The Penguins of Madagascar is a show about four penguins who don't live anywhere in Madagascar, but in the Central Park Zoo. As unfitting as the title may seem, the whole thing actually started from the film Madagascar, which Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private as well as Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo, Marty the zebra and Melman the giraffe being stranded in Madagascar. In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa the penguins built a plane and managed to fly off, but soon crash landed in Africa. the penguins managed to rebuild the plane and fly back to New York City, leaving Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo, Marty the zebra and Melman the giraffe behind. in Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted they go to the circus with Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo, Marty the zebra and Melman the giraffe and they meet three circus animals like Vitaly, Gia and Stefano to get away from Dubois. and in Penguins of Madagascar Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private meet the North Wind as Classified, Corporal, Eva and Short Fuse to defeat Dave. Sometime afterward, Nickelodeon decided to screw up three films at once by making an spin-off film in 2014.
The show takes place sometime after Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa when the penguins make it back to New York, because you know it's not like they haven't visited enough places after trying to live in Antarctica and being unsatisfied with the cold, you don't see Pingu shiver in Antarctica and he lives there. King Julien took over the zoo and screwed up the whole system. The penguins made a resistance and now try to fight off against this injustice, only to screw things up even more.
The Penguins of Madagascar chronicles the life about four penguins who frequently fight for the freedom of other animals, go on secret commando missions, or invent top-secret technology. This usually ends up failing and almost destroying the whole zoo, which the penguins treat their own personal battlefield.
Skipper is the abusive leader of the penguin resistance. He constantly bosses around the other penguins and forces them to waste time risking their lives on dangerous life-threatening missions to escape the zoo. He also enjoys bitch slapping Private across the face whenever he screws up something. Whenever he gets caught masturbating, he's all like "You didn't see anything" to his comrades.
Private is short for "private parts", which he ironically doesn't have. Due to this, Private is abnormally nice and very sensitive, making him the pussy of the group. Private has a whole lot of other serious medical conditions, such as his desire for rainbows, lollipops, kittens, and things other people would hate (such as My Little Pony, he is also a Brony). How he even got into the penguin military is a mystery. So is "his" actual gender.
Rico is a psycho penguin with a scar on his cheek, and possibly the most likeable character on the show and has speech problems. He was most likely dropped when he was still inside his egg, causing him to become a homicidal psychopath who can't speak proper sentences. He also has the ability to puke out various objects which he is somehow able to keep in his stomach. His speech disability makes it hard to tell whether or not he wants to kill you. Rico is probably a penguin version of Scarface.
Kowalski is the genius of the group. He is so smart that he builds all sorts of inventions that routinely malfunction, destroying the zoo in a few moments.
King Julien is the singing, dancing gay lemur king who somehow ended up at the zoo with his minions despite the fact that they stayed in Africa at the end of the sequel. While he may not seem so threatening, Julien actually has incredible brain-shrinking powers, which he accidentally used on himself. He also goes Ape-Crazy when Mort touches his feet.
Some people call him the Space Cowboy. Some people call him the Gangster of Love. But most people call him Maurice. He is Julien's right-hand man and possible love interest. Even though Maurice is ten times smarter than Julien, he strangely didn't become the king nor tries to.
Mort is some sort of tiny creature with big ass eyes who made himself part of the lemur community, though he is obviously not a lemur at all. He is in love with Julien's feet, and once touched them, only to be banished from the kingdom but instantly allowed back. Mort serves no purpose to Julien, except for emergencies when he makes a great stress reliever/punching bag.
Marlene the otter is pretty much the only female character of the show (unless you count Private). She doesn't appear in many episodes, unless they involve something. Skipper secretly holds a big crush on her, but can never find the right time to tell her, because of something else. Due to the fact that she was raised in captivity, she goes insane and wreaks havoc whenever she's outside her habitat.
An evil dolphin who rides a segway. He lost his eye to hungry sailors, leaving a scar. He was later captured by the government, who gave him some sort of device to replace his eye and then brainwashed trained him to become an evil mastermind like they do with any animal they bring in. Butthole now spends time with his army of lobsters thinking of ways to kill innocent "penguins.