot that made everyone who saw it sit up, take notice, and ask what in the heck it was that they just watched.  Within days, the video had gone viral and was plastered all over social media websites.

 As a nod to the crazy genre that is anti-humor surrealist comedy, we decided to compile a list of our favorite pieces – short, long, and everything in between.  If you liked #TooManyCooks, then you’ll probably like these, too.

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

Nothing will make you say, “Wait, what?” quite like an episode of Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show Great Job.  Tim and Eric’s is truly the surrealist genre at it’s best; the sketch comedy series ran for three years in the late 2000’s and was packed full of random skits, bizarre musical acts, and hilarious fake commercials.  They also incorporated a wide range of celebrity guests.  Here’s one of their strange musical bits starring some confused (and horrified) children.

The Mighty Boosh

If you like weird and wacky shows, then you’ll definitely want to check out The Mighty Boosh.  The BBC television show featured #comedy duo Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding and ran for four years.  The duo also performed a handful of live shows and hosted a six-episode radio series.  In this clip, the pair has gotten themselves into a tough situation and decide to reminisce about some of their fondest memories…of soup.

Wet, Hot American Summer

Okay, we admit it.  Wet, Hot American Summer might just be one of our favorite movies!  The quirky comedy takes place at a sleepaway camp in the summer of 1981 and follows the events that take place on the last day of camp.  What you think is going to be an ordinary plot goes awry in more ways than one, but it all seems normal within the surreal world of Camp Firewood.  In this choice scene, the shell-shocked Vietnam-war-vet-turned-camp-chef, Gene, takes counselor Coop under his wing and teaches him of his ways.

Groundhog Day 

Groundhog Day is the hilarious, intelligent, and (oftentimes) dark surrealist comedy starring Bill Murray as an arrogant weatherman who gets stuck in a time loop.  The witty film asks the question, “What would you do if you were forced to live the same day over and over?”  If you’re like Murray, you might abandon all fear of consequence and test your own limits in repeated (and desperate) attempts to end the loop.  In this classic scene, Murray’s character is approached by an old high school classmate who is the perfect caricature of an insurance salesman.

Stella

Stella is the famed comedy trio that made a profound impact on the surreal genre in the late 90’s and 2000’s.  They performed weekly live shows in New York and gained a strong cult following with their 27 self-produced shorts and, later, television show.  All three members have also collaborated on a handful of films, including Wet, Hot American Summer.  Here’s one of their most popular shorts, Birthday, where a strange birthday party gets even stranger.

Old Spice Commercials


Even if you’ve never seen any of the previous movies and shorts, we’re betting that you’ve probably seen your fair share of Old Spice commercials.  These memorable, attention-grabbing 30 second bits feature muscular, confident men drifting flawlessly through impossible situations without missing a beat.  Here’s a compilation for your enjoyment!

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