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Saturday, July 11, 2009

iCarly: Fun Facts about "iTwins"

by Dan Schneider
iCarly Executive Producer/Creator

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

Here's all the cool behind-the-scenes scoop about iTwins, which airs tonight (Saturday) night at 8:00 PM – 7PM Central.

iTwins is an exciting episode in lots of ways. It begins as a story about Freddie being gullible... or at least Carly and Sam thinking he's gullible.

And we have the return of Spencer's arch nemesis: Chuck (the 11-year-old boy who lives in the building and often torments Spencer).

Now, about these fun facts...

...if you're an iCarly super-fan, you'll probably get a kick out of reading this stuff. If you're a casual fan, you might not care so much. But even more importantly...

DON'T READ THIS BEFORE YOU WATCH THE EPISODE IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPOILERS!!!! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!!! :) Remember: You can wait and read this stuff after you watch the episode.

SCENE-BY-SCENE FUN FACTS

[ When you're done reading this, please tell any of your friends who like iCarly about these fun facts, and that they can come here to read them. Thanks! ]

iTwins

*** Scene 1 ***
Scene begins with Carly and Sam watching a cute model train go around a circular track.

• Pretty cool when the BIG ROCK crushes the table, huh? Cheers to our special effects guys and our construction department for rigging that gag.

• Carly triggers the big rock by pulling on a red rope. But in reality, the red rope isn't connected to anything above. There's a man overhead who you can't see. He watches the scene, and when Miranda yanks the rope, he releases the big rock. The illusion looks very realistic, doesn't it?

• Just curious – can anyone guess what the blue lighted rods are that stick up from Freddie's laptop and his camera? I know. Do you? :)

• I think this is the first reference to the "Cheesecake Warehouse" since it was first mentioned (and shown) in the episode "iWin A Date." In a future episode, I'd love to go back to the Cheesecake Warehouse, because the enormous servings make me laugh.

*** Scene 2 ***
Scene begins in the Ridgeway School hallway, with Carly and Sam talking about something that Sam is upset about.

• This is the very first time we ever hear of Sam having a sister. And Freddie reacts appropriately by saying: "You don't have a sister!" When Sam insists that she does, Freddie asks (mockingly), "Then how come I've never heard of her?" Good question, Freddie. If Sam really does have a sister, wouldn't we have heard something about her by now? And... if Sam really does have a sister, wouldn't Carly (and even Spencer) have to be aware of her? Hmmmmm...

• This is also the first time we hear about Freddie's uncle who's an avocado: Uncle Green-Mush. ;)

• Mr. Howard is back! Just for a fun, quick little joke at the end of this scene. I really love the Mr. Howard character who's wonderfully played by actor David St. James.

*** Scene 3 ***
Scene begins with Carly studying at the kitchen table.

• When Spencer enters, he's carrying two grocery bags (the paper kind). Those are not real grocery bags! They're a special kind of PROP grocery bag that looks real, but doesn't make any crinkle noises when you move them around. By using them, we're able record the actors' dialogue more cleanly, without all the crinkling noise you get with real paper bags. Cool, right? The irony is... sometimes in post we then add the sound of the bags crinkling! Ha. It's true. That may seem silly, but it gives us more control over the final audio mix.

• As Spencer says, "Ah, that's so nice of you" – something unusual happens. It's something you won't see in most sitcoms. It's one of those little extra touches we do at Schneider's Bakery to keep things real-looking. I wonder if you'll notice the cool effect.

• When Spencer says, "Good 'cuz you owe me 24 bucks for the pork roast" – I love how he sort of "shampoos" Carly's head with his hands, making her giggle. That was not scripted. On the last take we did, I just whispered to Jerry that he should do that. He did, and I thought it was really cute and fun (how Miranda reacted), so I used that take in the show. By the way, Carly's reaction – the way she laughs and says, "Stop... stop it" – she's not acting! That's Miranda's real, natural reaction because she didn't know Jerry was going to do that. :)

• Chuck is back! Ahhhhhh!!! I love the Chuck character. He's played by Ryan Ochoa, a truly awesome kid actor.

