DreamWorks Animation’s “Penguins of Madagascar” movie opened in November 2014, but people are still referencing one of the film’s best running gags on social media: the celebrity name puns from Dave the Octopus (voiced by John Malkovich).
I recently spoke with Brandon Sawyer, one of the co-writers on “Penguins” and the executive producer of Netflix’s new series “The Boss Baby: Back in Business”, premiering this Friday, April 6th. I asked Sawyer about the origins of those puns.
“That was definitely a team effort. One of the two directors, Simon Smith, had just thrown this really throw-away joke into an early scene where Dave says, “Nicolas: Cage Them!” And everybody kinda chuckled and thought ‘Oh, it’s kinda funny.’ And then, I wanna say it was Mike Colton, one of the other writers, who really saw the potential of ‘You know what? We could do more with that. We could keep going with that.’
And then once the idea was out there, it was just… There’s probably an email I could dig-up with hundreds of them… of potential gags. ‘Kevin: Bake-On!’ That was me! I’m proud of that one!”
I told Sawyer if he posted that email on social media, it would probably be a big hit.
Here’s the montage of all the puns used in the movie.
Lights Camera Jackson (a.k.a. Jackson Murphy) began his career as a film critic/entertainment reporter in 2006 at the age of 7. Jackson has written nearly 1,000 reviews of new releases. All together he has seen more than 1,500 films. In 2010, Jackson became the youngest person to win a NY Emmy Award, for his on-air movie reviews on Time Warner TV station, Capital News 9.
Jackson is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The BFCA’s annual Critics Choice Awards is one of the industry’s most respected awards shows. Jackson is also a member of SAG-AFTRA. He votes annually for the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
LCJ appears every Friday morning on WGNA-FM . His movie reviews are also posted on his website, his YouTube channel and the popular website Cultjer.com. He is also a contributing writer for Jerry Beck’s AnimationScoop.com. Jackson hosts the weekly internet pop culture news show “LCJ LIVE” (every Sunday at Noon ET). And “The LCJ Q&A Podcast” features interviews with celebrities and filmmakers.