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Friday, June 12, 2009

iCarly: Fun Facts about "iTake On Dingo"

by Dan Schneider
iCarly Executive Producer/Creator

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

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

Lots of people who work on iCarly feel this episode is packed with a huge number "laugh out loud" moments. If they're right, this might land in the Top 10 funniest episodes of iCarly, ever. (Let me know after you watch it!)

And now, if you're interested, here's a bunch of scene-by-scene information about the episode...

As I often say, if you're an iCarly super-fan, you'll probably have fun reading this stuff. If you're a casual fan, maybe not. But most 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.

THE 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! ]

*** Scene 1 ***
Scene begins with Freddie saying, "In five, four, three, two..." and then Carly and Sam start the web show.

• Aren't the faces on the raw eggs great? They were drawn by Lane, our dialogue coach and choreographer on iCarly. Lane is one of the nicest, best people I've ever met. He's also a terrific actor. He appeared in a couple of episodes of Drake & Josh... and you'll be seeing him (doing something AMAZING) in a future episode of iCarly. Go Lane!

• Another "Messin' With Lewbert." We get tons of requests from fans to do more "Messin' With Lewbert" segments. This one is pretty darn funny.

• Guess whose hands grab Lewbert's head? LANE'S! Yep. 'Tis true. :) I think it was Lane's idea to grab Lewbert's jacket and rip it off his body. I love it.

*** Scene 2 ***
Scene begins in the Ridgeway School hallway, with Sam and Freddie.

• You'll see (as the credits continue to roll) that the writing credit on this episode goes to Jake Farrow – the same guy who played "Gavin" on Drake & Josh. Jake got married earlier this year. To a woman!

• Gibby's back! The way he says his line, "A vision of what?" is absolutely perfect. It makes me laugh no matter how many times I watch it.

• I think this is the first time we ever hear Gibby called "Gibson" (by Sam). Do you think it's a nickname that Sam made up for him? Or is "Gibson" really his last name? Do you know? I do! ;)

*** Scene 3 ***
Scene begins with Carly and Sam sitting on Carly's couch. They're watching "Totally Teri".

• I named the fictional TV show Totally Teri for two reasons. First, our assistant director on iCarly is named Teri. She's an awesome girl that we all love. So I used "Teri" as a little nod to her.

Second, when I first started to write the pilot for Zoey 101, my working (temporary) title was Totally Zoey (I still have my first draft that's titled Totally Zoey.) I never liked that title because I thought it sounded cheesy. So I just kept it as a temporary title while I was writing the pilot script. Then, later, I came up with the name Zoey 101. So, that's another reason I decided to name the cheesy Dingo show Totally Teri. :)

• Occasionally, I hear from parents, "Why do you always make the adults on your shows seem like buffoons?" As you'll see, I reference that in this scene! Haha.

• On the coffee table, you'll see a bowl of grapes and a bowl of potato chips. On the set, we always tease Miranda because she won't stop eating the food props between takes! Our prop people are always having to refill the bowls, because Miranda loves to snack on the food props between every take!

• Sam's scripted line was, "We're gonna go find 'em and stop 'em!" But on set, as we were filming, I changed her line to, "We're gonna go find 'em and kick 'em in their Dingos!" Jennette laughed when I told her the new line, and then she did it perfectly, as always.

*** Scene 4 ***
Scene begins with a man leading Spencer, Carly, Sam, and Freddie into a sleazy motel room.

• I asked my writers to suggest names for this sleazy motel. As you can see, I went with Come On Inn which I feel was the most clever, funniest one. My second choice was The Silverfish, which I'll probably use in some other show.

• The first big joke in the scene is that there's a white tape outline of a man on the floor. When Carly asks about it, the motel man quickly pulls the tape up. This was not scripted. We had done a few takes of the scene, and then I thought of it, so I asked if we could quickly do it (it's hard to make big changes at the last minute while we're shooting a scene). But our awesome crew scrambled, found white tape, put it down on the floor in a "man-shape," and we shot it! It turned out really funny, don't you think?!

• There is a continuity error in this scene. I saw it, but I decided to leave the error in the show because most people won't notice it – and I felt it was the best way to edit the scene together. Can YOU spot the continuity error?

