Too many chats: an incredibly long interview with writer, television director, and producer Casper Kelly

The editors of Overhead Compartment recently* sat down with Casper Kelly in a virtual chat room. Kelly is the co-creator of the Adult Swim series Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell and Stroker and Hoop, as well as the creator and director of the infectious Adult Swim infomercial series episode Too Many Cooks.

*This interview was conducted several years ago—when Too Many Cooks had just gone viral. To avoid flooding our site with traffic and overburdening our hosting servers, the editorial board felt it was necessary to delay publication until the Too Many Cooks fever had subsided and could be revisited again with the objectivity, hindsight, and presence of mind that it deserves.

Claudio: I need to go get a coffee real quick. Anyone need anything from the green room?

Otto: I’ve got some coffee already, but thanks. Are there any donuts?

Claudio: No, they ate all the donuts—the unions. We should just steer the conversation to being vehemently anti-union.

Otto: The fucking unions. Un-American. Ask him if his actors were in The Union, including Smarf. We should also ask him how he got Lars von Trier to agree.

Tehseen: Alright, I’ve sent it off.

Otto: Fantastic.

Claudio: Make sure to also plug our other projects like Röger Eðert.

Tehseen: Yeah, ask him which record is his favorite.

[Casper has joined.]

Tehseen: Hello, Casper!

Casper: Hello!

Claudio: Welcome to our show!

Casper: So this is a text interview! Good! I can get back into bed!

Tehseen: Thanks for joining us…

Otto: Hi, Hello!

Casper: I was worried this was video.

Tehseen: Yeah you can re-release your pants and get back into bed.

Casper: (I’m a bit sick)

Tehseen: We all are.

Claudio: It is a text interview, but people can still see you.

Tehseen: Where are you chatting with us from today?

Casper: Atlanta, GA!

Claudio: Sounds balmy.

Casper: Home of Coca-Cola™

Tehseen: I was in Atlanta once—they took me to the Claremont Lounge.
Have you been?

Casper: It’s freezing and I lack that thick New England skin to handle it

Otto: Is the Coca-Cola™ fresher there?

Claudio: I’ve only ever been to the Delta Sky Club Lounge there.

Casper: Claremont Lounge—hell yes. The only place I’ve ever felt comfortable dancing. Because all the average looking (and less) naked people.

Tehseen: True, it’s the only time I’ve seen a 65 year old woman naked who wasn’t my grandmother.

Casper: Coca-Cola™ is fresher here. It’s all the racism in the water. (I kid, Atlanta! I kid!)

Tehseen: Are you from the lost city originally?

Casper: No, I’m from Burlington, N.C. I believe you’ve heard of our coat factory. Or maybe that’s Burlington Vermont.

Tehseen: Ah yes the coat factory!

Otto: Actually I believe it’s based out of Jersey.

Claudio: I lived in Vermont for a while, so I’m a sucker for coat-based humor

Otto: New Jersey is known for its coats of course.

Casper: Hence the Too Many Cooks “Coat” – and now we’re full circle. Goodnight everybody!

Tehseen: The coat is begging for it’s own spin-off, it could be the next Joey.

Casper: I don’t know, that’s a pretty high bar you’ve set there.

Tehseen: I think that coat was to TMC what Joey was to Friends.

Otto: …or Fraiser

Tehseen: Frasier was interesting—he had a son.

Casper: They don’t do spin-offs as often as they used to.

Otto: Did he have a son? Frasier bred?

Casper: Where’s the show about the heavy set guy from the Office?

Tehseen: Yeah the lack of spin-offs really curbs the amount of depth. I enjoy watching an episode of Cheers now and then between Frasiers’— just for context.

Claudio: The Office was a spin-off of The Office.

Casper: I don’t love spin-offs, but I do prefer them to prequels.

Otto: It’s just Offices all the way down.

Casper: Offices replicating.

Tehseen: In a perfect world we’d get spin-offs first.

Otto: Ooo, but think of a Too Many Cooks prequel…

Casper: That would be fun.

Tehseen: And then maybe over the course of 30–40 years they could all merge into one show.

Otto: The Gritty Origin of The Creepy Guy.

Tehseen: That way we’d get to see when Joey meets Niles.

Claudio: Have you considered a novelization of TMC?

Otto: Spin on off into the Crossover.

Casper: Not until right now but I’m texting my book agent now.

