Comedian Jenny Slate and filmmaker Dean Fleischer-Camp‘s Marcel the Shell With Shoes On nails the viral video trifecta: it’s cute, it’s funny and it’s weirdly touching.
Since the couple put the video on YouTube in October 2010, it’s been viewed over 12 million times. With those numbers, it’s hardly a surprise that they’ve turned the character into a book and are touring the country, bringing Marcel to life.
Slate, well-known for a year-long stint on “Saturday Night Live,” a regular character on “Bored to Death” and short films like this, voices the titular shell, who provides a running commentary on his tiny life, like “Lint is a shell’s best friend,” and “Sometimes people say that my head is too big for my body, and I say, compared to what!”
Slate told Time’s Rachel Syme that Marcel was a thing she did to cheer herself up after being let go from “SNL.” About the book, she said:
“Dean and I didn’t have any interest in making an adult humour book. When we realised kids liked Marcel too, the only thing keeping it fresh for us was to take on this the challenge of making a good children’s book that wasn’t too saccharine. Marcel has an unnamed nostalgia and a bit of meanness to him, and we realised quickly that he could be a classic character.”
There’s also a new Marcel the Shell video, which we’ve got below. If Marcel had a pen name, it would be “Sheldon Conk.”
(Look for some excellent cameos by Reggie, Slate’s dog, whom she named after her friend, the comedian/musician Reggie Watts.)
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