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Friday, September 25, 2009

FUN FACTS about "iSpeed Date" !!!

by Dan Schneider
iCarly Executive Producer/Creator


Here's all the cool behind-the-scenes scoop about iSpeed Date which premiered on Saturday, September 26, 2009.

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!

iSpeed Date

I was about to start off saying how much I think you'll love this episode, but then I thought to myself, "Yo Dan, you kinda say that every week."  

I do like all the iCarly episodes – some more than others, but we've never made one that I hated.  And I tend to like certain episodes for different reasons.  With some, it's about the comedy horsepower, i.e. how many times it will make you laugh out loud.  Others I like for their development of the characters and the relationships.  And some I like for the story/plot, e.g. cool twists, turns, and resolutions.

My guess is that iSpeed Date will go to the top of many fans' list of favorite iCarly episodes.  It's got some of everything.  For the fans who love hard comedy, it has a lot of that.  For fans who love Gibby, oh my god, just wait.  And for the fans who are very into the Carly-Freddie and Sam-Freddie relationships, I think they'll find this episode very interesting.  I feel that the supporters of both those relationships will find a nice "win" in iSpeed Date

Sadly, for those who support the relationship I named "Spug-Nug" (Spencer + Nug-Nug), there's no win for you in this episode.  Ah, but who knows what the future will bring. ;)

And now, the Fun Facts...

