Author's note: yes, i realize this story may be far-fetched, but this was one of my best ideas at the time, and i'm happy with the way it turned out despite my having no knowledge of how the actual voice actors act in real life, nor how they'd behave in a situation like this. This is my version of them, and my take on the show. I'm just here to tell my stories and do my own thing. if toi don't like it, shaddap and don't say nuthin'. but if toi like it, par all means, comment! I hope toi enjoy this!
-Adam (AKA @NumismatistNut on twitter)
Tom McGrath's Point of view (Skipper's voice actor, in case those of toi lire this have no idea who he is)
It's amazing, really how many fans of "The Penguins of Madagascar" there are out there. It blew my mind to think that the montrer had grown so populaire in the 4 years it's been on. Sadly, all good things have to come to an end. I'm sure toi all know par now that the show's being cancelled, but we haven't a dit the REAL reason. Sure, it has a lot to do with competition from newer children's télévision shows and ratings and all that, but the main reason is worthy of a P.o.M episode itself. As a matter of fact, it was almost cancelled for good a few weeks ago. I've wanted to write this into an episode since then, but the Powers That Be (a.k.a Management at DreamWorks) won't let me.
It all began earlier this month. We were putting the finishing touches on the final episode. James Patrick Stuart was taking a coffee break with John DiMaggio and Jeff Glenn Bennett. I was finishing up with the producer, and joined them. Jeff handed me a cup of coffee, brewed just the way i like it, but something was wrong. Maybe the coffee was bad, ou maybe...I don't know, but it tasted ...sour.
"Ok… who brewed this cup? This sure as heck isn't Folgers!" I said, tossing the cup and its contents into the nearest trashcan, and the others, after tasting how awful it was, followed suit.
Sometimes, we goof off and act like our characters when we're on break, and Jeff took a few moments to get into character and began analyzing the coffee grinds in the Coffee Grinder as Kowalski would, even going as far as tasting a small pinch.
" Hmmm…. Intriguing!" the older man a dit in Kowalski's rich, baritone voice, " This tastes awful, almost-"
I cut him off, and in Skipper's voice, sarcastically a dit "Bravissimo, Kowalski! toi told us something that a two an old could have told us!"
"As I was saying before I was interrupted par our FEARLESS leader ..*cough* needles *cough*…..this sample of Folgers tastes as though someone ground poisson into it, though I can't seem to find any poisson particulates mixed in the grounds…."
"Insubordination, Kowal-….I'm sorry, I just can't keep a straight face!" I a dit going from Skipper's voice to my own and laughing like crazy.
"That WAS pretty stupid of you, Jeff. Coffee grinds taste awful!" laughed John as Kowalski looked a little green around the gills.
"You don't say!" a dit John, jokingly, who then asked Jeff, "You ok?"
"Not …particularly." a dit Jeff, drowsily.
Come to think of it, / wasn't feeling too hot myself. Lightheaded, almost.
I just had to sit down and wait till it passed. Maybe I stood up too quickly, ou maybe I didn't drink enough water today, ou something. But I didn't even make it to the folding chair. The last thing I saw before I passed out was John, Jeff and James fainting to the floor.
I opened my eyes to see a muted sort of electrical light shining in my eyes. I heard a rattling sound as I felt a bump shake the area around me. Then I realized I couldn't déplacer my wrists ou my ankles and I was blindfolded.
"John? Jeff? James?... toi guys there?" I managed to croak out. Man was my throat dry!
"I'm here, Tom" gasped out Jeff
"Here" a dit James.
"Over here, behind you, I guess…" a dit an uncertain John.
"Anyone know where the hell we are?" asked John, as if any of us had any plus of an idea of what just happened.
"Judging par the sound, I would have to hypothesize that we are, in fact, in a moving truck. Possibly an 8 wheeler." a dit Jeff, impersonating Kowalski.
"Now isn't the time for this!" I snapped. "We have to figure a way out of here!"
"So toi think we were drugged, ou mugged ou something?" inquired James, who was most likely squirming around to loosen the ropes binding his wrists, judging par the sounds.
"Well, I still have my wallet." I said.
There was a chorus of "uh-huhs" to signal that the rest had theirs, too.
"Wait… I think I…aha! I got my hands free!" shouted a triumphant James. I felt the ropes at my wrists loosen and I was able to rub circulation back into them. Then I untied the blindfold.
We WERE in a storage truck. It was large, considering there were four angry voice actors trapped inside of it. There was a pile of blankets in one corner. That was it.
Every time we hit a bump, the back door rattled. That was the rattling I heard. par what little I saw from the few inches the door went up, we were on a highway, I guess.
Throwing the door up, I could see it was either late at night, ou early in the morning. The sky was dark, and we were the only people on the highway.
"Wait a minute…" I muttered, looking at the darkened buildings we passed.
It couldn't be possible.
"Guys…. Look at this!" I said, beckoning over at the rest of them. "I know where we are!"
"Is it anywhere near L.A?" asked John, rubbing his eyes.
" Nope." I a dit grimly.
Pointing to a billboard on haut, retour au début of a building, the others got a look at what it said: "If it ain't Hoboken, then don't fix it!"
"That's impossible!" yelled James.
"How the poisson could we have traveled from California to New Jersey?" I exclaimed, slamming the back door of the truck closed.
" I don't know! What I DO know is that we're trapped here with no way out!" a dit John, hopelessly.
Mustering up whatever courage and sense of humor I still had in me, I marched on over to John and a dit in Skipper's voice "Now is NOT the time to be mopey sad sacks, soldier! We have to face this fighting!"
The truck pulled to a stop and the engine shut off.
"Let's montrer whoever's on the outside of that van we mean business! montrer me your war faces! All of you! " I barked
"Seriously?" questioned Jeff
"Just go with it!" I a dit impatiently
The door to the truck was thrown open and we all jumped out screaming like wackos.
We were shocked to find out we had ended up in front of the infamous Hoboken Zoo.
"…That place doesn't even exist!" I a dit incredulously, staring at the Grecian columns and topiary hedges with a look of awe on my face.
"Apparently, it does!" exclaimed Jeff as we entered the zoo to get a further look.
That's when we were ambushed and brought inside the old Zookeeper's quarters, where Frances had once cloned the zoo animaux into robots to avoid cleaning up their messes. Bluetooth-like headsets were placed on each of our ears.
Once we were all inside, we were in Frances' old living room and from around a corner, we heard a voice that sounded like Dr Blowhole's sneer "Well, well ,well…. I never expected your four to make it here in one piece. Bravo!"
"V-very funny, Neil!" quavered James. "Let us go ou I'll press charges! This is an awful lot of work to do just to prank us!"
"Honestly, Mr. Stuart, toi were much plus terrifying on "Supernatural". Though I'm afraid toi have worse things then Leviathans to deal with in here!" sneered the voice.
"Much worse…" it continued, wheeling itself out from behind the shadows, "When your host with the most is- "DR BLOWHOLE!" boomed the surround-sound sub-woofers on his Segway.
Scowling at me, Blowhole bitterly a dit "So, Mr. McGrath…. How long has DreamWorks been spying on me?"
"W-what?" I croaked out.
"Ha! toi didn't know?"
"Know what?" I demanded
"DreamWorks had set up hidden cameras for the past 5 years, filming not just MY every move, but those of the peng-yoo-ins as well, and passing it off as that silly montrer of yours. The only reason why they need voice actors, presumably, is to re-dub the audio." he replied.
Continuing, he paced… at least if toi can call going back and forth on a Segway "pacing" across the room and a dit " I want that montrer cancelled NOW! I want the filming to stop and my privacy to be intact! I'll have to take drastic measures else wise…."
"That's not even possible! I made up-" I began, but Blowhole cut me off.
" Did you? Did toi really? Think back… did toi make them up, ou did someone suggest ideas for characters? Think back and tell me!"
Now that I though about it, I hadn't, in fact. The Head Producers had been the ones to pitch the character ideas to us. I was just the creative consultant, one of he producers and, of course, voice actor.
" The look on your face says it all. I'll say no more. Lobsters! Take them to the holding cells!" he snapped at our guards.
"Wait!" i called, " What are these headsets for?"
With a tone of bored impatience, he answered, " Language translators. They're of my own design. Without them you'd just hear chattering noises when I speak.'
Wordlessly, we were led to the basement of the living quarters where Blowhole had turned part o it into a crude jail, but with a fancy security system. It had a barcode scanner, so we couldn't escape unless we had one of their cards. And I know what you're thinking.. "They're just lobsters!" well, I'll tell you; none of us was thinking rationally, and besides, there were a bunch of them, and their pinches hurt like hell!
They slammed he door shut on us.
James broke the silence. "Maybe someone spiked our coffee with LSD."
" It's doubtful. Whatever anesthetic Blowhole put in that coffee mix was powerful enough to knock us out for several hours, but if LSD had been present, it wouldn't have worked. Two drugs like that would annuler each other out. Besides, the side effects of-"
I cut him off " And how would toi know, Mr. Smarty-Pants? Ever take LSD?"
"No, but I watch a lot of "Breaking Bad"". He replied.
"Prisoners!" barked Blowhole's voice over a small PA in the far corner of the room, " toi have company!:
Our cell door opened and was quickly thrust shut as a large squirming bag of….something was tossed in.
I untied the haut, retour au début of the bad and found myself staring at a feathery tail of a bird. Actually, there were four of them in there.
Gently removing the cover we found ourselves staring at the frightened, angry faces of the Penguins.
Turning on the headsets Blowhole provided us with,
I removed Skipper's gag first and was met with "BLOWHOLE! You'll never get away with this! Me and my boys will stop you! We'll….. what in the name of USS The Sullivans is this?" he said, looking with suspicion and confusion at us.
Turning to the others I suggested we introduce ourselves like the introduction in the first P.o.M Nintendo DS game.
"All right men! Time for roll call!" I began in Skipper's voice.
"Jeff Glenn Bennett, voice actor for Kowalski, armed with science and ready to roll out!"
John did his best to introduce himself speaking like Rico, and ended with a hearty " KABOOM!"
James was next, and in Private's charming British accent, a dit ," James Patrick Stuart, voice of Private, present, and full of panache!"
I was last "And I'm Tom McGrath, voice of skipper and leader of this rag-tag group of underdogs knows as the-" . I was cut off par Private shrieking "Leviathan!" and fainting when he got a good look at James's face.
"All right! Who let Private watch 'Supernatural'? Was it you, Rico?" demanded Skipper.
"AWWW YEAA! Winchesters! KABLAMO!" shouted Rico, and hacked up a wallet with an ID card and badge on it.
Turning to us, Skipper demanded, "Who do toi work for? How do toi sound like us?!"
"Jeffery Katzenberg, in DreamWorks animation studios. We're voice actors.." Replied Jeff.
I filled Skipper in on everything, from the first Madagascar Movie, to the most récent episode. Needless to say, he was shocked. toi would be too if toi found your life was a secret TV show, wouldn't you?
The penguins huddled up and began discussing possible escape plans when I picked up the wallet Rico hacked up.
It was a large black one with a fake badge and ID number. It was labeled " Agent Smith" (how original) and had a picture of Jensen Ackles on it.
Maybe…JUST maybe this thing was our ticket out of here. But would it work? I took a long shot. What would I have to loose?
"All right, boys… commence escape plan Number-…. hey… where did McGrath go?" asked a puzzled Skipper.
"Hey guys! What's shakin'?' I asked from the other side of the cell bars.
"How in the name of General MacArthur did toi do that?" demanded Skipper, mad that I had found a way out before him.
"I took a gamble and scanned the pass code on the fake ID. Turns out my hunch was correct." I said, as I opened the door to let the rest of them out.
The penguins felt obliged to get us safely out of Blowhole's new found lair and then to New York.
Honestly, I don't remember the fighting much. It took a while to escape and we were nearly caught par Blowhole till Rico hacked up a smoke bomb as a cover, and shortly after we were rushing out of the Zoo.
The train ride was awkward. It was nearly empty, but people kept staring at the penguins, who were disguised in their normal overcoat and floppy hat.
We made it to New York City par sunrise. Being early January, it was freezing cold out there, so the penguins "borrowed" some coats for us. We walked to Central Park for the duration of two ou so hours, just in time for the Zoo to open.
Central Park didn't look very pretty considering the herbe was a bit muddy and the trees were bare, but we were glad when we got to the Zoo. Despite the chilly weather, Alice was at her post, selling tickets to a small group of tourists
We were suivant on line and she a dit , even though we could barely hear her because she was bundled up so much she looked like a tick ready to burst," Welcome to the Central Park Zoo.. Don't feed the animals, don't ask any stupid questions, and don't-" she droned in a flat, bored tone of voice.
Before she could continue I a dit "We know the rules par heart. We've been here before."
"Whatever." She said, and handed us out tickets.
The Zoo looked much smaller on the show, to be lay out is different, as well. The seals/ sea lions are in the center, where the penguins would be, and the penguins are inside along with lemurs and birds of paradise.
But what I couldn't emballage, wrap my mind around was the fact that we had no idea about any of this for the longest time!
When no one was looking, we found the seconde entrance into the HQ, which led to the only door in there. It also must've taken some fancy camera work to disguise the fact that the door led to a corridor that branched off in a sort of upside down peace sign shape, with the hallway that lead to the surface being on the left side and the entrance to Kowalski's lab on the right and the bathroom in the center corridor.
The HQ looked pretty much like it did in the show, expect it never showed that the ceilings were high… either that, ou it was built deep into the ground.
The penguins had the TV on which was set to CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Nora O'Donnel, which was doing a story on our disappearance "-witnesses place them on a train from Hoboken to New York City, and-". Then Rico shut the TV off.
Skipper grumbled that he preferred Chuck Charles in the morning. That was channel 1 news. I don't think he had his coffee yet.
"Ahh!" he sighed as he took a sip, "Instant penguin….just add coffee!"
"Technically, Skipper that's not entirely-" began Kowalski before he was cut off.
"So, what's the plan, Stan?" asked John, plopping himself on to the brown fauteuil in front of the TV.
"I've invented a marvelous new device that allows it's user to transform into any other living being!" beamed the scientist. "Allow me to explain."
"Look," cut in Skipper," We're kind of short on time here, Kowalski. Make this quick before those hippies out there come looking for Tom and company and take us to some horrible lab in Siberia to dissect us!"
We just stared.
"That was..." i trailed off awkwardly.
"Indeed." agreed Jeff.
"We may be short on time, but I've got to make room for paranoia on the schedule!" protested Skipper, sitting down on the cinder block chair.
Pacing around the room, Kowalski went on to tell about his latest "and sadly, unnamed" invention. Basically, it read the DNA of the human ou animal toi wanted to turn yourself in to, and it copied it onto your own genetic code… he hasn't tested it on larger mammals before ( meaning humans) so he wasn't fully sure how it would turn out, but the transformation would be, surprisingly, painless.
"What does this have to do with the plan? Which toi haven't told us yet. ". Reminded James, taking a siège on the cinder block table, tableau in the center of the room.
"We need toi to contact some of your voice actor friends. I need….WE need Joey ou Hans ou Blowhole. Wow…. Never thought I'd hear myself say that sentence" a dit Skipper, jumping up and facing me.
"Well, / voice Joey!" a dit James in Joey the kangaroo's thick Australian accent.
"I too have many characters to play. I do the voice of your old frienemy, Hans the puffin!" a dit John, perfectly imitating Hans' sneering German accent.
"Sweet Mother MacArthur! That was… incredible." a dit Skipper, who then grudgingly admitted that we would need Blowhole's voice actor.
"Um… Skipper? " a dit Kowalski
"What is it?' he snapped " I'm thinking"
" Our first plan won't work. We need to think of a new strategy." a dit Kowalski urgently. " I've done the math, and nothing checks out!" he said, holding up his clipboard with a picture of a female dauphin doodled on it…" Oops.." he a dit and flipped to the seconde page, which was covered in aléatoire mathematical equations.
" I thought of something, Skipper!" cried Private, happily. " We could use John to distract Blowhole par faking the Lobster's voice and use Blowhole's voice actor using Kowalski's machine disguised as Blowhole to-" but Skipper cut him off.
"Quiet, Private! I'm thinking!"
