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Thursday, June 02, 2005

More cowbell!

OK, I've seen the SNL sketch a few times: Christopher Walken plays a producer working on Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper." It's a typical Saturday Night Live sketch: one joke told in a variety of ways to induce laughter. In this case, Walken's character keeps demanding "more cowbell" from the cowbell player, portrayed by Will Ferrell. I think the sketch is funny (especially Walken's stunted delivery of the lines), but I wonder: what causes people to do things inspired by it?

There's a blog named after it (Hi Kyle!), the sketch has been downloaded all over the internet, message board avatars feature a loop of Ferrell hitting his cowbell, people bring cowbells to shows and some variation of "I've got a fever and the only prescription is, more cowbell!" is a common phrase.

Not to knock the humor of this sketch, but I want to know why there is a bridge to action. Is it because Ferrell is so goofy as the hairy cowbell player? Is it because Walken gives his trademark stunted line reading? Is it because of the rather useless addition of cowbell on a track?

Thoughts? Ideas? Theories? Feel free and leave a comment below.

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