Needs more cowbell is a catchphrase taken from a Saturday Night Live sketch, featuring Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken.
It may be used metaphorically; signifying that something needs to be emphasized more, or literally; the tunes need some more cowbell.
The sketch was aired on April 8th, 2000, parodying VH!’s documentary series, Behind the Music.
It features Will Ferrell acting as the fictional cowbell player Gene Frenkle at the recording on Blue Öyster Cult’s (Don’t Fear) The Reaper song, produced by Bruce Dickinson (played by Christopher Walken).
“Needs more cowbell” immediately stuck with people, fans were reportedly asking about Gene Frenkle at Blue Öyster Cult five years after the skit was aired.
The phrase first appeared on Urban Dictionary in 2004, with several other definitions to follow.
Several references have been made to the cowbell phenomenon, including quests in both Guild Wars and World of Warcraft as well as an app, popular app during the 2010 winter Olympics, titled Cowbell2010.
Tampa Bay Rays fans are cheering with cowbells to this day.
- Know Your Meme – Needs More Cowbell