Sign up FAST! Login

Jenny Slate Is Marcel the Shell’s Inner Self | Vanity Fair

Stashed in: Celebrities, Joo, Awesome, Are You Not Entertained?, Best Videos, Conan, Conan, Celebrities

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

The actress and comedian Jenny Slate traffics in the oxymoronic. Earlier this year, she made her mark in movies with . . . an abortion comedy; namely, the indie-film critical darling Obvious Child. Last year, with her writer-director husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp, she concocted a Web series, Catherine, that might best be described as . . . wonderfully disturbing. And the voice she supplies to her most famous viral-video creation, the diminutive stop-motion-animated mollusk Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, is . . . adorably strangulated. (“Guess what I wear as a hat? A lentil”; “Guess what my skis are? Toenails from a man.”) In fact, it could be argued that Slate and Fleischer-Camp are the . . . audience-friendlyBjörk and Matthew Barney. With the publication of a second Marcel book imminent, Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been (the follow-up to 2011’s Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me), the 32-year-old Slate, already ubiquitous on such TV programs as Parks and Recreation, Bob’s Burgers, House of Lies, and Married, shucked off her shell for a convivial sunny-day chat with V.F. Herewith, the results.

SHE IS reluctant to ascribe too much background and personal detail to Marcel, e.g., precisely what kind of mollusk he is, what his oozy inner form might look like, or how old he is (though “he’s definitely not a child”).

SHE DOES ascribe to Marcel, however, a surprising allegorical heft. In the new book, he is lofted into the air when a blanket he is walking across is fluffed, “and it’s basically a study of the way our thoughts unravel when we are in an environment or in an experience we weren’t planning on,” she says. Marcel is prompted to think of those who, unlike him, have willfully embarked upon journeys. “Like his grandmother, who traveled, by coat pocket, to the hall,” she says. “She’s an immigrant.”

SHE IS the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor, her paternal grandmother. “Slate” is an Americanization and truncation of “Slatkevich.”

SHE AND Fleischer-Camp record Marcel’s dialogue in the living room of their home, in eastern Los Angeles, with Slate holding a lavalier mike near her face while Fleischer-Camp asks her questions, to which she improvises answers.

More at the link.

First of all, she seems legit. Smart, funny, and surprisingly open.

Second, I had not seen Marcel the Shell. It's WAY BETTER than I thought it would be:


Part 2 is good, too:

Jenny Slate Brian Williams interview:

Jenny does the Marcel voice for Conan:

Looks like she's been on Conan's show at least a few times.

Jenny Slate confused Astrology and Astronomy:

She is FUN!!!  "I was too stoned to withdraw" (from the wrong class).

You May Also Like: