An iCarly Goodbye

TFK talks to Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy about the end of iCarly

Aug 03, 2012 | By Kelli Plasket
LISA ROSE—NICKELODEON

Actress Jennette McCurdy, 20, became a breakout star on Nickelodeon in 2007, when the network’s TV comedy iCarly premiered. Since then, McCurdy has played Sam Puckett, the rebellious best friend of Carly Shea (played by Miranda Cosgrove). The show—about friends who create a popular web show after school—became an instant hit. It also stars Nathan Kress as Freddie Benson, Noah Munck as Gibby Gibson and Jerry Trainor as Spencer Shay.

Now, the hit TV show is coming to an end. iCarly’s final episodes will air this fall on Nickelodeon. But it won’t be the end of McCurdy—or Sam Puckett—on the TV network. This week, Nickelodeon announced a new spin-off series, currently called Sam & Cat, that will star McCurdy as Sam and actress Ariana Grande as Cat Stevens, the same character Grande plays on Nickelodeon's Victorious. The two characters become roommates and decide to start their own babysitting business. The show starts filming this month.

A few weeks ago, TFK caught up with McCurdy to get her thoughts on the final episodes of iCarly.

TFK:

It was recently announced that iCarly is in its last season. You’re about to film the final episode. Has it sunk in yet?

MCCURDY:

It has sunk in. It sunk in for the first time when we were all sitting around at a table read, going over our (final) script for the first time. Every single person in the room was crying. I wasn’t sure how the boys would react. I figured Miranda and I would be sobbing, which we were. But the boys were too. To know that it hit everybody so hard, I think it really hit home. All of us could tell how much we all meant to each other and what the whole experience has meant to everyone. That made it sink in.

TFK:

Do you think fans will be satisfied with the final episode?

MCCURDY:

Oh absolutely. I think they’ll definitely be sad. I think that’s important because they’ve experienced this just as much as we all have for the past five years. But I think that our writers worked really hard to write a script that would satisfy them because it’s a show for the fans. They are the ones that kept it going so long. There’s a lot of closure in the final episode and things kids will be happy to have answers to that they’ve wanted answers to for the past seasons.

TFK:

What will you miss most about your days on the iCarly set?

MCCURDY:

Oh my goodness. I hate this question. Every time it comes up, it gets me (choked up). I’ll miss the most not being able to walk into work and be on these sets every day and build the iCarly world any more. It will be very sad. I know that I’ll still see 99% of these people pretty frequently (but) knowing that it won’t be the same cast anymore. . . it’s a sad thing. It will never be the same as it was.

TFK:

Do you have a favorite memory from the set?

MCCURDY:

I actually spent the past (several) birthdays on set. We’ve always been shooting in June, which is when my birthday is, and to just know that all these people have been able to sing “Happy Birthday” to me for the past five years—people that I really love so much—I’d say that those moments probably stick out the most for me.

TFK:

You were in New York recently to film an iCarly episode with Jimmy Fallon. How was that?

MCCURDY:

It was great! Our producer, Dan Schneider, had actually mentioned all of us taking a trip to New York together just for fun, but the fact that we actually got to tape an episode there was double awesome. And we got to see a live taping of Saturday Night Live. The whole episode was the premise that the iCarly (web show) cast gets to go on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Working with (Fallon) was wonderful for all of us. Miranda had been on Jimmy Fallon multiple times before, so she already (knew him), but the rest of us were meeting him for the first time. We all thought he was great, so that whole experience just couldn’t have been any better. We were in New York for a week, and Miranda’s and my (hotel) rooms were really close to each other, so we would just go to the gym every night after we got back from doing something fun, seeing a Broadway play or whatever we did, and it was awesome, every bit of it.

First Lady Michelle Obama shoots a scene with iCarly cast members. The First Lady guest starred in an episode of the show that aired earlier this year.
LISA ROSE—NICKELODEON
First Lady Michelle Obama shoots a scene with iCarly cast members. The First Lady guest starred in an episode of the show that aired earlier this year.