Otto: Alien vs. Predator vs. Niles

Casper: vs. Coat

Tehseen: I don’t think anyone will read anymore unless we text them the content.

Otto: vs. Heavy Set Guy from The Office.

Casper: The new Graphic Mini Series from Dark Horse, via Twitter.

Otto: Yeah I stop reading after 144 characters.

Tehseen: What’s the first thing you remember about TV? I’ll give you mine:


Casper: Yeezuz

Casper: There’s something about things that are cartoony but not cartoony enough. Strange Magic has this quality. Uncanny Valley.

Otto: America IS the baby from Dinosaurs.

Casper: America as Baby Dinosaur was my master’s thesis.

Casper: I’ll take your baby dinosaur and give you my equally creepy, 10 year earlier, TV memory:


Casper: Those sideburns! The eyebrows not matching the hair!

Otto: Oh hey it’s the Capt’n!

Casper: This is due for a fashion comeback.

Otto: I’d wear that Coat.

Casper: A spot o’ middle brow.

Casper: His coat is the same, I think, as the guy from The Prisoner an awesome show by the way, Number 6.

Otto: It really was a great indictment of America’s prison industrial complex.

Casper: I think Captain Kangaroo is a fugitive from that island. Due to the similar piping on the jacket.


Otto: Wow that contrast piping is fantastic.

[Tehseen_2 has joined.]

Claudio: Oh Tehseen_2 is here.

Casper: Speaking of replication. And spinoffs…

Tehseen_2: Something happened over there, the original Tehseen doesnt work anymore—anyway, carry on.

Claudio: The r00m decides who lives and who dies.

Tehseen_2: I suspect the FBI is involved, but isnt that always the case?

Otto: Why can’t they just mind their own business that’s what I wanna’ know…

Casper: Or just observe voyeuristically without interfering, as they normally do?

Tehseen_2: Yeah they’ve become too comfortable breaking the fifth wall with us.

Casper: Everybody wants their 15 minutes of fame. Even the NSA.

Tehseen_2: I wish we could watch them watch us.

Claudio: Typical big government spendocrats.

Casper: Or that we could watch Anonymous watching them, watching us. That should be my next short.

Otto: Yeah that’d be great Tehseen_2—an infinite series of the backs of people’s heads.

Tehseen_2: I think it’s safe to say that voyeurism is headed to the mainstream in a huge way. What will take everyone to admit that they’re voyeurs?

Casper: Hold on Otto, we could do a 3/4 angle I think.

Casper: What we have now, I would say, is a shared don’t ask don’t tell policy. And perhaps the outrage industry is a way for people to see the things they are not supposed to see but also feel superior. Like in the 60’s there were these drive-in movies about immoral nudist colonies and crap, with a condemning voice over. Or Faces of Death, same thing. It’s a way for people to see stuff they want to see but maybe shouldn’t, but also gives them moral cover.

Tehseen_2: Faces of Death is interesting—do you remember Running Man?

Casper:  That Kim Kardashian sex tape was ridiculous! Blah blah blah. Love Running ManSome of these Japanese prank shows really cross a line. I guess some of the US reality shows, too


Tehseen_2: I think it’s safe to say that if we created a sign-up page for a Running Man-esque show now, we would have volunteers. With real violence as part of the premise.

Otto: Yes and real death, it’d be a hit.

Tehseen_2: Yeah there’s no way everyone wouldn’t watch that.

Otto: This reminds me of Mitchell and Webb’s bit, “The Boy with an Arse for a Face”

Casper: Love that show, haven’t seen that sketch…

Tehseen_2: Have you been watching these ISIS shows lately Casper? When’s the last time you saw a death happen? Whether recorded or live?

Casper: My taste for the ultraviolence is verrrrry limited. So, no I haven’t watched the ISIS stuff.

Tehseen_2: Nor have I. Though, from what I’ve seen their production quality is unlike anything we’ve seen for that type of content. It feels like it shares directors with something like The Bachelor.

Casper: Last death I saw. Hmmm. Hard to remember. I think it was a clip on Youtube from Fox News of a car chase and the guy kills himself and Shepard Smith is yelling “Cut away! Cut away!” I avoid that stuff and fear the day that stuff does not shock me.

Otto: I just read the ultraviolent movie plots on Wikipedia. That’s enough for me.

Tehseen_2: Yeah its always better to imagine your own visuals

[Tehseen has left.]

