Code Monkeys

ByJoCo June 11, 2007

I’ve gotten a few emails about this as the promos have begun their heavy rotation: the G4 television network has a new show called “Code Monkeys” about some programmers at a game company that’s animated in the style of an 8-bit computer game, and they’re using my song as the theme (I mean, how could they not really?). To answer your questions, yes I do know about it, and yes they got permission, and yes a certain amount of money changed hands, so it’s all official: I have sold out.

Please begin the backlash…


msage says

That is SOOO cool!!


Kerrin says

So you're on TV! Wow.
I've not heard of G4, is it a widely watched channel?
Even if it isn't, it's gonna bring more people to the site, which is great.
Now you just need Fox to do a show about the 1st of May, and ABC to do one about the Hendrson family on Chiron Beta Prime and you'll be set for life!
(yes I do know these will never happen, but something might, it's a snowball effect)

Scott says

What you really need if you want to sell out is a deal like the one The Who has with CBS for the CSI juggernaut. Every new show in the franchise gets a different JoCo theme song.

Dave says

YAY! Way to sell out! You are a role model to code monkeys everwhere!

Dave Lifton says

Damn, I remember when it used to be about the music.

prestron says

Sell out?... you sold G4 the right to use one song on a television show. That's one sale. You still have the rights to your catalog and you can make whatever career changes you want.

You're not a sell out.

craig says


oh... I thought he said backSlash...

yukaduk says

Some day I hope to hear "Drive" on a car commercial. Milk would come out of my nose, even if I was not drinking milk at the time.

Gle3nn says

I was hoping they were going to use it for the theme song and not just for the commercials. Congrats on the sell out.
G4 is an okay channel as long as they hang on to Morgan Webb. Sadly they bought out TechTV and all their great shows are gone now.

GeekyGerge says

Haha, I sent an email and got way freaked out by this. But it's nice to know that one of my favourite singers has officially sold out... And i trusted you man...

Naaa... I don't think you're a sell-out, will you be getting any recognition on the show?

Sobachatina says

That's not selling out.

Selling out is when I have to pay $12 to Sony BMG for a DRM encumbered cd that I can't share with my friends and for which the artist received $.50.

Sell licenses to whomever you want. I'll be happy as long as the music stays yours.

LizaLS says

It's not really a sell out - after all, you've had one other TV show theme song on MTV. As long as you retain the rights to Code Monkey and G4 won't come after us for continuing to revel in its glory. it's all good.

I will say, I liked TechTV better than I like G4. G4 doesn't seem to have a good grasp of its audience, meaning that they don't seem to know what to do with us girl geeks or the girls who might watch TV with their geek man. And the recent Star Wars anniversary show was kinda silly. It seems to want to be SpikeTV for geeks. But hey, it pays the bills and gets your song out there.

Hey, speaking of TV Show Themes, maybe you could do an update of the "Theme from the Greatest American Hero"? That song seriously soft rocks.

^_^ Liza

Faris says

I think there is a difference between selling work and selling out. Tool's song Hooker With A Penis is another way you can look at it ;0)

Mike says

As a code monkey for any number of former game companies (every single videogame company I worked for has gone under), I'll have to check this out.

Mel says

I'm so excited they are using your stuff!!!

Selling out is just a way to work hard and make money at what you love doing and profiting somehow (via money or other incentive). So if selling out is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I want to be very, very wrong.

Bucky says

Speaking as a former "Brick Artist" (artistic equivalent of a CODE MONKEY) I have only one question...

How do I SELL OUT??

JY says

If (CodeMonkey_Song = Cash)
{ Time_Left_Without_Needing_Boring_Day_Job++;
Sell_Out = Good;

MichaelDotNet says

So when are you going to write "I've Jumped The Shark (And I Feel Fine)?"

Just kidding, congrats! We love you man!

filkertom says

Backlash!? Heck, congrats!