• I love that Spencer refers to Chuck as his "arch nemesis" and scolds Carly for allowing Chuck to penetrate his inner sanctum.

• This episode has a funny recurring joke of Carly telling Spencer he needs to take a bath to calm down. It's so odd, and Spencer's reactions to it are pretty hilarious.

• It always makes me laugh when we get to Chuck's line, "Yay, I'm learning!" That line got a big laugh in the table read and the run-throughs. Ryan Ochoa ("Chuck") delivers it perfectly.

*** Scene 4 ***
Scene begins with Carly and Spencer on the couch watching television.

• If you watch my TV shows a lot, you've probably noticed that I often start scenes with some funny little joke (or bit) that has nothing to do with the scene at all. Just some random little funny moment. This scene begins with Carly and Spencer watching a show called "Elephant Love". I love the randomness of it, and the line, "The male elephant offers the female elephant a peanut."

• Speaking of random bits... shall we talk about this little run of dialogue?

FREDDIE: Is that a new necklace?

CARLY: Yeah. You like it?

FREDDIE: Can you return it?

CARLY: No.

FREDDIE: It's nice.

That dialogue was not scripted. I added it while filming. Why? Because Kris (the lady in charge of wardrobe and jewelry) was sitting next to me while we were filming the scene. I was teasing her by making fun of the necklace Miranda is wearing in the scene. Kris said, "What, you hate it?" And I replied (smirking) "Oh no, it's nice." And then I laughed and Kris pouted, because she knew I was making fun of the necklace. And then... I ran onto the set and added this dialogue for Carly and Freddie:

FREDDIE: Is that a new necklace?

CARLY: Yeah. You like it?

FREDDIE: Can you return it?

CARLY: No.

FREDDIE: It's nice.

And I put it in the show. :)

• In this scene we meet Melanie, Sam's sister. Or is she? Freddie says it's obviously Sam just pretending to be Melanie. My favorite thing Freddie says is: "Okay, this is the stupidest thing ever." I love that Freddie is showing some attitude by refusing to be tricked, and telling them he's not as gullible as they think. Don't you like when Freddie stands up for himself?

• But would sweet Carly really participate with Sam in playing a practical joke on Freddie? Would Carly do that? Well, she did in the first scene with the "Clown Day" and "lettuce" scams. So... hmmm...

• Freddie's mocking valley girl voice when he says "Uh, okaaay" makes me laugh every time.

• Some people say iCarly is never educational. But hey! At the end of this scene we learn something VERY important: Never play dodge ball naked. See? iCarly does educate. ;)

• Ha. Notice... not only does Spencer fail to return the orange juice carton to the fridge... he doesn't even put the cap back on. As my wife Lisa might tell you, that would not be uncommon behavior for me.

• Uh-oh. Chuck...

*** Scene 5 ***
Scene begins with Freddie going home with the scissors, and Sam entering the hallway.

• The writers and I have fun coming up with new rude names for Sam to call Freddie. In this scene, we proudly introduce: Dishrag.

*** Scene 6 ***
Scene begins with Spencer yawning as he emerges from his room.

• Jerry's comedy reactions are priceless in this scene. I'm not sure that, right now in 2009, I could name any adult actor who's funnier than Jerry Trainor. And I don't say that lightly. Jerry is the best.

• After Chuck enters and says "Hello" – Spencer takes a very funny fall. This was not scripted or rehearsed. We just tried this out as we filmed the scene. Obviously, it worked well and was really funny, which is why it's now in the show!

• Yikes! Another suspicious liquid from Chuck?!? What is it? Most people guess: motor oil.

• The way Spencer screams "Carleeeeeeeee!" at the end of this scene is one of the funniest iCarly moments ever. He delivers it so much like a 4-year-old little boy.

• It was not scripted for Spencer to taste the suspicious liquid at the end of the scene, or for him to say, "Aw, why did I taste it?" I added that on set as we were filming.

*** Scene 7 ***
Scene begins with the iCarly gang hangin' at the Groovy Smoothie.

• And yet another new Fred-based name that Sam calls Freddie. Yep. This time it's "Fredduccini". While I was editing this episode, it occurred to me that I should have had Sam call him "Fredduccini Al-Fred-o". Oh well. Perhaps I'll use that in a future episode.

• T-Bo is back! And this time he has pickles on a stick! If you're feeling depressed about anything, just watch this episode of iCarly. Because you can't be depressed when you're watching T-Bo holding a stick of impaled pickles.

• In this scene we see both Sam and Melanie... though not at the same time. So Freddie asks what we're all asking: "Isn't it interesting how Sam had to leave right before you showed up here?" But Freddie says he is impressed with how Sam changed her clothes and hair so fast.

• How great is T-Bo's facial expression (looking at Freddie) when this scene ends???

********* COMMERCIAL BREAK *********

*** Scene 8 ***
Scene begins with Carly and Chuck on the couch, studying math.

• There was a funny line (from Carly) that I cut just before I finished editing this episode. After Freddie says, "Don't waste your time, kid. I've been barking up that tree since 6th grade" – Carly responded, "Neutering is always an option." It got a big laugh on set, but I decided to cut that line because I felt it slightly crossed the line in terms of being appropriate for the younger iCarly viewers. Was I right to lose the line? Or should I have left it in?

• The lines between Carly and Spencer: "Don't taste it!" and "Right!" were not scripted. I added those lines on set, as we were filming the scene.

• This scene contains one of the funniest physical "attacks" on Spencer in iCarly history.

*** Scene 9 ***
Scene begins with Spencer and Carly running into the little hallway by the iCarly studio.

• Spencer uses a new style of Pear laptop computer we've never seen before on iCarly.

• There's a special, very hard to spot DanWarp in this scene. Can you find it?

*** Scene 10 ***
Scene begins with Chuck on the couch, then Carly comes downstairs.

• Have you noticed that Seattle's "Space Needle" building (tower) can be seen out the big window? Located at the Seattle Center, the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

• Get ready to learn about a new International math law regarding "derf".

*** Scene 11 ***
Scene begins at an under 21 dance club.

• The two drinks Freddie has in his hands are NON alcoholic. Swear. ;)

• Just to clarify... Sam hates stripes on most GUYS. She likes stripes on herself, or on other girls.

• You gotta love the look on Freddie's face after the kiss.

*** Scene 12 ***
Scene begins with Carly and Sam on the couch playing "tennis" with a balloon.

• Carly and Sam's conversation about the letter Q is the kind of randomness I love on iCarly (and on my other shows).

• I think you're going to enjoy the victory that Carly and Spencer have in this scene. And when one of my writers suggested the name "Camp Addemup" I thought it was brilliantly funny.

• Why does Carly want Spencer to shave his toes?!? Even I don't know!

• A new Penny-Tee on Freddie. And yes, fries do matter. They're my wife's #1 favorite food. But she rarely indulges. :(

• Sam calls Freddie a diphthong. I love it. It sounds so abrasive and crude. But do you know what a diphthong really is? It's "an unsegmentable, gliding speech sound varying continuously in phonetic quality but held to be a single sound or phoneme and identified by its apparent beginning and ending sound, as the oi-sound of toy or boil." Yay, we're learning!

• And finally... finally Freddie walks out feeling victorious over Sam. In fact, Sam even admits defeat to him! It's so rare that Freddie can go to bed at night with the feeling of satisfaction that he's actually beaten Sam at anything. But tonight, it happens. Freddie will go to bed with a winner's smile on his face. ;)

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And that concludes the fun facts and behind-the-scenes info for this episode. As always, thanks for watching iCarly!!!!!!!!!!

–iDan :)

P.S. Remember: If you know of any iCarly fans you think might enjoy reading these fun behind-the-scenes faces, please send them this URL: http://tinyurl.com/lamv2r

P.P.S. Please tell your friends who like iCarly (or don't know about it yet) to follow my Twitter: @DanWarp