Casper: I’m too chicken for most horror movies, frankly.

Claudio: It was too much for Tehseen.

Tehseen_2: Yeah, the regular tehseen left. Whatever.

Casper: Tehseen_2 is so much better anyway.

Tehseen_2: Yeah we’ll figure out what he wants later.

Casper: Or I’ll click on two gifs on Morbid Reality on Reddit and then I’m basically set for life. My life quota of Morbid Reality is met. Don’t need to visit that Subreddit again.

Otto: Two visits is enough there per lifetime.

Tehseen_2: I have this idea of TV God— that the TV God is now dead…

Casper: TV God? Yes? Go on

Tehseen_2: ..and we’re left with Hulu and Netflix.

Otto: TV God is dead. Long live TV God.

Tehseen_2: And zero guidance.

Otto: And Amazon Instant Watch

Tehseen_2: Do you foresee God as returning to media consumption? Or has he left us for good? Or to pose this in another way—will we ever experience ONLY the last 3 minutes of a show, or ONLY a 15 second clip in the middle as we search for something

Casper: It seems like that even though our culture is shattering into a million subcultures, the need for water cooler chit chat, and common cultural reference points is strong. People binge watch Game of Thrones and so forth. I don’t totally buy the attention deficit fear. Not entirely anyway.

Tehseen_2: My fear is that I will never see the middles of things

Casper: Do you watch TV while simultaneously browsing? Do you have multiple windows open?

Tehseen_2: What I mean is… I think we have lost the exciting experience of entering a show in mid-swing as on broadcast TV as opposed to always starting from the beginning…

Otto: Channel flipping is truly a dying art.

Otto: Who would you want to be your TV Uncle, Casper?

Casper: My TV Uncle would be…that’s a good question…

Tehseen_2: I’d probably pick Uncle Phil.

Otto: Ah, a classic Uncle.

Casper:  Maybe Morty from Rick and Morty?—OR

Casper: That neighbor dude from Home Improvement? Although I’m not super familiar with that show, he seemed wise.

Tehseen_2: Wilson? He may not have been wise—but at least he was consistent.

Claudio: Tehseen and I were in an episode of Home Improvement once, or more specifically, we were in the audience of Tool Time.

Casper: Yes. I want to do a show with Home Improvement Wilson and Castaway Wilson. Sort of a cop show. Wilson and Wilson.

Tehseen_2: That’s brilliant.

Claudio: That’s a solid premise.

Tehseen_2: What was surprising was that there was another audience behind us.

Casper: You guys were audience members? My friends did that!

Tehseen_2: There was the Real audience, us and then the stage…

Casper: If it was a popular show you did it for free. For less popular shows you were paid.

Tehseen_2: We were told to remain completely silent as the real audience would do all the laughing.

Claudio: Yeah we were more like meta-audience members.

Tehseen_2: That’s another thing that desperately needs a re-birth

Claudio: Do they still film sitcoms in front of live studio audiences?

Casper: That is Meta. That’s an idea there. Sort of like the show Extras. But audience members who are addicted to fame through their laughter…

Otto: Wilson and Wilson would be a nice refreshing break from seeing actors’ faces.

Casper: Are you guys on screen on Tool Time? Even for a frame? Do you have that frame?

Tehseen_2: We have a short clip on Vimeo — you can see us around the 14th second or so:

Casper: This frame is fantastic!

Casper: You guys are the three women up front I assume?

Claudio: Correct.

Tehseen_2: Yeah the one with the beard is me.

Claudio: I’m in the pink cardigan.

Casper: You’re all very attractive.

Otto: That’s a really great cardigan

Claudio: I like to think I do my best with what I’ve been given.

Tehseen_2: Casper we typically have two segments in our show—I’m not sure if you’re familiar..

Casper: Tell me about the two segments, sir!

Tehseen_2: In the 2nd half we give our guest the opportunity to share the link to this room on social media. The first 25 people will join in conversation, everyone after will only be allowed to watch—they’ll be our studio audience.

Casper: I share it on my social media or you guys do it on yours? And for how long? And do I have time to get another beer?

Tehseen_2: Yeah go on and grab your beer!

Claudio: Yeah I have to run to the bathroom.

Casper: Ok. Gimme 5…

Otto: What’re you drinking tonight?

Casper: Founders Stout I think. If I have any left.

Casper: I’m back

Claudio: Great! the public portion of this tends to get wild.

Otto: Yes, the beer will help. I went and grabbed one too.

Casper: Ok. Don’t have a huge Twitter following, so we’ll see

[ParkerBro has joined.]

Claudio: Hi ParkerBro

Otto: Twitter overwhelms me also. Hello ParkerBro

[dickbunny69 has joined.]

Tehseen_2: Hello dickbunny!

dickbunny69: yo

Casper: I know a dickrabbit75 – are you guys related?

Otto: What a lovely name.

dickbunny69: Too Many Cooks is lit

Tehseen_2: It is quite literary, yes.

[FamousOldie has joined.]

Casper: Thx

[JohnnyO has joined.]

JohnnyO Hip hip!

Casper: Re: this JPEG. Claudio and Tehseen were on Tool Time within the show Home Improvement.

JohnnyO my friend!

[book has joined.]

Tehseen_2: hello book!

[Johny2time has joined.]

Claudio: book—great name!

FamousOldie: hey casper are you into watching new talent? Like indie shorts?

book: howdy

[mistermister has joined.]

Casper: Hello Famous Oldie and MisterMister

mistermister: yooo

dickbunny69: I wish that I was on Tool Time

mistermister: what’s going on

book: Thanks. It’s no Claudio

[lgor has joined.]

[bunnywearsprada has joined.]

Otto: hey I really like books, do you like books book?

JohnnyO: take these broken wings?

[Hershey has joined.]

[lalayoyo has joined.]

dickbunny69: has anyone here met Tim Allen?

mistermister: i love food but books are okay

FamousOldie: i looooove books

book: Mostly books with pictures, but yes

bunnywearsprada: who the f is dick bunny

mistermister: words are great too, don’t forget

Hershey: your twin brother

[Shaq has joined.]

Otto: Oh, I meant books you can eat.

book: Words are just pictures in your mind or something

dickbunny69: yo bunnywearsprada how’d u get out of the basement

Otto: You know, food

[JimmyBagabricks has joined.]

Casper: Ok. The text is flying here.

[ParkerBro has left.]

JimmyBagabricks: ayo

bunnywearsprada: i hopped.

[Smarf has joined.]

Shaq: sup jimmy

book: Yeah. We need to say fewer things.

Johny2time: a lot of jimmys

Smarf: hello everyone

Johny2time: johnies

Casper: Hello Smarf et al.!

Otto: Yes Casper, this part is usually a bit of the ol’ Chaos.

lgor: Who are you people?

[sunmaid has joined.]

JohnnyO: Cpt. Kangaroo WAS a prisoner, of his wig

Casper: Ha!

[lalayoyo has left.]

Claudio: this is a shoot from the hip kind of interview

[dickbunny68 has joined.]

Smarf: i dont like this Igor guy askin all these questions

Casper: Otto, somebody, plug your website.

lgor: I don’t like you.

dickbunny69: yo 68 how it do




[shayjakes has joined.]

JimmyBagabricks: all those sites suck

[Johny2time has left.]

FamousOldie: aw cmon

[Thf has joined.]

Otto: Those are all literally my favorite websites; I look at them everyday.

book: What do people do in chat rooms these days? Besides prey.

[Thf has left.]

Shaq: l8r

[Shaq has left.]

[Hershey has left.]

FamousOldieL has about 15 short films, some award winning, and a blog of audio sketches, all comedy

Otto: the mighty Shaq has left us

[Thf has joined.]

[Thf has left.]

JimmyBagabricks: retired from r00mchat

Casper: FamousOldie – cool!

mistermister: boo jimmy

[Thf has joined.]

shayjakes: fifs?

JohnnyO: (I think)

Smarf: yea fifs

Claudio: This is like Inside the Actor’s Studio.

JimmyBagabricks: whats going on in here?

[bunnywearsprada has left.]

Casper: What is going on????

Tehseen_2: We need a James Lipton to anchor us all back down to earth.

FamousOldie: wow! Thank you!! Just trying to get out there and get the laughs under the right eyes

Casper: Yes. So, hello everyone.

JohnnyO: hi there

Smarf: what up Caspah

Casper: Hello Smarf.

dickbunny69: are we gonna get a Too Many Cooks sequel?

Casper: How ya been?

dickbunny69: Three Many Cooks?

