Code Monkeys

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For the phrase on which this program's title is based, see Code monkey.
Code Monkeys
Code monkeys opening logo.PNG
Code Monkeys title card; main characters from left to right: Black Steve, Dave, Todd, Clare, Jerry, Mary, Mr. Larrity, Dean and Benny.
Genre Animation
Black Comedy
Created by Adam de la Peña
Voices of Adam de la Peña
Matt Mariska
Andy Sipes
Dana Snyder
Tony Strickland
Gretchen McNeil
Suzanne Keilly
Lionel Tubbins
Opening theme "Code Monkey" by Jonathan Coulton
Composer(s) Al Kaplan
Jon Kaplan
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Adam de la Peña
Producer(s) Jennifer Saxon Gore
Tony Strickland
Running time Approx. 22 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel G4
Audio format 320 kbit/s
Original run July 11, 2007 – August 17, 2008
External links
Website

Code Monkeys is an American animated television program by Adam de la Peña. Set in the early 1980s, it follows the adventures of fictional video game company GameaVision.

The show first aired on July 11, 2007. Two seasons have aired on G4 and G4 Canada. In September 2008, the show began airing on the Teletoon Detour block on Teletoon in Canada.

While G4 was vague on the future of the show after the end of the second season, it was announced in May 2009 that the show would not be renewed for a third season.[1]

Plot[edit]

The plot of Code Monkeys revolves around the fictitious video game company GameaVision (a play on companies like Activision and Intellivision) and its eccentric employees, mainly the slacker Dave and his high-strung friend Jerry. The entire series takes place in the Silicon Valley city of Sunnyvale, California during the 1980s. The humor of Code Monkeys relies on crude humor and stoner comedy to convey the numerous references to video games, past and present, but mostly games from the 8-bit era. This also extends to cameos from well known video game developers, who appear in the show pitching their ideas to GameaVision for the games that would later make them famous, usually to be rejected, insulted, and sometimes injured or killed off.

Episode structure[edit]

A screenshot from "Code Monkeys", showcasing elements of the show: the health meter (upper-right), score (upper-left) and text box (bottom).

Code Monkeys is presented as though it were an 8-bit video game. In keeping with this format, characters, backgrounds and other objects are rendered with an 8-bit color palette, occasionally leading to trouble animating specific objects. Most episodes begin with a screen flashing "PLAYER 1 START!";[2] episodes end with a black "Game Over" screen, with a "kill screen" appearing after the production company logo in the first season. Before each commercial break, a small pause box typically appears in the middle of the screen which freezes the scene. On the two occasions when Jerry "died", a "Game Over/Continue?" box appears, with the "player" contemplating on selecting "No", but selects "Yes" to continue the episode anyway. Near the end of "Todd Loses His Mind", the episode "crashes" abruptly, forcing the "player" to eject the "game cartridge" to blow dust off its connectors, and the episode is reset to its beginning, thus negating everything that happened in the episode. The show also features status bars at the top and bottom of the frame, which display a running counter of points earned by the characters doing video game-like actions in each episode, a health meter for the current characters, narrative asides based on certain characters' actions or dialogue, and other humorous sayings or pictures based on an episode's story line. Characters also use similar methods to show emotions, such as air humping (usually to exaggerate sexuality or awesomeness), or throwing up the sign of the horns. The show is entirely computer animated, with the exception of the "game crash" scene in "Todd Loses His Mind", and is done in-house at the G4 studios in Los Angeles. The original music for the show, video game-styled underscore, is composed by Jon and Al Kaplan. Other music prominently featured in the series includes music by Los Angeles heavy metal group Tinhorn. Jonathan Coulton’s song "Code Monkey" serves as the theme song of the show.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Ep. # Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate
1 "The Woz" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña September 11, 2007 (2007-09-11)
2 "E.T." Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña September 18, 2007 (2007-09-18)
3 "Stonervision" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña September 25, 2007 (2007-09-25)
4 "Super Prison Breakout" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña October 1, 2007 (2007-10-01)
5 "Just One Of The Gamers" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña October 8, 2007 (2007-10-08)
6 "The Takeover" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña October 15, 2007 (2007-10-15)
7 "Larrity's Got Back" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña October 22, 2007 (2007-10-22)
8 "IPO" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña October 29, 2007 (2007-10-29)
9 "Todd Loses His Mind" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña November 6, 2007 (2007-11-06)
10 "Third Reich's The Charm" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña November 13, 2007 (2007-11-13)
11 "Wrassle Mania" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña November 20, 2007 (2007-11-20)
12 "Vegas, Baby!" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña November 27, 2007 (2007-11-27)
13 "The Revenge Of Matsui" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña December 3, 2007 (2007-12-03)

Season 2[edit]

Ep. # Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate
14 "The Story of 420" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña April 20, 2008 (2008-04-20)
15 "Psychological Problems" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña July 11, 2008 (2008-07-11)
16 "My Pal Jodie" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña July 18, 2008 (2008-07-18)
17 "Dave Gets Boobs" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña July 25, 2008 (2008-07-25)
18 "Valley of the Silicon Dolls" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña August 2, 2008 (2008-08-02)
19 "The Kid is Mine" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña August 9, 2008 (2008-08-09)
20 "Dean In Charge" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña August 16, 2008 (2008-08-16)
21 "Drunken Office Party" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña August 23, 2008 (2008-08-23)
22 "Trouble in the Middle East" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña August 30, 2008 (2008-08-30)
23 "Benny's Birthday" Adam De La Peña Adam De La Peña September 7, 2008 (2008-09-07)
24 "The Great Recession" Adam De La Peña Kevin Rush September 14, 2008 (2008-09-14)
25 "Dave's Day Off" Adam De La Peña Neil Diamond September 21, 2008 (2008-09-21)
26 "Car Robber Sunnyvale" Adam De La Peña Mungo Jerry October 5, 2008 (2008-10-05)


Characters[edit]

  • Dave (voiced by Adam de la Peña) — Dave is the lead character of the show and the de facto lead programmer at GameaVision. A constant slacker, he focuses his attention more on playing games than actually making them. Dave is also a frequent cannabis user; he claimed that most of his game ideas were conceived while he was high. Dave often grosses out his co-workers by either throwing up in front of them, having his pants down at inopportune moments, humping random people or objects, or performing other lewd acts. A rampant hedonist, the only things that seem to motivate Dave are money, drugs, and sex. Most of the show's and characters' predicaments are caused by Dave's erratic and impulsive actions. While he considers Jerry to be his best friend, Dave often insults him and manipulates his emotions. Despite his quirks, Dave has a flair to all of his actions and is a competent game programmer.
  • Jerry (voiced by Matt Mariska) — Jerry is the show's other main character and Dave's best friend, fellow programmer, and office-mate. Unlike Dave, Jerry is hard-working, responsible, and tidy. However, usually under Dave's negative influence, Jerry will succumb to sinful pleasures, often with disastrous outcomes. Jerry's running gags throughout the series deal with his unrequited crush on fellow programmer Mary (who constantly rejects him), fixing the damage Dave causes, wetting himself when nervous or threatened, and his allusion to having closeted sexual feelings for men.
  • Bob "Big" T. Larrity (voiced by Andy Sipes) — Mr. Larrity is the current head of GameaVision, a Texan billionaire who bought the company from Steve Wozniak, despite the fact that he knows nothing about video games, only that they're sure to make him rich. Larrity often employs various illegal methods to make his fortune. In addition to being ignorant, Larrity is violent, manic, bigoted, and misogynistic. Despite his apparent stupidity, Larrity can be quite cunning and manipulative. He treats his employees with no respect, but still cares about them to some degree, particularly for Dave, Jerry, and Benny.
  • Dean Larrity (voiced by Andy Sipes) — Dean is Mr. Larrity's extremely muscular and borderline retarded son. He is appointed by his father as GameaVision's Head Supervisor. Dean has limited interaction with the other employees, doesn't participate in any of the programming, and doesn't even seem to do any actual work, aside from helping his dad cover up his illegal activities. He often uses violence to solve problems.
  • Todd (voiced by Dana Snyder) — Todd is GameaVision's resident fantasy game designer, an obese 33-year old geek who is always seen wearing a horned helmet. Todd's narcissism, use of pretentious language, and eccentricity, often blurring the lines between his Dungeon and Dragons-inspired fantasy and reality, makes him the most despised employee at the company; other characters often refer to him as "creepy" and "douche". Todd also lives with his mother, with whom he has a (very) near-incestuous relationship.
  • Black Steve (voiced by Tony Strickland) — Black Steve is GameaVision's accountant and, as his nickname would imply, he is the only black person working at the company. He is foul-mouthed, ill-tempered and racist against white people. Despite his position, Black Steve has contributed games to the company, mostly themed to his prejudice towards white people. And, he is apparently fluent in Japanese and conversational Arabic. He is also a former pro wrestler known as "The Black Shadow" as well as graduate of Dartmouth. Though bigoted towards whites, Black Steve does coexist with his co-workers and even has garnered Larrity's respect due to his violent temper and love of guns.
  • Mary (voiced by Gretchen McNeil) — Mary is GameaVision's sole female programmer, and consequently isn't taken seriously by any of the other sexist employees, with the exception of Jerry, who has a major, although unrequited, crush on her but rebuffs him due to his friendship with Dave and overall spinelessness. Compared to her boss and co-workers, Mary is considered to be the most level-headed employee at GameaVision. She is often accused of being a lesbian because of her strong beliefs in feminism; a majority of the games she designs are targeted at girls or revolve around women's issues in some way.
  • Clare (voiced by Suzanne Keilly) — Clare is GameaVision's receptionist. The antithesis to Mary, Clare is airheaded, self-centered, self-conscious, and sexually promiscuous, even going as far as taking unconscious men back to her house and partaking in BDSM-related activities. However, like Mary, Clare is often treated with little to no respect by her co-workers.
  • Benny (voiced by Dana Snyder) — Benny is a Korean child, illegally adopted by Larrity to test the company's games. He is fed a diet of cigarettes, Pixy Stix, bags of pure sugar, and amphetamines to stunt his growth and keep him game-testing nonstop. As a result, Benny is constantly hyper and usually spends his time roaming through the building's ventilation and plumbing systems, making a side living selling things to employees. No game can be shipped without Benny's approval, which causes the programmers, namely Dave and Jerry, to repeatedly bribe him with (often illegal) treats and toys. He is often accompanied by a taciturn, muscular bodyguard.
  • Clarence (voiced by Lionel Tubbins) — Clarence is GameaVision's audio designer. Flamboyantly gay, he wears sparkly jumpsuits, sings effectively all of his dialogue, and constantly makes blatant references to gay sex. He has also demonstrated the abilities to levitate and pass through walls, using "gay magic" which can be toggled on and off, possibly a play on the "fairy" pejorative of homosexuality. Occasionally, Clarence pitches homosexually-themed games to the company.

History[edit]

While working on the pilot for Minoriteam, Adam de la Peña began writing a script for what would become Code Monkeys. The original title for the show was Dave And Jerry VS The World, but the name was changed to Code Monkeys after receiving the rights to use the Jonathan Coulton song of the same name. After making a seven-minute animation test, he began shopping for a network to broadcast the show. He settled with G4 because he thought they understood the premise of the show the most.[3] G4 allowed him to make a full-length pilot and subsequently picked up the show for 13 episodes and after a successful first season ratings-wise, the show was picked up for a second season.[4]

Several months before Code Monkeys began airing, G4 launched an advertising campaign for the show in which GameaVision was presented as a real game company. There were two commercial advertisements for the fictitious games "Crosswalk" and "Barfight", the games "Sir Eats-A-Lot" and "Floating Space Rocks" were featured in a "Cheat! G-Spot" segment, and "Barfight" was featured in an episode of Attack of the Show. G4 created a website for GameaVision's, featuring two playable games: "2 Card Monte", which cannot be won; and "Hangman", which contains fewer than 10 words, all of which are meant to insult the player.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

According to the president of G4, the first season was a huge success for the network. During its first season the show was watched by more than 20 million people.[4] Since its inception, Code Monkeys has received mixed reviews. Virginia Heffernan of The New York Times called the show a "promising idea [with] gags [told in a South Park deadpan dialect that] has a fast free-for-all quality, as if they were produced by a zealous Galaga player with his palm down flat on the “fire” button."[5] Scott Jon Siegel of Joystiq agreed, saying that "Code Monkeys has potential, [but] squanders it." He went on to say that "there was hope that G4 could deliver something actually watchable. [Code Monkeys] isn't."[6] Jake Swearingen of Wired magazine stated that the show would appeal to "anyone who spent their youth blowing dust out of Nintendo cartridges and developing Contra-induced carpal tunnel syndrome." Furthermore, he compared Code Monkeys to arcade games of the 1980s, stating "[m]uch like the classics it riffs on, Code quickly veers into the wildly surreal."[7] Andy Grieser of Zap2it called the show "the funniest ... animation this side of South Park." He called the graphics "[i]nstant nostalgia for thirtysomethings."[8] Will Harris of Bullz-Eye.com gave the show a 3.5/5 and commented that "Code Monkeys is a twisted little show, [but that] it’s not for all tastes." [9]

DVD release[edit]

Shout! Factory, partnering with G4, released a two-disc DVD set of the first season of Code Monkeys on August 5, 2008 in Region 1.[10]

Code Monkeys: Season One
Set Details Special Features[10]
  • "Adam de la Peña Interview"
  • "A Look Behind the Scenes of Code Monkeys"
  • "Daily Pranks"
  • "GameaVision's 'Hangman'"
  • "Original Commercials"
  • "Gaming Tips from Kristin Holt"
  • "GameaVision's '2 Card Monty'"
  • Downloadable Wallpapers and Posters

References[edit]

  1. ^ "G4 - Open Source". G4. Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  2. ^ In "Psychological Problems", the usual start of the episode—a screen flashing "PLAYER 1 START!"—was preceded by a screen that was similar to the multicart loading of a game, resembling the 3-in-1 Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet multigame.
  3. ^ "Code Monkeys: The Secret History of Videogames". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  4. ^ a b "G4 Announces Season Two of Its Animated 8-Bit Hit "Code Monkeys" Premiering June 1". G4. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  5. ^ Heffernan, Virginia (2007-07-11). "Like an Arcade Game With a Potty Mouth". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  6. ^ "G4's new show Code Monkeys has potential, squanders it". Joystiq. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  7. ^ "8-Bit Comedy Goes Prime Time With Code Monkeys Cartoon". Wired Magazine. 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  8. ^ "Premierewatch: 'Code Monkeys' Season Two". Zap2it. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  9. ^ "Code Monkeys: Season One review". Bullz-Eye.com. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  10. ^ a b "Shout! Factory Store - Code Monkeys: Season One". Shout! Factory. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 

External links[edit]