*** Scene 1 ***
Scene begins in the school hallway with Carly entering and preparing to approach a cute guy.
  • When Carly is talking to a new cute guy named Nate and she says, "You wanna go with me possibly?" – If you watch very closely, you'll notice that an actual glob of spit shoots from Carly's lip and nails Nate right in his eye.  I love it.
  • Ahhh!  The infamous Rebecca Berkowitz is mentioned in this scene.  This is a callback to a previous episode when a large nurse wrestled Sam on the floor.  When the nurse demanded for Sam to reveal her name, Sam shouted, "Rebecca Berkowitz!"
  • We also learn in this scene that Rebecca Berkowitz is apparently "a lot of fun."  Hmmm.
  • As you know, Sam often turns Freddie's name into wacky variations.  Sometimes we (the writers) will spend 20 minutes just to think of another good spin on the name "Freddie" for Sam to say.  This scene has one I particularly like: "Fredamame" (pronounced "Fredda-mah-may") – a reference to the soy beans I enjoy at sushi bars. :)
  • I really like Nathan's performance in this scene.  Freddie's just getting cooler, don't ya think?  I do.
  • Some fans are going to say, "Why is Sam wearing stripes?  She said in iTwins that she hates stripes!  Once again, Sam doesn't like stripes on guys.  She likes wearing stripes herself.
  • We meet a new character in this scene: Magic Malika.  She's played by a really talented, fun actress named Skyler Day.
  • Well, you can't say that the ending to this scene is predictable!  Haha.  If you're a person who breathes, I can almost promise you that the last 12 seconds of this scene will make you laugh or smile.
*** Scene 2 ***
Scene begins with Spencer working on a sculpture and Carly coming home from school.
  • You'll see that the writing credit on this episode goes to Andrew Hill Newman, writer extraordinaire.  And a good friend of mine. 
    • Super Fun Fact: There are two lines in this scene that you should watch carefully: When Spencer says, "I follow iCarly" – and when Carly says, "Sam tweeted it?!"  Both those lines were shot three months after this episode was filmed.  We call them "pickup shots."  We did them because I wanted to change the dialogue a bit.  But if I didn't tell you they were pickup shots, you'd never know – and that's because our production team did an excellent job of making sure everything matched what we shot originally.
    • It was not scripted for Spencer to playfully push Carly's head and jokingly call her "Stooopid..."  Jerry added that during one take, and the editor liked it and added it to this scene.
    • It was not scripted for Sam to say, "Who has urine trouble?" – I added that line as we were filming.  And I think it's cute that her hair got stuck to her lip on that line.  At first I thought about looking for an alternate take where that didn't happen, but then I thought, "Hey, sometimes girls' hair sticks to their lip gloss – that's real life."  So I decided to leave it in.
    *** Scene 3 ***
    Scene begins with the iCarly web show in progress.  "Pathetic Plays"
    • I love writing stuff like this on iCarly (the "Pathetic Plays").  I miss writing sketches for All That and The Amanda Show.  Bits like "Pathetic Plays" put me right back in that mind-frame.  Very familiar territory for me  I dig it.
    • This scene has your first big dose of Gibby awesomeness in this episode.  Watch him play a mean, nasty father as he knits himself a pair of trousers.  Who actually says "trousers" anymore?!?
    • Rarely do we see Carly hold Freddie's camera and shoot the action during the iCarly web show.  But in this scene, we do.
    • It freakin' kills me how Freddie says the word "Monday" like "Myonday" – that was all Nathan's choice and it's hilarious.  (I think the whole "adding the unnecessary y" thing started on an episode of iCarly where the kids said "tuna" like "tyoona".)
    • Originally it was scripted for Gibby to say "Shave my toes!" – but we had a packed production schedule that week, and our producer asked me if I would please come up with something easier and quicker to shoot than shaving toes.  So, I abandoned the shaving and changed it to flossing his toes, which I think is funnier, anyway.
    • Sam's final line in this scene, "C'mon, who wouldn't wanna go out with this?!" was not in the script.  I added that line as we were filming the scene.
    *** Scene 4 ***
    Scene begins with Sam running down the stairs with Carly right behind, chasing after her.
    • I haven't mentioned this yet, but the voice that's coming from Spencer's Pear Phone, calling out the exercises... that's me.
    • Nathan ("Freddie") takes an awesome hit from Spencer near the end of this scene.  He did a great job of making the hit look real and painful.
    • It was not scripted for Sam and Carly to join in on Spencer's windmill exercises at the end of this scene.  I added that while we were filming the scene.
    *** Scene 5 ***
    Scene begins with Sam in the school hallway, closing her locker.
    • A new Penny-Tee for Freddie!  This one: Special ? ? ? ? ? (can you see the second word?).
    • I really like how Nathan delivers his line to Sam, "Hurry along".
    • Gibby asking Sam not to break his thumbs again is a reference to a past episode, iMake Sam GirlierIn that episode, during the speeches at Sam's birthday party, Gibby fondly reminisces about the time Sam broke his thumb.
    • A lot of nice Sam and Freddie interaction in this scene.
    *** Scene 6 ***
    Scene begins at the Groovy Smoothie, filled with teenage guys.
    • We had tons of extras (i.e. actors who don't speak dialogue) in this scene – all teen guys.  Miranda and Jennette seemed very happy with that situation. ;)
    • This is a very short scene, so that's all the Fun Facts for this one.
    ---- COMMERCIAL BREAK ----

