As poet Jeff Skinner can attest, the animation of David Firth consists of some of the most uncomfortable yet simultaneously knee-slapping cartoons you’ll ever see. I knew when I had my first sip of hot apple cider that it was the right time of the year to get stuck in this comfortably eerie K-hole of youtube videos. If you have not seen the Salad Fingers series, be prepared to take on a new warbly voice in your head that asks for rusty spoons, and tries to entice you into ovens.
There are a number of theories floating around the internet concerning what in the hell Salad Fingers is to begin with. If you have not watched the videos, I don’t recommend you read these theories, because it’s best to react to the videos on your own rather than letting some nobody on the internet tell you what to think (irony). Most viewers can probably agree that what we’re looking at here is some sort of mutant humanoid, though we can only make conjectures about why Salad Fingers is what he is. Listening to a number of interviews with Firth has lead me to believe that he really didn’t create the character with much of a back story in mind. David Firth strikes me as the sort of artist who usually creates simply to amuse himself. Firth even claims that he mostly makes these cartoons because the original idea will strike him as funny, and he does not realize how potentially “creepy” they are until viewers start to comment on them. For this reason, it seems plausible that Firth started out with a deformed figure sketch of Salad Fingers, which is a characteristic that’s common throughout all of his work, and the surreal moments just started to stack on top of one another. After nine videos, some obsessions surfaced, and potential narratives can be weaved out of them.
Those of a more artsy-fartsy persuasion will be impressed with the overall aesthetic of Salad Fingers. The eerie background music of “Beware the Friendly Stranger” by the Boards of Canada, the art brut style backdrops, and of course the soft drawl of Salad Fingers (voiced by David Firth), all give each episode the proper balance of what Buffy Summers would call “The Wiggins”. At the same time, Salad Fingers feels carefully orchestrated, despite it’s simplistic look. It’s easy to get sucked into this series, because even though you may sitting in front of your computer with jaw-dropped confusion, you will likely want to find out what happens to Salad Fingers, his friends, and that screaming little yellow woman. Of course, those who have never done anything artistic, will probably ask what sort of drugs David Firth is on…but that would make you quite foolish.
If you are ready to jump down the Salad Fingers rabbit hole:
And, if you are a Salad Fingers graduate already, feast your eyes on what I consider the most disturbing thing David Firth has ever created (seriously, you’ve been warned):