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Nicolas Cage dreams of shrimp people, according to Jay Baruchel

Jay Baruchel, Conan O’Brien
Screenshot: Conan

Since Canadian nice guy Jay Baruchel and Conan O’Brien both swapped historical trivia on Tuesday’s Conan, here are some Jay Baruchel facts. He’s 37 somehow, and has been acting for 25 years at this point, including headlining one of the most successful animated franchises outside of the Disney empire. A director and screenwriter as well as a sort-of likable goofball from Man Seeking Woman, he wrote the perpetually underrated sports comedy Goon, as well as writing and directing the properly rated sequel. Hitler’s real last name was the less-ominous Schicklgruber, which is not a fact about Baruchel, but shared by the history buff. Oh, and the inside of Nicolas Cage’s head is a terrifying and fantastical wonderland filled with angry, enigmatic shrimp-men.

And while that last one might not come as a huge surprise to fans of Cage’s long, eclectic, necessarily prolific career (thanks for all the Cage, IRS!), Baruchel still helped fill in some more of the lore surrounding the being known as Nicolas Cage. While effusive in praising his former The Sorcerer’s Apprentice co-star’s humility, consideration, and on-set work ethic, Baruchel did gingerly describe Cage as “a bespoke individual,” which is a very Canadian way of saying “Sometimes Nicolas Cage will describe his nightmares to you and then have his assistant bring you the drawing he made of the shrimp-headed man who haunted his most recent slumber.” “He’s a very specific person,” was another Baruchel Canadian-ism by way of introducing the topic (and a fine Cage impression), as the star of the upcoming holiday miniseries The Moodys related just how one reacts when Nicolas Cage offers to go make a quick sketch of the decapod-human hybrid who stalked his subconscious pointing and bellowing, “Shrimp, you fuck!”

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As to whether that meant the shrimp-man was accusing Cage of being a shrimp himself, telling Cage to “shrimp” as some sort of Smurf-like verb, or something much more unnervingly unspeakable, Baruchel simply didn’t know. But the fact that Cage dispatched his polite British footman to usher the illustration of said shrimp-monster to the (again, politely) appreciative Baruchel is just the final touch to make this the most Nicolas Cage story you’ve heard—at least recently.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.