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Trivia / Dilbert

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  • Ascended Fanon:
    • Catbert was initially just someone who tried to eat Ratbert. Adams then started getting fanmail for more 'Catbert'. He never actually named the cat; still, given the response and how his use of Theme Naming could lead to this, he kept the cat and gave him a perfect job. His reasoning being that if your entire fanbase spontaneously and unanimously names a character for you, you should probably keep him.
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    • Many fans commented on a resemblance between the Pointy Haired Boss and Phil, Prince of Insufficient Light. Scott Adams claimed that this was just because he wasn't that good at drawing different faces but decided to introduce a plot line where it was revealed that they were brothers.
    • Fan reaction generally seems responsible for determining which one-shot characters become regulars (Catbert, Ratbert, Topper) and which don't (Camping Carl, Single Task Bob, Sourpuss).
  • Executive Meddling:
    • A beneficial instance was when Adams wanted to feature Satan in the comic and the editor said no. Thus was borne Phil the Prince of Insufficient Light which Adams admits is a funnier concept.
    • Less benign example: while the Cubicle Gestapo is an inherently funny concept, the minefield of figuring out how many Nazi references a newspaper comic can get away with makes their appearances more trouble than they're worth. In several papers they were changed into the "Cubicle Police"
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  • Fan Nickname: The character had no name when he first appeared, but letters poured in asking for more Catbert. Scott Adams later said, "If hundreds of people spontaneously give a character the same name, it's a keeper."
  • Name's the Same: The title character was inadvertently named after a comic character from The '40s who would feature in US Air Force publications as a humorous example of 'How Not To Do It'. Adams asked for name suggestions from his friends, and the winner didn't realize he must have recalled the name from the earlier comic until after Dilbert had already become famous.
  • Reality Subtext: Adams based Alice on an actual coworker of his named Anita, who he said was the model for "Alice's pink suit, fluffy hair, coffee obsession, technical proficiency and take-no-crap attitude."
  • Recycled Script: Cleanup on aisle three.
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  • Trolling Creator: Scott Adams has admitted that the angry or irrational comments he'll sometimes tweet are just his way of getting ideas for gags.
  • Write What You Know: Dilbert started running while Adams was still working at Pacific Bell, with Wally being mostly a non-speaking background character. Then the company began offering buyout packages to the employees, with the caveat that they were only available to the lowest 10 percent of the workforce (as a way to get rid of deadweight). One of Adams' coworkers (who Adams describes as "one of the more brilliant people I've ever known") decided, as a bad mistake meant that he could no longer advance in the company, that was a fine idea and began to "work as hard as he could to become the worst possible employee in order to get money for leaving", which included openly running a side business from his cubicle. Adams loved the concept of a cynical employee with no loyalty to his employer, and Wally was born.
  • Write Who You Know: Adams has said that Wally, Alice, Carol and Asok are all based (with varying degrees of precision) on ex-coworkers from Pacific Bell.
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  • Descended Creator: Many professional voice actors auditioned for Wally but none could really nail the character. Then executive producer Larry Charles realized that voice director Gordon Hunt just naturally had the nasally voice they were looking for.
  • No Export for You: Bizarrely, only the first 8 episodes were released on DVD in Britain.
  • Playing Against Type: Catbert gives Jason Alexander an opportunity to play a character who isn't neurotic, hysterical or stupid. Evil, on the other hand...
  • Production Posse: Since producer Larry Charles previously worked on Seinfeld, a lot of people from that show showed up- Larry Miller (the titular character of "the Doorman") was the PHB, and Jason Alexander was Catbert; Wayne Knight and Jerry himself showed up in guest spots (as a security guard Dilbert trades jobs with, and Comp-U-Comp respectively).
  • Screwed by the Network: Despite the show's high ratings (by UPN's standards), the show was canceled due to it not hitting the target demographic UPN wanted and they aired it right after Shasta McNasty, a show with a completely different target audience.
    • For its second season, the series had also been moved from its fairly successful Monday night timeslot to Thursdays - up against NBC's then-quite powerful lineup.
  • Uncredited Role: Kathy Griffin provides the voice of Alice (this was due to contract issues with her role on Suddenly Susan).

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