Just when you’ve finally driven the Too Many Cooks earworm out of your head–thanks, Kimmy Schmidt theme!–the song is back, and in a context way more nightmarish than the serial killer in the original.
CNN is stoking the fires of anticipation for the 2016 election a year and a half out with a Too Many Cooks parody nobody asked for. If you go to YouTube and search “too many cooks parody,” you’ll find that this idea has already provoked a wellspring of brainfarts in the last six months. Enter CNN with its version, which is so unnecessary, rote, and alienating that it’s almost inspired (but it definitely isn’t).
Everybody loses here. CNN’s actual audience is stodgy enough not to understand what is even happening, and its ideal audience will be rolling their eyes before reluctantly clicking play and tweeting about how CNN sucks. The thing people loved about the original was that it started out with a hilarious idea—the never-ending credits sequence—and kept evolving, finding other radical and weird veins to tap within the broad world of credits sequences. That video was 11 minutes long, and every time it seemed about to get boring, boom, another turn.
There are no turns in the CNN video. The moment you think you get it, you definitely get it. A series of likely candidates for the 2016 election is introduced, one by one, sometimes with campaign video footage, like Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, emerging from a hole in the ground via ladder. The most the creators can offer in the way of a freaky twist is to invoke the 2010 Carly Fiorina demon sheep ad, because while that video was indeed a huge disaster, at least it was interesting. Whoever decided to use Marco Rubio’s infamous water drinking moment for his scene here, though, was at least on the right track for one second.
We thought it was bad enough that the Too Many Cooks template had already been co-opted by other comedians, but an outlet like CNN clumsily adding its pinch of salt really does spoil the broth.