General Question

SoapChef's avatar

Who needs more cowbell?

Asked by SoapChef (2968points) September 25th, 2008

Why is that so darn funny?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

Megan64's avatar

Because Ferrell is a huge dork, and it’s totally endearing!

zuluvictory's avatar

This is an insider joke. There was a recording session in which someone used a cowbbell to achieve a certain sound and then more and more of it. It may have been a comedian or a recording artist, I can’t remember.

loser's avatar


Dorkgirl's avatar

It’s Christopher Walken and who’s funnier than him?

eambos's avatar

I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!

PupnTaco's avatar

I don’t. But thanks!

dalepetrie's avatar

I gotta have more cowbell.

Well funny thing is, the song was “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, and even though I’ve been hearing that song my whole life, I never really noticed the prominent cowbell. But now I can’t NOT hear it. It’s basically that same rhythym that Ferrell was using tap..tap..tap..tap..tap..tap..tap..tap, no changeup in the pace, just someone repeatedly beating a cowbell in what I think is 2/4 time (though I’m not expert in this area, perhaps someone can correct me if I’m wrong).

It’s just such an asburd concept when you stop and think about it, and really, the point is probably that no one really has stopped to think about it since the song was recorded. But when they were recording this song that would go on to be a staple of classic rock radio, whose decision was it that this song should have a cowbell running through it keeping time? Was this person obsessive about it, I mean…this was probably the producer’s decision (yes, THE Bruce Dickinson). And who would have played it…I mean there’s gotta be a story here, right?

I can imagine the SNL writing staff, still half baked from the weekend, sitting there on a Monday morning, and one of them is like, “dude, I was listening to the radio on the way in this morning, and you know that song Don’t Fear the Reaper? What is UP with that cowbell?” And they probably started riffing on it, maybe even pulled out a CD and they probably thought…you know, once you hear that cowbell, it’s pretty obtrusive, it just kind of like hangs there. I wonder if the band wanted that in there or if some hotshot, weirdo producer was all like, “I gotta have more cowbell.” And they’re thinking, bingo, who better to play some weirdo hotshot record producer than our current week’s guest, Christopher Walken…he’d be great.

Then they’re riffing on it and thinking, you know what, it would be funny if we wrote this sketch where they had this real out there guy whose SOLE purpose was to play the cowbell, and this producer just couldn’t get enough of it, but the band is thinking, “our song is just fine as it is”. So they probably flushed this thing out, and thought, who better than to play a guy whose only purpose is to play a cowbell…gotta get Ferrell in on this. And Ferrell probably took the thing to a whole new level…let’s not just make this guy the cowbell player, but let’s make him like way more self important than the rest of the guys…you know, he’ll go around and just bust stuff up, he’ll cop an attitude, things will almost come to blows, then we’ll have the producer instead of firing this guy become even MORE insistent that he’s got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell.

And lo and behold, it’s considered one of the most memorable moments in the third of a century the show has been on the air, right up there with the Ronco Bassomatic and the Church Lady.

queenzboulevard's avatar

If you can’t see it, you don’t deserve to learn why you should laugh at it.

eambos's avatar

@dalepetrie: He is playing quarter notes in 4/4 time.

dalepetrie's avatar

Thanks Eambos. Lurve for you.

SoapChef's avatar

Queenz, Oh I have laughed at it, many times! :>) I was just sayin….

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