Bry says

Selling out? More like G4's buying advertisements on this site. Just look at which way the traffic's flowing! I predict that more people are going to watch that show because of this mention on Coultonblog than are going to start listening to JoCo because of that show.

Seriously, though, congratulations. Letting a TV show use a song you'd already written and released isn't selling out, it's free money! (Unless the TV show is titled Mountain Dew/Frito-Lay Monkey in a Bubble.)

witten says

I'd have to agree.. As long as you're not getting paid by Apple to make a song called "Re: Your Ipod" or something, I think you're fine.

hockalees says

It's not a "sellout"... everyone else is "buying in".

I don't think folks around here want you to suffer for your art... you did enough suffering for it before you got to this stage!

I want to look back fondly on the "good old days when JoCo had a blog, and played in small venues... you know, before he only performed the 32 shows a year in Vegas and stopped touring all together to spend more time at the U.N."

And if Apple wants to hire you as their bard, ask for a free iPhone! ;-)

Calvin Spealman says

Congratulations on getting the song used. I can't wait to see the show.

Glenn Peters says

When the USPS has its vote for the bearded JoCo and the later model rhinestone-covered, clean-shaved JoCo, I think I'll still vote beard.

Furthermore, I would also love a cover of Greatest American Hero.

Squid rule.

Vern says

I shall vote "bearded" as well.

"Believe it or not, I'm walking on air.
I never thought I could feel so free-ee-ee." says

Sell out? SOLD OUT more likely.

I mean, if you were for sale and I had lot's of money, I would probably buy you over and over again until even I can't afford to buy you anymore.

That's great news man. More Blessings to come for you and your family, I pray.

Batshua says

Sellout? No way, man, you're not selling out; you're being awesome on your way to the top. Go you!

P.S. Come to San Antonio sometime. I failed to make it to any Ardmore or Philly concert you had and it makes me sad. Bring Texas some Jonathan Coulton love.

minimo says

Yay, you!

Rob (not the boring manager one) says

Sell out Shmell out. I was so excited the first time I saw the commercial for the Code Monkeys show and heard the guitar riff from your song.

I'm glad you are making a few $$ on the side and I wish nothing but more $$ to rain down upon you. You've earned every penny!

Dean says


Now all you have to do is get them to turn some of your songs into episodes and you'll have it made!

I humbly request they do "Skullcrusher Mountain" first.

WC says

I think Dean has a good point... -starts chanting 'Skullcrusher Mountain Movie'-

Really, I think that could be an awesome scifi flick. You know how Philip K Dick's books make good movies no matter how badly they mangle them on the big screen? I think you have the music equivalent, here. It just couldn't fail.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure the whole 'sell out' thing was a joke, but... As long as you 'keep it real' and remain 'JC on the block' and all, keep 'selling out.' ;)

Martin F says

Skullcrusher Mountain: The Movie

Him: Will Ferell

Her: Kate Winslet

Scarface: Christopher Walken

Henchman #1: James Gandolfini
Henchman #2: Terry Tate
Henchman #3: John Travolta

Filmed on location in Costa Rica

Ponkey created by Pixar.

Dean says

If this thing becomes real then I want to be in the credits as "Half Monkey"


JY says

The Skullcrusher movie sounds like a Creepy *Deal* ;-)

Paul says

I think you should ask the History Channel if they'd be interested in using "The Presidents."

Dean says

I've been thinking about this (just a little) and why can't we have an "Episode a Week" or "Mini-Movie a Week" to carry along with JoCo's forced march brilliance?

vansid says

All these people are sucking up to you. It takes a guy like me to tell it like it really is:

You _so_ totally sold out. I think I just threw up in my own mouth.

GeekyGerge says

A show about first of may... That's what i wanna see... LOL!

Mike Donaghy says

OMG JONATHAN , if you had to sell out why would you sell out to G4 , G4 == Evil ,

strike says

Gotta beg to differ with the minority here - there's a startlingly large difference between 'selling out' (ie: 'whoring oneself or one's creative efforts to the powerful for gain') vs. selling one's creative efforts ('getting a paycheck').

In the first instance, the artist becomes a mimsy yes-man or woman to the commercial entity, never uttering a critical word against them and for all intents and purposes becoming a minion to the establishment.

In the second, the artist actually retains their dignity (and creative rights) and can feed the family something other than ramen.

Course, those moaning about 'selling out' are frequently the people who have to PAY to get people to listen to their own stuff, so I'm thinking it's just jealousy.

Soft Rock on, JoCo.

AJS says

"P.S. Come to San Antonio sometime. I failed to make it to any Ardmore or Philly concert you had and it makes me sad. Bring Texas some Jonathan Coulton love."

Look for JC/P&S shows Sept. 18-19-20, Dallas-Austin-Houston......

manstraw says

it's only selling out if you exchange money for songs for something you really don't like, are opposed to, are the opposite of, destroys babies etc. but this show sounds way cool dammit! you didn't sell out, you sold up.

GeekyGerge, contact Ron Jeremy about your show idea. I bet something can be worked out. :)

Sobachatina says

AJS- Are you serious or just wishing? I don't want to get my hopes up since I see that he has a performance scheduled for September 14 in San Francisco.

I, and several of my coworkers to whom I have introduced JoCo's music, have been waiting patiently for a show in Austin.

AJS says

pssst.....look at JoCo's booking page...ssshhhh.....

M_pony says

a) It's not selling out if you continue to not suck. Being paid for doing good stuff is not a bad thing. So long as you continue to not suck then all shall be fine.
b) Big Bad World One is a better TV theme song than Code Monkey. Sadly, it's less easy to pick an appropriate show for it. Maybe it could fit in a Very Special Episode of Scrubs or something. Then you'd be much more likely to be labelled a sell-out, but you'd get much more cash. The networks have big big munny.
c) Dean, I'm half pony. The other half is still up for grabs.
d) Come to Canada and I will buy you a beer.

Martha says

All I ask is that you not make a commercial where you sit in a car, listen to the stereo, and pretend that you're not doing it because the kid from your last marriage wants to go to a really expensive college.

Dave says

Getting paid for your work doesn't equal selling out. Congratulations, Jonathan. Now you just need an animated series starring Benoit Mandlebrot

Don Glover says

Yes but you sold out for a good cause... money.

Rich says

You will be forgiven as long as the show rocks. If it sucks, then, yeah, you sold out to a crappy show for money. So either "Bad JoCo!" or "Way to go!", as the situation demands.

Melis says

Another vote for "Greatest American Hero"!!

I think we need to hear "Pizza Day" on The Office.

I also think we need to hear JoCo in Omaha. There is a serious lack of JoCo here.

Ben D. Benner says

There is nothing wrong with making a little money from something you did.

It is a great song.

Make it a habit, then you might be deserved to be called a 'Sell Out'.

Jonathan Polin says

I saw a preview of a bit of the opening sequence, and I was a bit disappointed. I saw the little 8-bit characters going about their little 8-bit antics, but what I heard was, "Code monkey like [conspicuous silence], Code Monkey like [conspicuous silence][conspicuous silence], Code Monkey very simple man..." Ah, the joy of television.

Stacey Leggieri says

I'm laughing uproariously at elitists who think being played on G4 is somehow worse than the actual song chorus mentioning Fritos, Tab, and Mountain Dew by name. Commercial involvement is problematic only to the extent that one chases after it. And JoCo's ethics run so counter to the prevailing market greed that he scares record labels for breakfast. lol

Marianne says

I just heard this song for the first time over the weekend (more than once; love it *very* much!) and I was thinking it would make a great theme song for a show - congratulations!

Matthew says

Hope the show lives up to its awesome theme song

Mike says

I was flipping channels and heard code monkey and my first reaction was "that's awesome! great for him!" So congrats man. BTW, with a show like this, I don't think its a sell out, now if it were American Idol...