    *** Scene 7 ***
    Scene begins at the Groovy Smoothie, filled with teenage guys (a continuation of the previous Scene 6).
    • Interesting Sam line: "C'mon, six of my mom's best relationships started in fifteen seconds."  That line made all the writers (and everyone on stage) laugh... but none of us are exactly sure why it's funny.  Hmmm.
      • I like the kid who plays "Kevin" – and for the record, in real life, he does not have an odd odor.
      • T-Bo's back!  If you read my Fun Facts often, you know I love the T-Bo character.  And it's even better when he has food items on a stick, which he does in this episode.  Can you guess what the food item is this time?  Hint: They come in a variety of colors.  If you must know right now, highlight the area between the two blue X's below: 
      X  Bell Peppers!  X
      • Yeah, that's me saying "Hip Swivel" which you hear from Spencer's Pear Phone.  I used a goofy voice.
      *** Scene 8 ***
      Scene begins with Spencer standing by the front door just before Carly comes downstairs.
      • I like the guy who plays Austin.  Actually, he was the second Austin who worked on iCarly that week.  The role was originally given to another actor.  But sometimes, as you go through the rehearsal process during the week, a guest actor just doesn't click with the part he's playing (for whatever reason).  The first guy was a good actor, but wrong for the role of Austin.  So he was replaced with this new Austin who totally clicked with the role.  Hopefully, I can hire the original actor for something else down the line.  SUPER FUN SIDEBAR FACT: The same thing happened on Drake & Josh with the role of Crazy Steve.  I hired an actor to play that part, but it wasn't going well, so we held another round of auditions in the middle of the week, and the NEW Crazy Steve ended up being Jerry Trainor!
        • People really like (and laugh at) Spencer's line, "Okay okay, we're all super-attractive here."  It was a cute line on paper (in the script), but Jerry made it really funny with his delivery.  He always does.
        • It was not scripted for Spencer to say (to Carly), "Don't forget your purse."  Miranda actually was about to forget it, so Jerry ad-libbed that line.  I often get asked if the actors ever improvise dialogue.  Usually they don't.  But this was one of the few times it happened.
        *** Scene 9 ***
         Scene begins at night with Sam walking onto Gibby's porch.
        • This is one of my favorite scenes in the history of iCarly.  I won't write too much about it here because I don't want to spoil it for you.  Let's just say that it takes the Gibby character to the next level.  And I can't believe I just wrote that because when people say "taking it to the next level" I want to punch them in the neck.  Okay... I'll punch myself in the neck right after I post these Fun Facts.  Just get ready for a fantastic scene between Sam and Gibby on Saturday night!
        • This is the first iCarly episode where we see where Gibby lives!
        • This scene finally makes something official:  Gibby's real last name is Gibson.  This scene marks the first time that fact is established.  But you have to pay close attention, or you'll miss it.
        • Gibby, in reference to his hair, mentions "leave-in conditioner."  I put that in the script because my wife Lisa turned me onto "leave-in conditioner" a few months ago (I'm not up on hair care products, which is probably why my hair hasn't changed since, oh, 1978).  Anyway, I started using it and everyone at work would tease me by saying stuff like, "Whoa, Dan, cool hair today" – and I'd jokingly say back (acting super suave), "Thanks... I use a leave-in conditioner now."  So I had to mention leave-in conditioner in the show.
        • This scene is going to shock you!  Haha.  You wait. :)
        • Sam's scripted line was "Who are you?" – but as we filmed the scene, I changed it to "Who's you?" which played funnier. 
        • Noah Munck ("Gibby") is freakin' brilliant in this scene.
        *** Scene 10 ***
        Scene begins after the dance.  It starts on T-Bo at the Groovy Smoothie.  
        • There were almost a couple of interesting kiss moments in this scene, but it would have impacted a future episode of iCarly in the wrong way.  So I had to make changes.  You won't see any kissing in iSpeed Date.  (But there is some kissin' coming soooooon!)
        • Carly says that "crinkle cut fries are the best" kind of french fries.  That's because crinkle cut are my personal favorite kind.  At work we get them from a hamburger joint called Molly's which is near the iCarly soundstage.  We LOVE their fries!
        • When the fire blast shoots out of Freddie's cup, that's not a post effect.  That's real.  I'm not sure how the special effects guy rigged the cup, but it worked really well.
        • Why do I love my post production team so much?  There are many reasons... but look at the Pear Phone when it's over Freddie's head.  It was my post team that made the creative choice to add the photo of Mrs. Benson (Freddie's mom) as the main pic on Freddie's phone.  I love that they did that.  Those little touches add up and make a TV show extra special. 
        • This is either my 2nd or 3rd TV series where I reference the mythical reality show called Celebrities Under WaterHaha – watch it premier on FOX next fall.  Would it surprise you?
        • I don't want to say too much about the last minute of this scene, but I'll say this: If you're a fan of the Carly-Freddie relationship OR the Sam-Freddie relationship, you should be happy and intrigued with the way the end of this scene plays out.
        *** End Credits Scene  ***
        This is the little scene you see when the credits roll, after the show.  This time it's with Spencer and Gibby.
        • Make sure you watch it.  There's something extremely cute about it (at the very end).  It will make you smile.

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

          –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/y8ngxgx

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