Dan Schneider (born January 14, 1966) is an American actor, writer and producer born in Memphis, Tennessee. He's probably best known to adults as Dennis Blunden on the old ABC sitcom Head of the Class. But to millions of children (and kids-at-heart), he is the creator, writer and producer of several of the most well-known and loved Kid Coms. His work portfolio is primarily composed of Nickelodeon's premier shows (and vice-versa: his shows make up a very large chunk of Nickelodeon's live-action programming).
His production company is called Schneider's Bakery and he loves to put various Easter Eggs among his various shows, ie. a Schneider's Bakery can be seen in the stock location footage of the movie theatre in Drake & Josh His shows tend to use a similar way of talking, a variation on Buffy Speak by finding obscure, unusual or sometimes made-up words to use.
On March 26, 2018, Nickelodeon and Schneider mutually decided to end their 24-year relationship after the network did an investigation and found that many of his co-workers felt he was overly aggressive, demanding or verbally abusive as a show runner.
Shows created and/or produced:
- Guys Like Us
- All That
- The Amanda Show: He also had a minor role as a frequent prank phone call victim of Amanda Bynes.
- Kenan & Kel
- What I Like About You
- Drake & Josh
- Zoey 101
- Sam & Cat - a crossover Spin-Off of iCarly and Victorious (a rare Short-Runner for Schneider, though mostly due to Troubled Production rather than any lack of success.)
- Henry Danger
- Game Shakers
Note: A pilot for a Gibby Spin-Off from iCarly was filmed, but not picked up.
Movies produced and written:
His personal blog can be found here.
Dan Schneider's works contain examples of:
- Adults Are Useless: Adults in his shows are typically incredibly naive, pushovers, overly underhanded, or just utter morons. Spencer on iCarly caused so many fires that he was blocked from the fire department, often needed Carly to be the voice of reason in their house to the point where he had trouble punishing her for when she misbehaved.
- Author Appeal: A lot of his shows have had numerous scenes focusing on characters' feet, with iCarly and Victorious being the most prominent examples, the latter of which featured an entire episode dedicated to the main characters rubbing an illegally imported fish on the dead skin and callouses of their feet to make them smoother. Three years following his departure from Nickelodeon, Schneider himself explained that the focus on feet in his shows was purely as a source of comedy since kids find feet to be "goofy and funny".
- Butt-Monkey: Quite a few appear in his works. Freddie on iCarly was treated like garbage, frequently abused verbally and physically by Sam, never getting a comeuppance over her.
- Cold Opening: Every show he produces (Zoey 101 and Kenan & Kel being exceptions) features an opening scene before the Theme Tune intro.
- Comedic Sociopathy: By and towards his main characters. The main offenders are Megan from Drake & Josh and Sam Puckett from iCarly. Said recipients are Drake & Josh and Freddie Benson respectively.
- Cosmic Plaything: Coupled with the above, in every show he's directed. If you're not some sort of hardcore badass who can fight back, chances are the entire universe and its people will try to ruin you in amazing ways despite all the hard work you've done. If you're a Butt-Monkey, you will come close to perishing.
- Crapsaccharine World: Very common in the Schneider-verse world, especially in his sitcoms. Guest characters who interact with the main protagonists have high chances of being full of unfortunate implications.
- Crazy Homeless People: Most frequently mentioned and seen in the early seasons of iCarly. However after Moral Guardians complained, Nick told him he's not allowed to make fun of hobos anymore, but that doesn't stop him from making hobo jokes in Sam & Cat.
- Disproportionate Retribution: One of the chief sources of humor in several of his shows. Freddie being bashed with a tennis racquet by Sam was a notorious example.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: There's a lot of strange euphemisms for swears in his works, the most used ones are "skunkbag," "chiz," "jank," "nub," and "suckish."
- History Repeats: "iParty with Victorious", the Victorious episode starring Jennette, and Sam & Cat, all aired on the second Saturday of the month of June.
- Jerkass: Wouldn't be a Dan Schneider show without a couple. Megan on Drake & Josh, Sam on iCarly and Jade in Victorious being prominent examples.
- Karma Houdini: There usually are a few jerkass characters in his works that receive absolutely no sort of comeuppance or consequences for their behaviors and actions; the most egregious example is Megan, the villain of Drake & Josh who was a borderline sociopath not to mention very well-liked by the writers but despised by the fanbase.
