It’s impossible to deny the vast popularity of both Drake & Josh and iCarly. The question that’s more difficult to answer is “Which one of them is the best?” Right here, right now, we’ll attempt to settle the debate once and for all (or at least until the next time)!
Drake & Josh follows the lives of two step-brothers, Drake Parker (Drake Bell) and Josh Nichols (Josh Peck). Both played roles on The Amanda Show, as had Nancy Sullivan, who appears as Drake’s mother in the series. Miranda Cosgrove plays Drake’s little sister, Megan Parker, and Jonathan Goldstein is Josh’s father, Walter Nichols.
iCarly stars Miranda Cosgrove, of the Drake & Josh show, as Carly Shay, a teenage girl who starts up a web program with her best friends, Samantha “Sam” Puckett (Jennette McCurdy) and Fredward “Freddie” Benson providing tech support. Jerry Trainor plays Carly’s brother, Spencer Shay, and he was (as Crazy Steve) one of Josh’s co-workers at the Premiere Cinema. I’m including actor Noah Munck, who appears as Gibby Gibson, in this list, even though he is a relatively new character, appearing first in season 4. He’s not in every episode even now, but I think he adds a lot of humor to the program.
Drake & Josh premiered on Nickelodeon on January 11, 2004, and lasted for three seasons, ending on September 16, 2007. It ran for a total of 60 episodes, with one TV film made, Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh. Reruns of Drake & Josh can be seen on Nickelodeon, YTV, and TeenNick. Dan Schneider was the executive producer and the creator for both Drake & Josh and iCarly. iCarly premiered on September 8, 2007, and is still currently running.
Category 1: Main Characters
Drake & Josh
Drake Parker (Drake Bell)
Josh Nichols (Josh Peck)
Megan Parker (Miranda Cosgrove)
Audrey Parker-Nichols (Nancy Sullivan)
Walter Nichols (Jonathan Goldstein)
Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove)
Samantha “Sam,” Puckett (Jennette McCurdy)
Fredward “Freddie,” Benson (Nathan Kress)
Spencer Shay (Jerry Trainor)
Gibby Gibson (Noah Munck)
Both shows are great, and have strong main characters. If I’d been asked to do this comparison during or soon after iCarly‘s first season, I likely would have given this category to Drake & Josh. I think that Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, and Nathan Kress have all grown stronger as actors/actresses since then, however, and I’ve always liked watching Jerry Trainor’s wackiness in both series. He adds a lot to iCarly, and many episodes and subplots revolve around him and his often wild but very cool sculptures and sculpting career. I’m not at all knocking the actors/actresses on Drake & Josh; they’re great, too, and many of their episodes had me and my teen daughter laughing out loud, as with iCarly. Still, I’m saying the winner of this category is iCarly.
Category 2: Secondary Characters
Drake & Josh
Helen Dubois (Yvette Nicole Brown–though Frances Callier played her in “Little Diva”). The sassy owner and manager of the Premiere Cinema that Josh works at.
Mindy Crenshaw (Allison Scagliotti). Josh’s arch-rival and later girlfriend.
Eric Blonowitz (Scott Halberstadt). A nerd who is one of Josh’s good friends and the best friend of Craig Ramirez.
Craig Ramirez (Alec Medlock). Another nerd who is one of Josh’s good friends and the best friend of Eric Blonowitz.
Gavin Mitchell (Jake Farrow). A mullet-wearing employee of the Premiere who is described as “sleazy” and somewhat oblivious about things. In “The Storm” it is revealed that he has a crush on Drake’s mom and starts hitting on her throughout the episode.
Mrs. Hayfer (Julia Duffy). She plays Drake and Josh’s English teacher who loathes Drake, but adores Josh.
Crazy Steve (Jerry Trainor). He is a crazy co-worker of Josh’s at the Premiere Cinema.
There are literally hundreds of pages listing, mentioning, and discussing the secondary characters of iCarly at the iCarly Wiki site, and I’m therefore not going to list them here, but if you’re interested in reading more detailed accounts of them, click here. But does sheer quantity equal quality?
No, quantity doesn’t always equal quality. There are quite a few secondary characters I like on both shows. For example, Mary Scheer does an excellently creepy and over-the-top acting job playing Marisa Benson, Freddie’s mother. Her over-protectiveness provides for many humorous moments in iCarly. Another secondary character I really like on iCarly despite (or maybe because of) his immense mole on his left cheek and his obnoxious behavior is Lewbert Jermaine Sline, usually just known as Lewbert. Lewbert is played by Jeremy Rowley.
Still, I also really like some secondary characters on Drake & Josh, in particular the characters of Helen Dubois, Mindy Crenshaw, Josh’s two nerd friends Eric and Craig, and Crazy Steve. It was a hard decision, but I’m giving the winner of this category to Drake & Josh.
Guest Stars in Drake & Josh
Gary Coleman (Diff’rent Strokes)
Erik Estrada (CHIPS)
Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars, A Cinderella Story, Eli Stone)
More can be found on the show’s Wiki page.
Guest Stars in iCarly
Jane Lynch (Glee plays Sam’s mother)
Fred (Internet celebrity)
Reed Alexander (plays Nevel Papperman)
Victoria Justice (Victorious, Zoey 101)
Jack Black (Many movies, like King Kong, Rock & Roll School of Music and Nacho Libre.)
The Plain White T’s (Rock group)
Again, see their Wiki page for a complete list.
Whichever of these two shows you choose to win this particular category might be based on how old you are. If you’re an older parent, and have grown up watching shows like CHIPS, in which Erik Estrada played the cop Ponch and was famous for years (basically making a career out of that role), and Diff’rent Strokes, which made Gary Coleman’s career, then you’ll probably say Drake & Josh win. But if you’re a kid or teen, or an adult who watches Nick shows because your kids/teens do, like myself, you’ll probably pick iCarly as the winner, because the majority of its guest stars are younger and more recognizable to kids and teens of today. Both shows had great guest stars, and I just mentioned a few of the more recognizable names, though you can read a more complete list of the guest stars for each episode of both series. I’ll say it’s close, but since I, my wife, and daughter watch Glee every week and like Jane Lynch, and we also like the other guest stars, I’m going to pick iCarly as the winner.
Category 3 – Over All Concept
iCarly is about two teen girls who start up an Internet site, iCarly.com, with the help of Freddie to provide tech support and film them. It was the first show ever to ask viewers to send in Internet clips of themselves. Strangely enough, Carly is being raised by her older brother, Spencer, who may not be the best father figure or role model ever, but he’d make a fantastic older brother, and it’s easy to tell he cares for Carly. Drake & Josh was at first about two step-brothers trying to get along, and comedic pranks were pulled on them by Megan (Miranda Cosgrove), Drake’s younger sister. She was like an evil and shorter version of Carly, but she added a lot of memorable moments to the series in her attempts to make life miserable for the two “boobs” that are her brothers.
Over All Thoughts
The shows have both stayed true to their concepts, but have stayed fresh to their audiences by expanding upon them, having great guest stars, and having very talented and creative writers do their scripts over the years. Though they’re very different series having different concepts, both have the same executive producer and creator in Dan Schneider, and both have two of the same actors/actresses, Miranda Cosgrove and Jerry Trainor.
Over All Thoughts
Both of these shows have consistently strong acting performances from their main stars and very entertaining story lines. Drake & Josh developed from being a show about two sometimes antagonistic step-brothers to being a show about the bond that was forming between the two characters, of friendship as well as brotherly love for each other. The situations they got themselves into were often hilarious. The concept for iCarly is still, for the most part, the same today, in that Carly, Sam, and Freddie still run and are the stars of their own popular web show. But, the growing popularity of the show has allowed them to draw several guest stars to lend their talents to the series, and the episodes often seal with other topics besides their show, like rounding up escaped baby chicks, or dealing with obnoxious fans, like Nevel, who wants to kiss Carly, and Mandy Valdez (Aria Wallace), an ultra-fan who wears a duck mask and annoys the cast by quacking at them.
Favorite Episode or Moment
There are many from each season of both series that I enjoyed watching, but I’ll limit myself to naming two episodes apiece. From iCarly, I’ll say two of my favorite episodes are “iHeart Art,” and “iPie.” I liked “iHeart Art,” because I like art myself and carving sculptures from wood. It’s about when Spencer’s art idol, Harry Joyner (Oliver Muirhead), gives him criticism on his three sculptures. Spencer doesn’t like the criticism, and despite getting favorable comments from the iCarly website, he temporarily becomes a dental assistant. In a subplot, Sam tries to resist the temptation to insult Freddie for a whole week so she doesn’t have to pay him $5.00 for each insult. “iPie,” about when the cast’s favorites pie shop might close because it’s head chef dies, and no one else knows his recipes, is one I like a lot, too, because honestly, who doesn’t like pie? Seeing them all trying to share a single piece of pie was a pretty funny scene, also, with Sam getting the most bites and then licking the plate clean.
The first of my favorite episodes of Drake & Josh is “The Bet,” in which Drake has an addiction to junk food and Josh has an addiction to video games. They both make a bet to see who can live without their addictions; the loser must dye his hair pink. Drake ends up getting a hideous facial rash from not eating junk food. Josh gets the new Gamesphere from his grammy but is unable to play due to the bet. Eventually, they both lose the bet so they both had to dye their hair pink. Since their mom and dad bet on each of them as well, they dyed their hair pink, also. This is one of my favorite episodes, because I and my son and daughter like playing video games, and the Gamesphere is supposed to be kind of like the Gamecube.
The second one is “Peruvian Puff Pepper,” about a salsa making contest in which the grand prize is a plasma screen television, and Megan ends up winning it. I love hot peppers, so that’s why I like this episode. Also, Megan’s addition of lemons to Drake’s and Josh’s salsa was pretty funny, and I liked the irony of Megan winning the TV when Drake and Josh get disqualified.
Both have strong theme songs, and I think both were written by Drake Bell, though Miranda Cosgrove and Drake together are credited for coming up with the lyrics to “Leave It All to Me.” He sings the one for his show “Found a Way,” and does some backing vocals for “Leave It All to Me.” Another intangible is that iCarly has had more hour-long episodes and TV movies made for it, and it’s difficult to compare the two because iCarly has had more episodes overall made.
Both series appeal to kids/teens/adults for different reasons, but I’m sure one major reason is that teens (and everyone, really) love music, and dream of making it famous as singers, themselves. Drake had his own band, and is very musically talented, and Miranda, while not generally singing on iCarly, has had a couple of popular CDs released displaying her vocal talents.
Over All Thoughts
When the series iCarly first premiered, I was of the opinion that teens creating their own website and show wasn’t much of a premise to base an entire series on, and I thought that Carly and Sam jumped around and mugged to the camera a bit too much. I was not a fan from the very beginning, though I watched it because my daughter did. It grew on me, though, and so did the personalities of the cast members. The series’ episodes stay fresh, in part, from not focusing entirely on the web show, and by having an interesting supporting cast of secondary characters and guest stars.
On the other hand, I liked Drake & Josh right from the pilot episode. I liked watching the mischief the characters got into, the arguments and fights the step-brothers had, and the way at the start of an episode they’d introduce it by relating the same story about something that happened in their lives, but each from his own perspective.
Both series are great, but based on who won the most categories, I’m saying the overall winner is iCarly. Am I right? Am I wrong? What is your opinion? Please leave your comments below!