The Washington Post

MARCEL THE SHELL: Shoes on, viral video star makes a big return


Sprung from a wee stop-motion world of lentil hats and pet lint dogs and Dorito hang gliders, Marcel the One-Eyed (Partial) Shell makes a welcome return.

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On — whose viral 2010 debut racked up more than 12-million page views — is back with a new video that hits that same sweet spot of wryly clever and slyly cute.

Marcel is winningly voiced by former “Saturday Night Live” castmate Jenny Slate and co-created by her fiancé, Dean Fleischer-Camp. (Slate, a stellar comic, perhaps first came to national attention when she inadvertently dropped the F-bomb in her 2009 “SNL” debut.)

Marcel, though, is decidely G-rated, as the shell (would-be pen name: Shelldon Conch) shares high-pitched, stream-of-consciousness witticisms of household life when you see eye-to-eye with a penny.

This time around, Marcel notes that baked goods make for swell bedding (“We actually slept eight to the muffin”) and that the house’s couch canine has two main hobbies (“Treats and snoozin’, snoozin’ and treats”).

And Marcel may be small, but his multimedia world has blown up big. The pink-shoed shell has a new book out this month (“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On: Things About Me” (Penguin Group USA]); a new app at iTunes; and reportedly a TV development deal.

Marcel, obviously, is worth keeping our eye(s) on.


Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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