- Kids Are Cruel: Child characters tend to be Bratty Half-Pints at best and Enfant Terribles at worst. They usually get away with it for having useless authority figures. Megan from Drake & Josh is the epitome of this trope.
- Laugh Track: Every show he's made features a laugh track to convey humor, with Zoey 101 being an exception.
- Large Ham: You're gonna see a lot of characters like this in his works. Josh, Chase, Michael, Freddie, Spencer, Robbie, Trina... the list goes on and on.
- No Ending: Schneider likes to use this trope often in his more recent works. At the end of "iThink They Kissed", the trio have been tied up by escaped convicts, and Carly ends up asking if they liked the kiss. Freddie and Sam look at each other for a bit, then Spencer busts in with his banjo, plays a few chords and the episode ends without Carly knowing if they did. One being the end of "iBelieve In Bigfoot" where the gang and some other guys are left stranded when their RV gets stolen by the said Bigfoot they were trying to find.
- No Indoor Voice: Schneider loves writing characters with exuberant and boisterous voices. Expect at least two-thirds of all characters on a Dan Schneider-show to frequently shout their dialogue. Also expect a sequence at least once during an episode of any Dan Schneider show where the characters will have an argument - resulting in characters shouting at each other obnoxiously. Sam & Cat ends the series in this way, with Cat in jail and no-one in her family knowing she is there, Dice being stuck in another city far from his home and Goomer just missing completely.
- Old Media Playing Catch-Up:
- The send-up of the Filipino Michael Jackson "Thriller" Prison Dance scene in the Victorious special Locked Up, with the original being at least four years old and probably pre-dating iCarly!
- iCarly itself, which came years after people had already been doing webshows and the rise of Youtube.
- Sam & Cat tried to push social media (ie, Twitter) very hard, to the extent of episode titles being #hashtags.
- Recursive Canon: Events in Victorious, iCarly, and Zoey 101 indicate that Drake & Josh is a fictional TV show in the shared universe of the other two shows, despite certain characters from that show like Helen, Gavin, Eric and Craig appearing in person for some of those shows. Or that the Drew and Jerry Show Within a Show from Drake & Josh is a fictional TV show in the shared universe of the other 3 shows.
- Role-Ending Misdemeanor: By 2018, Schneider and Nickelodeon mutually decided not to extend their production deal after the network received many complaints from cast and staff members about his aggressive behavior. As a result of this, he would have no involvement in the Henry Danger Sequel Series Danger Force and the 2021 Paramount+ revival of iCarly.
- Running Gag: Plenty of them. Hobos have been one since the days of All That. One of the more recent ones is someone (usually female) making a chicken for someone else.
- Sassy Black Woman: A common trope in his works is angry and aggressive Black women, from several characters in Victorious to Helen from Drake and Josh.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story:
- Loves having episodes without endings, or endings where nothing actually matters. Recent example is the iBust A Thief episode of iCarly which had the gang try to get back Sam's stolen laptop. In the end Sam had left it in a pizza box in the fridge and discovers it at the end and doesn't tell anyone.
- The Flour Bomber plot in "Robbie Sells Rex". Complete with Lampshading of how horrible, boring and anti-climatic the plot is.
- Shared Universe: Officially canonized in "iStart a Fan War" of iCarly.
- Shout-Out: Schneider has freely admitted to almost having an outright love of paying homage to the sitcoms he grew up with and loved as a child and teenager, particularly The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The very last whole cast scene from iCarly is in fact such an homage, for example.
- Spin-Off: Despite having shows on the air for nearly 20 years, Sam & Cat and Gibby are Schneider's first true spinoffs. Most of everything else is just a Shared Universe.
- Spiritual Successor: Pretty much all of his shows after All That were based off of another:
- All That spawned Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show and Zoey 101. The Amanda Show was treated as an actual show being put on for the audience, much like All That, and both referred to each other.
- The Amanda Show spawned What I Like About You and Drake & Josh
- Drake & Josh spawned iCarly
- Zoey 101 spawned Victorious
- Victorious and iCarly spawned Sam & Cat
- Also, the idea of an older sibling taking care of a younger sibling introduced in Guys Like Us inspired the premises of both What I Like About You and iCarly.
- Whole Plot Reference: