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Saturday, September 19, 2009

FUN FACTS about "iCook"

by Dan Schneider
iCarly Executive Producer/Creator


Here's all the cool behind-the-scenes scoop about iCook which premiers tonight – Saturday night – September 19th, 2009.

Please remember, about these Fun Facts – if you're an iCarly super-fan, you'll probably enjoy reading this stuff.  But if you're a casual fan, you might find it a little boring.  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 these Fun Facts after you watch the episode.  Okay, here we go....


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


This episode is what I call "classic iCarly" for a a few reasons.  The main reason is that it's a half-hour of strong comedy, in both the main story and the sub-plot (which we writers call the A-story and the B-story).

Lots of iCarly fans love the episodes that deal with character and relationship development.  I do, too.  But you don't want every episode to be like that.  Sometimes you just want an episode to be full-on fun, and to make you laugh a lot.  I think this one fits into that category.  Although... you can find some subtle character and relationship development if you pay close attention. ;)

This is also a great episode for fans of Drake & Josh – because you'll find a lot of D&J references in iCook.  I'll point them out in these Fun Facts as we come to them.

Okay, I'm about to start.  First, I'm gonna have a big sip of watermelon juice.  One sec...

Done – watermelon juice has been consumed.  And now the Fun Facts...

*** Scene 1 ***
Scene begins with Freddie picking up his famous camera and counting in five, four, three, two... (do any fans know why he never says the one?)
  • Get ready to meet Jo-Jo, The Gigantic Baby.  Yes, I've reached a new level of weird.  That's good, right?  Haha.  I think Jo-Jo will make some people laugh hysterically, and I think it may give some people frightening nightmares.  But I can pretty much guarantee that Jo-Jo is someone you won't forget soon!
  • I don't know why, but one of my favorite things about Jo-Jo is his glass of apple juice.  It kills me.
  • When Sam says, "His name is Ricky Flame" – you clearly see Sam's blue remote in her hand.  Since we're on hiatus from iCarly right now, all the sets and props are in storage.  But since there is only one blue remote, and since it's been used in every episode of iCarly, I took it home.  The blue remote is here with me, locked safely in a display case in my den.
  • There's a very cute moment in this scene between Sam and Freddie.  All I'll say about it here is... it involves a finger, and some Sam-spit.
  • Once again, our awesome post production team goes the creative extra mile.  You gotta love how the words Spaghetti Tacos are written in a specially-designed "noodle font".  Cool stuff. :)
  • Latisha McPeanuts?????????
  • Just in case you want to know (and don't), the word Diphthong means: "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."  The word was intentionally misspelled in this episode.
*** Scene 2 ***
Scene begins with a man working on electronics in Sam's locker.
  • We often hear about the many boyfriends of Sam's mom... but in this episode, we actually get to meet one!  I wonder if she even remembers his name.  Probably not.
  • I find it really freakin' funny the way Sam says, "I get it."  It says soooo much, doesn't it?  ;)
  • As you'll see in the credits, this episode was directed by Roger Christiansen.  He's directed many of my shows.  Roger worked as the camera coordinator for many years on FRIENDS.
  • For some of the younger iCarly fans, this may be the first time they're introduced to a knackwurst (sometimes spelled knockwurst).  If you don't know what that is, it's "a short, plump hot dog or sausage originating from the Holstein region in Germany."
  • In this scene, Carly gives us a piece of important information we should all always try to remember: "We do not electrocute friends."  Words to live by, really.
    • Poor Spencer.
    *** Scene 3 ***
    Scene begins with Spencer lying on the couch as Carly dabs his head with a wet towel.
    • I'm sure the fans will correct me on this if I'm wrong, but I think this might be the first episode where we see the new computer monitor on the counter.  Since we've pretty much all moved into a widescreen world now, gone is the the old iCarly monitor with the colorful coils wrapped around it.  Now we have a new widescreen monitor with a cool red frame.  (You can't buy one anywhere – it's a special design.)
    • And here we have a huge reference to Drake & Josh: Nug-Nug!  As some of you know, I often reference the fake move Galaxy Wars in my shows (I made up Galaxy Wars because we're usually not allowed to use real movie titles in dialogue.)  I created the character Nug Nug for the Drake & Josh episode "The Battle of Panthatar" – played by the very same actor you'll see in this iCarly episode.  Super Fun Fact:  Our very own Freddie (Nathan Kress) had a small part in "The Battle of Panthatar" which was mostly cut out.  But if you look closely, you can see Nathan in that Drake & Josh episode.  UPDATE!!!  A nice fan located a PIC of Nathan when he was on that Drake & Josh!  Click to see (look on the far right side): http://twitpic.com/if2qu
    *** Scene 4 ***
    Scene begins in the iCarly studio, with a woman from Food TV introducing Carly, Sam, and Freddie.
    • During the filming of this episode, when I first saw the yellow top on this Food TV woman, I said to our costume designer (Kris), "Did a garbage disposal explode all over that top?"  Kris promptly punched me in my arm, which I suppose I deserved.  :)
    • We learn how Spencer's spaghetti tacos came to be!
    • A little more Spanish from Freddie.  What's up with that?!?  Why does Freddie often chime in speaking in Spanish?  Do you know?  Do I know?  Yes, I'm the Executive Producer – of course I know! 
    • In case there was any question, in this scene we learn (via Carly) that Sam takes her meat very seriously.  
    *** Scene 5 ***
    Scene begins with Spencer standing around the Groovy Smoothie, waiting for... something... or someone.