Ken says

The idea is great, the show sucks. You can watch it off their site. An absolute ebarassment for the first show. The lead coder paints his phallus green and is naked through the first 4 minutes. The second coder soils himself when Steven Speiburg enters the scene. Everyone knows that coders soil themselves when Microsoft gives away the latest version of MSSQL server to IT staff. says

I watch Attack of the Show on G4 and picked up on the Code Monkey song as soon as the promos started. Congrats, I wish I could "sell out".

Kasey says

I hadn't heard of your song before I saw the show. "Code Monkey" is obviously the perfect theme song I love it! I saw a few live youtube performances, and you rock! Make another checkmark under the fan category.

Brandon says, you're not a sellout. As long as you still own and sell the song, you're just getting some popularity there :P

I'd never heard of you before watching the show (I hated the fucken show..GAH) but I loved the themesong...googled it. Found you. BUYING SONGS.

I lovya man...keep up the [nondescriptive] work.

oh, and JY-

If ($CodeMonkey_Song['status'] == "sold"){
$Sell_Out = "Good";

Your code was erroneous >.> [and I like PHP]

Matt says

Both the song and the show kick ass.

ryanisjeebis says

you didnt sell out u just got paid for ur awsomness and the tv show aint half bad its pretty funny

sprinklespwns says

Love the show one of the reason that i watch g4 on wednesdays. Code Monkeys is my reason to get up in the morning

Anthony Flores says

I dig the show and love that song...takes me back to my "code monkey" days at SUN Micro

ben says

code monkeys is flippin awsome!

Alastair says

The show is how I found out about the song. Great going!

Snakeye says

there are two reasons why i know who you are right now and why i love ur music that supposed "sellout" to G4 and the iPhone. right now the story is way too long to explain but let's just say I forgot the "s" in Code Monkeys when I was on youtube and I stumbled upon that and many other great songs of urs so youve definitely gotten more fans from it

Daniel says

hey man,i'm glad you "sold out", it's easily making you much more least it did in my case.i never really paid much attention to music right,but if i heard a song i liked,i would look it i was watching Codemonkeys for the first time and really liked the song,so i look it up and there are many many different video adaptations for it,not many of which pertaining to the show Code Monkeys,bnut only to the glory of the's a lot better when you hear the whole thing,as the song is telling a story,a GOOD story.i can especially feel for the guy in the song now that i'm in highschool, in a Computer Website Coding class, in fact, i am in that class as i type this message,switching back and forth from typing in the code and hearing the song you sold on infinite loop in my head. It's funny,the song immediately starts when i walk in the door of the classroom and ends perfectly as i walk out.well,i've begun rambling,so i think i'll get off your back now.keep rocking out and don't feel bad to make a little money doing's always much better to make money doing what you love and are good at than doing something that you hate and are okay at.

Heidi says

Actually, that show is where I first heard of you and your awesome music.
Awesome, awesome music.

SiSo says

I know I'm super late on this, but:

JoCo (as you seem to be called, heh), congrats. It's not a sellout.

Brandon, YOUR code is, in fact, erroneous. JY's "Time_Left_Without_Needing_Boring_Day_Job++;" meant that Jonathan has incremented (made larger) the amount of time he has until he has to get a boring day job. Now, I don't know PHP (if that is what your 'code' was; JY's was C, or some derivative thereof), but I don't think just one '-' means ANYthing, in ANY language, unless it's part of an expression. Perhaps you meant '--', but that's STILL wrong, because that would mean LESS time until he has to get a boring day job, and that's bad (at least, I would assume so). As for the rest, I think that's probably just a matter of preference, considering it's not real code anyway, but I just thought that I would point the '++' thing out. I admit, JY could've made his variable name a little clearer, I suppose. OK, enough out of me, that's just my $.0000000002.