• I felt our production designer and set dressers did a fantastic job with this sleazy hotel room set. It looks so perfect. My favorite touch are the bullet holes in the wall by the air-conditioning unit. :)

*** Scene 5 ***
Scene begins with Carly, Sam, Freddie, and Spencer walking into a hallway at Dingo Studios.

• Don't you love the Dingo logo? I do! We worked on that logo for quite a while before we got it just right. I enjoy the way the Dingo's tongue sticks out of his mouth, and I like his black, triangular nose.

• I think this might be the first time on iCarly that Freddie mentions the fact that he does not say the "one" when he goes, "In five, four, three, two..." – Although Carly referenced it in iChristmas.

• In this scene, Sam introduces her "sock full of butter" – which she intends to use as a weapon on some evil writers. In the original draft, it was a sock full of quarters. But Nickelodeon asked me to change that, because they feared some kid might actually fill a sock with quarters and hit someone with it, which could be dangerous. I agreed, so I changed the sock full of quarters to a sock full of butter. Still a good weapon for Sam, but not quite so dangerous. ;)

*** Scene 6 ***
Scene begins with Carly and Sam bursting into the "Totally Teri" writers' room.

• This is very much what a real writers room looks like. In fact, our production designers and set dressers used the real iCarly writers' room as a guide. So, if you ever wondered what a TV writers' room looks like, now ya know.

• The first writer to speak in this scene is wearing a black and gray striped sweater. He is a very fine actor named Josh Malina. He's probably best known for his starring role on The West Wing. He agreed to play this role because his kids love iCarly, and because he's a good friend of one of our writers. Josh is also an extremely nice guy!

• Josh was a great sport. The day we filmed these writers' room scenes, he must have gotten hit 30 times by Jennette ("Sam") with her butter sock!

*** Scene 7 ***
Scene begins with Carly and Sam confronting the "Totally Teri" writers in their writers' room.

• If you look carefully, you'll see that one of the writers in this scene is eating a can of "Schneider's Cashews" – I always laugh when our prop department creates "Schneider's" products.

• If you look on the white dry-erase board behind Carly and Sam, you'll see that someone wrote (in blue) Talk To Bruce About Budget... – That's an inside reference to our Unit Production Manager, Bruce Berman, who (in real life) is in charge of managing the iCarly budget for me and Nickelodeon.

*** Scene 8 ***
Scene begins in a basement hallway at Dingo. A security guard stands by a locked steel door.

• If you like scenes with Freddie and Spencer, this may be one of your favorites ever! They're great together in this one.

• Haha. Watch Spencer say his line, "You didn't know?! Isn't it your job to know what's happening in these hallways?!" ------ In this take, Jerry starts CRACKING UP (laughing) right at the end of the line (as he says the word "hallways"), but I loved his performance, so I used this take, and simply cut off of him just as he finishes saying the word "hallways." If you watch really closely, you can see Jerry fighting (trying hard) not to laugh. ------ I think the reason he laughed is that Nathan ("Freddie") wiped his eye during the take, as if Spencer spit on him while yelling. I think that's what made Jerry want to start laughing.

• You'll hear Spencer say the line, "Unless you're a'scared." I'm not sure why I wrote "a'scared" – I think it's because that's how Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn would say it. :)

• I probably should have had Freddie and Spencer close the freezer door at the end of this scene, but I didn't think of it when we were filming. Oh well!

*** Scene 9 ***
Scene begins back at the sleazy motel.

• The jokes by Carly and Freddie about the pillows and the lamp absolutely kill me! Love those jokes. They were written by the fantastic iCarly writing staff.

• The ending of this scene with the the hobo's hand coming through the window, then touching Carly's hair – that was not in the script. I added that while we were filming. Carly's reaction, and her towel slapping response are classically hilarious!

*** Scene 10 ***
Scene begins back in Dingo's "Totally Teri" writers' room.

• During this whole scene, when you see Charles Dingo's head in the frozen box, that head was NOT really in there when we filmed the scene. The head was digitally added by David, our special effects genius.

• Don't ya love that one of the Totally Teri writers is always knitting? :)

*** Scene 11 ***
Scene begins in the iCarly studio on Carly and Sam, starting the web show.

• We only did one take of this scene, for two reasons: (1) It went perfectly. (2) It would have taken a long time to clean the dog food off the Dingo writers and start again. So luckily, we got this scene in one take! It's very rare on iCarly for us to do only one take of any scene.

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That's all I got 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/kvktew

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