Snurched from Wired.com
Five years ago, Saturday Night Live spoofed the making of Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper.” The laugh line: Guest host Christopher Walken, playing a superproducer, tells the band, “I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is … more cowbell!” But unlike other SNL one-liners – “You look mahvelous!” “Isn’t that special?” – “more cowbell” didn’t catch on instantly. It incubated online for years, only recently reaching the mainstream as the ultimate universal inside joke. Here are the memorable moments in the catchphrase’s rise.
The editors at Geek Speak Weekly start the Cowbell Project, dedicated to listing all rock songs that feature a cowbell.
A band in Rochester begins calling itself More Cowbell after seeing the skit online.
Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell, including the Blue Öyster Cult skit, is released on DVD.
“More cowbell” is entered into the Urban Dictionary. Definition: 1) something everybody needs more of. 2) a remedy.
The Sports Guy – aka ESPN’s Bill Simmons – adds the phrase as the tagline for his online column.
Busted Tees rolls out one of the first More Cowbell T-shirts. It becomes a best-seller.
“I hear about it everywhere I go,” Walken tells the Orlando Sentinel.
Wilco covers “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper” for the first of many times.
The New Yorker mentions the phrase in an article about CollegeHumor.com.
“I’ve seen [the skit] 20 times and I’m still not tired of it,” BÖC guitarist “Buck Dharma” Roeser tells The Washington Post.
Queens of the Stone Age performs on SNL – with Will Ferrell on cowbell.
– David Goldenberg
As proclaimed previously, the BÖC’s Eric Bloom is my uncle and it’s sorta cool that they’re involved in something that has entered our pop cultural lexicon.