    • T-Bo is back!  Who doesn't love T-Bo???
    • Spencer orders a smoothie called the Tingleberry Blitz.  In reality, there is no flavor called Tingleberry.  I made it up.  I first used it in the Zoey 101 episode "Hands On A Blix Van".  Hmmm... wait... actually that might have been Zingleberry Oh, so many episodes to remember.  Help me out, guys.  You often know way more about my shows than I do!  :)
    • This scene is pretty short because a big part of it was cut for time.  Actually, a lot of this episode had to be cut out because the editor's first cut was over 6 minutes long.  That's a ton.  An episode of iCarly only runs about 24 minutes (without commercials).  So 6 minutes is A LOT.  It was really hard getting this episode down to the time.
    *** Scene 6 ***
    Scene begins with the Food TV woman in Carly's kitchen, speaking to camera.
    • Notice the new monitor on the counter.  On it, you'll see an image of one of my favorite foods from my childhood: Spaghettios!  I actually took that photo myself, in my own house.
    • There is a really cool reference to a Drake & Josh episode in this scene.  Hint: It's spoken by Carly, and it directly refers to something that very much involved "Megan" on a Season 3 episode of Drake & Josh.  Who can identify it?!?
    • Carly's line, "She means her flavor patch!" was not originally in the script.  It was a last-minute addition.
    *** Scene 7 ***
    Scene begins back at the Groovy Smoothie, with Spencer pacing and waiting (and needing to pee).
    • Can I just say that I love the fact that the door which leads to the restrooms is shaped like a smoothie cup?
    • We find out that Nug Nug is from the planet Juveron.  I wonder if that planet has a large Jewish population.
        • Red Skynauts is yet another reference to the Drake & Josh episode "The Battle of Panthar" – those were the Galaxy Wars characters that Drake and Josh impersonated (dressed up as) as a way of getting into an exclusive party.
        • I shot an ending to this scene that I didn't (couldn't) use.  After Spencer yells, "You better run!" the older lady ran back in, chased Spencer all around the Groovy Smoothie, and ending up attacking him again with her umbrella.  It was really funny, but as I mentioned earlier, the first cut of this episode was way over time, so lots of good stuff had to be cut out.
        *** Scene 8 ***
        Scene begins back in the iCarly kitchen with the 3 judges tasting the spaghetti tacos.
        • My wife Lisa and I love to watch cooking shows.  Because of that, it made this scene (and all the cooking show scenes in this episode) very fun for me to write.=
        • When Carly says, "I'm so sorry" – doesn't she remind you a little of Jennifer Aniston?
        • I particularly enjoy Judge Marla's stirring words, "Everyone here today should feel proud of their tacos."
        • Admit it.  How many of you are already thinking about making spaghetti tacos and trying them yourself?  Admit it!  You know you are.  (I still want to create the perfect spaghetti taco recipe and put it up online for you guys.  Some day!)
        ---- COMMERCIAL BREAK ----

