Albie Hecht has been working with Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi for years. As president of Nickelodeon Movies, he knows their writing as well as anyone.
His company is producing their first feature, “Snow Day,” a comedy starring the likes of Chevy Chase, Pam Grier, Chris El-liot, Bernadette Peters and Iggy Pop. And when he discusses them, certain words keep coming up: Magic. Brilliance. Blowhole.
“They’ve been able to use more words for the seven words you can’t say on television, make them sound funny and endear-ing and smart, and get my kid to say them, than anybody else I know,” Hecht explains.
“I think there’s an innocence to our work, because having come up as Nickelodeon guys, we’re really invested in the kid point of view,” McRobb says. “We think we can get into an actual kid brain.”
McRobb and Viscardi get into their kid brains by thinking back to their “idyllic” childhood in upstate New York. They met at Syracuse University but only began writing together after both landed at Nickelodeon.
“I started off as a writer, he started off as a lackey,” McRobb remembers. “We laugh, though I laugh harder, at the times when Chris’ job was to fetch me tapes.”
McRobb says one of their favorite themes is “geek empowerment. We like to champion the downtrodden.”
Viscardi adds that all their scripts are reality-based, saying, “We take that reality and just heighten it for comic effect, take small things and make them bigger. ‘Snow Day’ is a perfect example of that. A day off from school, heightened to an extreme.”