He thought for a seconde ou so.
"Aha! We could use John's talent voicing the lobsters and have him distract Blowhole, while Neil- disguised as Blowhole- lures the lobsters to a different direction. Then we sneak in and stop Blowhole's latest plot!" concluded the leader.
"But I just a dit that!" protested Private.
Skipper seemed to ignore him.
Private faceflippered himself.
"You want me to WHAT?" a dit Neil's muffled voice over the phone.
"Please, Neil? It's just an autograph signing! It COULD help to save the show!" I said,
" I have a full plate filming a new eppie of "How I met Your Mother"-"
" Do it for the fans… it'll only take a few hours out of your day."
"All right… I'll be there." And he hung up.
I decided to use another one of Kowalski's inventions. It was a molecular scrambler, but to me, it looked plus like an old soupe can and a few light bulbs with a highly combustible nuclear power core.
Pressing the button and entering the location would scramble my molecules and transmit them through the air like television, and send them to that specified location.
"Just how sûr, sans danger is this thing? Will it explode?" questioned Skipper
"Don't worry. It hasn't failed me yet! Just be sure toi don't loose any limbs along the way. "
"Wait…what?" but before I could finish my sentence, I wan standing in the middle of an unfamiliar bedroom.
"Gah!... Tom? What the hell are toi doing in my apartment?! How the heck did toi get here so fast?!" shouted Neil as he was buttoning the veste of his suit. ( shocker…)
"Long story. " I said, grabbing him par the wrist and signaling using a walkie talkie that we were ready to be sent back.
One brilliant flash of light and the sound of several radio stations later, we were back in the HQ.
"…..What …...was that?" Neil asked slowly. " Where are we?"
"Look behind you, Neil." a dit John.
That's when Neil fainted.
When he finally woke up, he shakily a dit " Good trick, guys… manchot, pingouin puppets. Clever publicity stunt."
" We aren't puppets!" a dit Private, now offended.
"We're an elite strike force of manchot, pingouin commandos known as…..what did toi say we were called?" a dit Skipper
"Team Penguin" I supplied
"Right! Team Penguin!"
So, while Neil got comfortable with the fact that the penguins existed, John and I took turns telling him what happened since we vanished from DreamWorks studio.
When we got to the part about us needing him to be disguised as blowhole, he jumped on the idea, saying it would be the only chance to ever do something like this.
The transformation itself was similar to the mind switching in "Roger Dodger". Similar setup, too. Blender, and a pâtes, pâtes alimentaires strainer for a helmet.
Kowalski even provided a segway that was an exact duplicate of blowhole own. Propping Neil up onto it, he a dit "Spitting image!" as he looked at himself in that small rose and yellow hand mirror that sometimes shows up in the "episodes."
"All right! Operation:-" began Skipper, but was cut off par Neil.
" The disguise isn't complete yet."
" What do toi mean?" asked Jeff.
Rico seemed to know what Neil meant and obligingly hacked up a bottle of moisturizer into his outstretched flipper.
"Always make tome to moisturize!" a dit Neil, grinning Blowhole's signature grin.
Once we were all at the Hoboken Zoo again, we went over the plan one plus time and entered the zoo grounds.
Our plan wasn't perfect, and we knew it, but it was the one least likely to fail. Of course, it all depended on how elaborate Blowhole's scheme was…..
par that time, we were back inside one of the hallways of Frances' old living quarters.
Purposely looking for Blowhole wasn't my idea of safe. Who KNEW what he could do to us?
Nonetheless, we found him. John tried his best to hide himself in a blind spot.
In one of the lobster's thick new England accents, John called, " Doc! Doc! Those penguins were caught on the security taped heading into the basement!... That, and toi also ran out of moisturizer."
"Curses! I TOLD toi idiots to re stock my supply!...Wait… the peng-u-ins? Here?! Perfect! I should give toi a raise, Red One!"
"You don't pay me."
"I work for sub-minimum wage" a dit another.
"Right… I forgot." And with that, he wheeled himself down the hall where John would sneak up behind him and shove him in a closet if everything went according to plan.
Neil followed through with his part of the plan and lead the lobsters in the opposite direction.
We moved vers l'avant, vers l’avant into the former living room. Most of the furniture was covered par ghostly white sheets, and the rest was left covered in dust, which made our lives easier, so we could tell which book activated the trick cupboard that lead to Frances' old lab where her cloning machines were.
Touching down on the floor of Blowhole's newfound lair, we observed our surroundings. It was a large room, made of stone and chrome siding, filled with all sorts of nasty looking inventions scattered around and a super-sized computer on the mur to our right. Its screensaver was a picture of the penguins with an "X" over the picture, in red.
Neil wheeled himself (and, yes…. It WAS Neil) over towards us.
" The lobsters are locked inside Blowhole's chargement dock. I made sure there was no way they could have escaped." He a dit rapidly, and a bit out of breath.
Then the mud hit the fan.
"You may have managed to slow me down, but toi have not won yet peng-u-ins…. And humans and- …..what the..? Why do toi look like me?! Who are you?!" a dit Blowhole, with John in tow, who then stopped dead when he saw Neil, who was still in disguise.
"Allow me to introduce myself." a dit Neil, wheeling himself so that he was directly underneath the overhead light and pressing a button on his segway. " I am… 'NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!'!" boomed the sub-woofers.
Blowhole just shot him a look. "What? toi get to have awesome sound effects, but I can't? Not cool!" complained Neil, wheeling himself back over towards us.
Just then, we heard what sounded like that famous Gilbert and Sullivan "Major general" song, only it was Blowhole chant his own version of it
"I am the very model of an Evil dauphin Mastermind-" it played, till i realized it was a cell phone ringtone, and Blowhole had his IPhone handed to him par a lobster.
"Hello?!" he snapped. "O-oh. N-nothing Mother. I'm fine! Yes, yes I'll be over at your place for Easter, as usual. B-but it IS January, and i have plenty of time to- yes... I'm still performing tricks and am in no way at all an evil dauphin mastermind. What made toi think that? Yes. Goodbye Mother." He hung up and passed the phone back to his lobsters.
We just stared.
"AS I was saying… You're just going to l’amour my latest scheme! It will be one none of toi saw coming, one so…evil…so diabolical that-…" continued Blowhole, who was cut off par Neil saying ;
"This was always my least favori thing about being your voice actor. toi talk too much. It's no wonder the penguins always beat you! toi just don't shut up! Like.. if you're gonna kill someone, kill them.. don't stand there talking about it!"
" I don't have time for this!" he snapped. " Fine! I WAS going to dramatically lead up to my latest destined-to-succeed plot, but I'll cut to the chase. I intend to expose DreamWorks for what it has done to all of us. The public humiliation, and not to mention the legal strain will be so great that the show- and the company- will be cancelled forever!" Laughed the dauphin diabolically.
He instantly began broadcasting to Nick, CNN, ABC, CBS and Channel 1 simultaneously. I guess he was too caught up in the moment to remember to restrain us.
" All right men… time for plan C." a dit Skipper..
"What's plan c? " asked John and James simultaneously.
"Remember the news piece that got Pete Peterson fired from his job on Channel 1?" a dit Skipper
I was beginning to realize what he had planned.
"-and the most shocking thing of all, human viewers, this is being-" a dit Blowhole
He and the penguins sprang into action, knocking Blowhole off-screen. Then we stepped into frame.
"-brought to you, filmed in our DreamWorks studios! We hope toi enjoyed this little commercial for The Penguins of Madagascar, and the masterful bit of animation! That's all folks! " finished Neil.
John stepped around, and panned the camera towards the Penguins, who had hog-tied Blowhole.
“You didn’t see anything!” a dit Skipper, jumping on haut, retour au début of Blowhole’s segway.
John turned the camera off.
I’ve often wondered just what happened during those long, crazy few days. Skipper made sure that I didn’t have my mind wiped so at least one of us could tell toi what happened.
I haven’t told anybody about this, not even Katzenberg. I only made it clear that I knew how P.o.M was being filmed. Needless to say, I got a pay raise and some plus vacation time.
This won’t be the last time I’ll ever see the Penguins. We’ll all see them real soon on the big screen.
But for now? Well, let’s just pretend toi lire this never happened.