JimmyBagabricks: Lipton Iced Tea > James Lipton

Smarf: been aight

Thf: it takes a lot to make a stew

Smarf: workin these streets

Tehseen_2: James Lipton Iced Tea, full of Ice Cubes.

Smarf: you know how it is

Casper: Do you think a sequel is a good idea or bad?

FamousOldie: bad

dickbunny69: good

[savage has joined.]

FamousOldie: ways go for variety in creativity

Tehseen_2: Yeah, sequels are too indirect.

FamousOldie: always*

lgor: This is boring.

[lgor has left.]

Tehseen_2: What’s the NEXT “sequel”?

shayjakes: h8rs

JimmyBagabricks: you should skip directly to the third part of the triliogy

booboobola has joined.

Otto: that’s a really good question

JimmyBagabricks: without making the sequel

dickbunny69: you could do like a spinoff

Casper: I should do 5 sequels shot simultanteously. Like how they did The Hobbit.

JimmyBagabricks: the sequel to the sequel

FamousOldie: casper directing via sattelite to new zealand

Tehseen_2: I like the idea from earlier about the spin-offs first.

Thf: a manga prequel is in order…

Otto: I think that “totally different movie” is the next “sequel” maybe.

JimmyBagabricks: TMC’s should be made in an interactive broadway spectale

Casper: These are all good ideas.

JohnnyO: ok serious question: Chris – how about the whole Cross/Benjamin v. Lazzo shit? Crazy? Justified? Can’t comment?

dickbunny69: you tackled sitcoms with Too Many Cooks, but there is still a lot of TV to look at

JimmyBagabricks: like Sleep No More but wierder

dickbunny69: reality/game shows, news, sports, etc.

Casper: Did you see Sleep No More? I heard it was great

book: It’s fantastic

JimmyBagabricks: yea it was awesome

Claudio: Tehseen saw it.

JimmyBagabricks: but imagine it as TMC

Otto: Maybe you should make a modern day Hobbit, Casper!

book: disorienting, like all good things/

Tehseen_2: I’ve still got my fingers crossed for a modern day Batman.

Casper: Fellow Atlantan Puddles the Sad Clown was in it.

Thf: #expert

Casper: Modern day Hobbit—Don’t give me your good ideas!

FamousOldie: i wouldnt suggest any more media satire, defy yourself

Casper: I might take them!

JimmyBagabricks: what if it was an old timey Hobbit in a modern world?

Casper: I think you’re right, Oldie.

JimmyBagabricks: with complex language barriers


JimmyBagabricks: NO

book: It would be all about choosing shoes

Thf: the hobbit 4 hobbits in space

JimmyBagabricks: its not readyyy

Tehseen_2: What if the hobbits aren’t hobbits but are simple Romanian men?

dickbunny69: what if it was the hobbit but they were tall and everyone else was short

FamousOldie: thanks casper

Casper: How about a Hobbit restaurant a la the Forrest Gump restaurant?

Tehseen_2: Yes!

Casper: With 10 different lunch specials through the day…

Tehseen_2: Will there still be shrimp?

JohnnyO: Smarf shirimp?

Smarf: how bout a Lorena Bobbit restaurant

Tehseen_2: Or at least an amputee

JimmyBagabricks: Lorena Hobbit

FamousOldie: Id allow satire if it was 3D like the hobbit, and in 120 fps

Otto: That’s fantastic.

Tehseen_2: Now we’re talking

Claudio: I’ve got to catch a train. It was great chatting with you Casper. Enjoy this miniature hell we’ve created for you.

Tehseen_2: say hello to The Family for us

[Claudio has left.]

Otto: goodbye Claudio, enjoy your Train

JimmyBagabricks: an angry female hobbit that cuts off her husbands wiener and then the hobbits need to go out to find it

dickbunny69: tell Tim Allen I said hello

JimmyBagabricks: boom

Tehseen_2: Who here knows Tim Allen?

Smarf: goodbye friends

Casper: Thanks Claudio!

[JohnnyO has left.]

dickbunny69: Claudio was on Tool Time

[Smarf has left.]

Casper: Goodbye!

Tehseen_2: We should really interview him next.

[savage has left.]

[booboobola has left.]

Casper: Alright, I’m going to split too. Bye everybody!

[Casper has left.]

dickbunny69: later man, keep up the good work

[dickbunny69 has left.]

[Thf has left.]

[FamousOldie has left.]