        *** Scene 9 ***
        Scene begins with Freddie walking through the hall at school.
        • And another massive reference to Drake & Josh.  Ladies and gentlemen... the return of... The Gary Coleman Grill!
        • In case you were ever curious, this episode answers the burning question: Has Sam ever eaten raw meat? 
        • I don't want to give too much away, BUT... there is a "double-slap" moment in this scene, and I love it.  It was not scripted.  I added it during the later takes as we filmed this scene.  It's a great, weird little moment between Sam and Freddie.  And it makes you think:  Why do they do this?  Where did it come from?  Hmmmm.
        • One of my favorite lines ever.  It's something we should all say from time to time: "No, the least we can do is nothing."  True dat!
        *** Scene 10 ***
         Scene begins with the Food TV woman leading Carly, Sam, and Freddie into Ricky Flame's bedroom.
        • Some fans saw this bedroom set a few months ago and were guessing it was Freddie's bedroom.  Nope!  It's Ricky Flame's bedroom.
        • The pillow hitting Carly in the face is one of my favorite physical jokes that's ever happened on iCarly.  It was not in the script.  I added it while we were filming this scene.  We did a couple of takes, and then the director, stunt coordinator, and I asked Miranda if it hurt at all.  She giggled and said, "No – have him do it harder" -- so the actor who played Ricky threw the pillow even harder... and that's the take in the show.  It's hilarious.
        • The Kleenex stuck to Ricky's face was also not in the script.  I added that as we filmed the scene.  I think the best part is that it took Sam not one, but two "flicks" to get it off his face.  :)
        • If you didn't know, Seattle is a very rainy city.  Sometimes we get comments from fans asking why we don't show that more (that Seattle is rainy).  Well, here ya go!  (And I think you'll be impressed with how real we made it look.)
        • More words to live by, from Sam: "Everybody loves a big sharp knife."
        *** Scene 11 ***
         Scene begins with Spencer sitting sadly at the Groovy Smoothie.
        • First, let me just say... if the ending to this scene doesn't make you smile, you may be dead.  :)
        •  Actually, I don't want to say too much about this scene.  I don't want to spoil it.  It's not a huge deal or anything Earth-shattering... I just like it a lot.  It has a surprise ending and I think you just have to see it.
        *** Scene 12 ***
        Scene begins with someone (Freddie) knocking on Carly's door.  Carly answers it.

        • I love the way Freddie says, "Nice PJ's" to Carly.
        • Carly uses an old-school phrase that I like a lot: "Dolled up" – you don't hear that used much anymore.  But I think it's cute and funny.  Like, if my wife Lisa asks, "Are we going out to dinner tonight?" – I'll often respond by saying, "Yep!  Get yourself all dolled up."
        • Cool Trivia: The voice you hear from Ricky's girlfriend in this scene comes from the same woman who did the announcer voice for The Sack infomercial in iThink They Kissed.
        • You see the big yellow gummy bear next to the computer monitor?  You can see those big gummy bears at jellio.com – and they even light up!
        • This episode (the plot-line) is about to take a weird twist into the next scene!
        *** Scene 13 ***
        Scene begins inside a gym where you'll see a wrestling coach wearing a reddish-orange jacket.

        • This is the final scene of the episode, and I bet no viewer could possibly see this ending coming.  When we were developing this story and I came up with this ending, I (at first) got some weird looks from my writers.  Some thought I was kidding.  But as we talked about it, we all started liking it more and more... mostly because... what other show (besides a Schneider's Bakery show) would the plot-line take such a bizarre turn?  I hope you like it!
        • The little boys in this scene are really cute and did a great job.
        • The kid who plays "Danny Peterson" really makes me laugh with how he nervous says, "Sort of..." 
        • I think you'll like the part when Ricky wrestles Carly.  There was a big question as to whether or not that bit would make it into the show.  It was in my original script... but then (during the rehearsal process) we cut it to save time because the show was so long.  But then, as we were filming this scene, I surprised the director by saying, "Let's put back the bit where Ricky makes Carly wrestle him"  because I loved it and I couldn't stand not shooting it.  And even though this episode came in 6 minutes long... I was determined to keep the "Ricky-makes-Carly-wrestle-him" bit in the show.  And as we shot it, I added the line for Carly, "You're so weird!
          • Sam is pretty impressive at the very end of this scene.  It makes you wonder how she'd do against Shelby Marx, doesn't it?
          *** End Credits Scene  ***
          This is the little scene with Carly, Sam, and Freddie at the end, when the credits roll.  

          • I wrote this little scene about 20 minutes before we filmed it.  When I finished writing it, I first walked up to Nathan Kress (Freddie) and asked him, "Um, how would you feel about Miranda sticking her finger up your nose?"  And then I went to Miranda and asked her, "Um, so how would you feel about sticking your finger up Nathan's nose?  Luckily, they're both really good sports.  :)

          And that wraps up the fun facts and behind-the-scenes info for iCook.  As always, thanks for watching iCarly!!!!!!!!!!

          Oh, and CLICK THIS to see cool, exclusive PICS from the episode!

          –Dan :)

          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/mkplat

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