TFK:

You’ve had many other great guest stars on iCarly, from Jane Lynch playing Sam’s mom to First Lady Michelle Obama. Do you have a favorite guest star or moment from all of those memories?

MCCURDY:

I have a hard time not saying Jimmy Fallon because I grew up with the era of Saturday Night Live that he was on. But Jane Lynch playing my mom was really great because we’d heard so much about Sam’s mom, and then for her to be portrayed by Jane Lynch was fantastic. And I’m a huge Big Bang Theory fan, so having Jim Parsons on was pretty exciting too. I have like 10 Big Bang Theory shirts, so I had him sign a few of them. He was really nice.

TFK:

Sam, your character, is always eating. Has she introduced you to any new foods over the years?

MCCURDY:

Well, Sam has actually turned me off of some foods. There are quite a few foods that I will now not eat because I’ve had to consume so much of them as Sam. I don’t eat fried chicken in real life, and I won’t eat ham because I had to eat so much in the first episode that I threw up, and then I had to go and eat more. So I literally haven’t had any ham since 2007. I do still love ribs as much as I did the first day.

McCurdy holds up her character Sam's butter sock, which has made several appearances on iCarly.
LISA ROSE—NICKELODEON
McCurdy holds up her character Sam's butter sock, which has made several appearances on iCarly.

TFK:

What’s something you’ve learned about yourself from playing Sam?

MCCURDY:

Well, Sam’s quite angry a lot of the time, and I guess some times I question my anger issues because I really very much enjoy any time I get to do a stunt or pretend to beat up somebody. I like to think it’s just me living vicariously through the character instead of me letting out some part of me, but either way it’s very fun. Using the butter sock to beat people up, that’s pretty great.

TFK:

Can you tell anything that’s coming up for Sam before the end of iCarly?

MCCURDY:

In our final episode, there is a really cool story line where Sam’s helping Spencer restore an old motorcycle, and I love that story because it’s me and Jerry (Trainor) in a lot of scenes together. Any time I’m with him, I just love it.

TFK:

You recently had a big night on Nickelodeon, where you were featured in back-to-back new episodes of iCarly and Victorious. How did you feel about the special spotlight?

MCCURDY:

That was really nice of them to do that. I was very excited. I got a lot of good feedback, which was nice.
It was awesome to have that night. All day long I was excited and so happy. I didn’t watch it because I think that would be weird.

TFK:

Did you have fun on the Victorious set?

MCCURDY:

I loved it. I love everybody on Victorious. I get along with all of them. I hang out with Ariana (Grande) and Matt (Bennett) all the time. They are so funny.

TFK:

iCarly creator Dan Schneider is producing a new show for you. Is there anything you can tell us about it?

MCCURDY:

We are shooting the pilot in August. I don’t really know anything about it, even though it’s literally weeks away at this point. I am so happy that the show is being run by Dan Schneider and made by him because there is not anybody whose creative opinion and perspective I trust more. I’m very excited for that. And I know that whatever he comes up with is going to be awesome.

TFK:

It’s summer. You are working right now, but do you have any fun trips planned?

MCCURDY:

I really want to go to Cedar Point, the amusement park with all the roller coasters. I’m a huge roller coaster fanatic. I also want to go to Hawaii, so I think I’m going to try to plan that over the summer.

TFK:

The iCarly wrap party was at Universal Studios Orlando, in Florida. Was that a dream party spot for you?

MCCURDY:

Oh yeah, it couldn’t have been any better. Our production coordinator who planned it told me that he thought of me when he was planning it because he wanted it to be fun for the cast. Miranda and I both love amusement parks—and everybody, Noah, Nathan—so it was a dream come true because there were no lines. We could ride every ride immediately, multiple times. It was fantastic.

TFK:

Anything else you want to say?

MCCURDY:

Thanks to all the iCarly fans who have been with us from the beginning. This was your show just as much as any of ours, and thanks for your support. We all hope that you love the final episode.