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Yo Gabba Gabba! is an American-Canadian live action/puppet children's television show starring five costumed toys-come-to-life and their friend DJ Lance Rock.

The Gabba gang explores a single topic in each episode, e.g. "Adventure," "Friends," and "Dance," through songs and short storylines in the half-hour program. Additionally, the show teaches children life and social skills, such as sharing and trying new foods. It also encourages viewers to move along with and dance with the characters in the program.

The show is noted for its indie-culture guest stars and bands, and for drawing visual inspiration from 8-bit video games and H. R. Pufnstuf, among other classic television shows. Created by Christian Jacobs (lead singer of the Aquabats) and Scott Schultz, the show is written to appeal to children and their parents. The television program has spawned a touring live stage show, various toys and branded clothing. Trademarks relating to Yo Gabba Gabba! and its characters are held by GabbaCaDabra, LLC.

Overview[]

Hosted by a character named DJ Lance Rock, the series features a mix of live-action segments featuring cartoonish costumed characters—Muno (the red cyclops), Foofa (the pink flower bubble), Brobee (a little hairy green monster), Toodee (the blue cat-dragon) and Plex (the magic yellow robot)—and many short animated sketches and musical numbers.[1]

Popular artists who have appeared on the show include Mos Def, Bootsy Collins, Ladytron, The Killers, Enon, The Clientele, Jimmy Eat World, Solange Knowles, Taking Back Sunday, Datarock, The Aquabats, Devo, Anne Heche, Joy Zipper, Of Montreal, Chromeo, The Wolfgramms, My Chemical Romance, Weezer, Hot Hot Heat, The Faint, The Roots, Mates of State, MGMT, Jack Black, Tony Hawk, Elijah Wood, Peter Bjorn and John, The Shins, The Aggrolites, The Flaming Lips, Mýa, Biz Markie, Blitzen Trapper, The Ting Tings, Shiny Toy Guns (as The Shinys), Money Mark, Mariachi El Bronx, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Erykah Badu, and Lil Wayne. Other non-musical special guests to have appeared include Jason Bateman, Andy Samberg, Sarah Silverman, Laila Ali, Bill Hader, and Anthony Bourdain.

Among the varied animation sequences during the show is Super Martian Robot Girl, designed by indie cartoonists Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer.[2]

The toy models of the characters that appear at the beginning and end of each show were made by Kidrobot.

History[]

Yo Gabba Gabba! was developed by two Southern California fathers, Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz, who first started working together as teenagers, producing and directing skateboarding videos. Their goal was to design a kids' show that was entertaining while featuring real artists and real performers. Both had no previous experience writing for television, let alone children's broadcasting or education.[3] In developing the show they took inspiration from a number of sources including Sesame StreetThe Electric CompanyPee-wee's Playhouse, as well as Sid and Marty Krofft puppet shows Banana Splits and H. R. Pufnstuf.[4]

In 1999, after becoming parents, Jacobs and Schultz started playing around with ideas for children's television and produced a pilot independently financed by small loans from friends and family. Yo Gabba Gabba! did not get much attention until it started circulating on the Internet.[5] Jared Hess, the director of Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, saw the pilot online and recommended it to Brown Johnson, the executive vice president and executive creative director of Nickelodeon Preschool.[6] Yo Gabba Gabba! premiered on Nickelodeon on August 20, 2007.

Production[]

The show is produced by The Magic Store Productions and Wild Brain. Yo Gabba Gabba! airs on the Nick Jr. cable network in the United States and the Nick Jr. networks in the United Kingdom & Ireland (where the characters had their voices overdubbed by British actors), Italy, France and Australia as well as Treehouse TV network in Canada and RTE2 on RTÉjr in Ireland. The series premiered August 20, 2007 on Nickelodeon as part of its Nick Jr. block, and began broadcasting in reruns on February 23, 2008 on the Nick Jr. TV channel.

Critical reception[]

While Yo Gabba Gabba! was originally met with positive reception, in November 2014, according to Brendan Barney's rant on Yo Gabba Gabba, he said that Yo Gabba Gabba was one of the worst shows ever, and Yo Gabba Gabba became extremely panned by critics since 2016 and as a result, only gave it four seasons. After the series' end, Nick Jr. deleted all references to it off of their websites. The show has a rating of 4.4/10 on IMDb, the fourth season has a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 3.7/10 rating on TV.com, and a 40 out of 100 on Metacritic. In addition, it has constantly been listed as one of the worst Nick Jr. shows of all time and one of the worst Nickelodeon shows of all time.

In other media[]

  • In 2009, the cast was featured in their own float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.[7]
  • Muno was featured in a commercial for the Kia Sorento that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl and a subsequent Kia commercials in 2011, also the character Brobee appeared in an 2011 advertisement for Wonderful Pistachios.
  • The cast appeared in the Big Time Rush episodes "Big Time Audition", "Big Time Halloween" and "Big Time Cameos."
  • Yo Gabba Gabba! appeared in True Jackson VP in the episode "Trapped in Paris."
  • Garry Lyon, of the The Footy Show, an Australian Football League panel show, performed an interpretive cycle (Yo Gabba Gazza!) based on the Yo Gabba Gabba! dancing style after losing a humorous bet. The choice of the Yo Gabba Gabba! dance was based on a number of physical similarities to Brobee, including Bushy Eyebrows and Excessive Androgenic Hair.
  • In the Mad episode "So You Think You Can Train Your Dragon How to Dance / Yo Gagga Gagga!," Lady Gaga hosts Yo Gagga Gagga! featuring her dolls – Taylor Swift, T-Pain, Miley Cyrus, and Triple H – and the cast is seen watching a monster movie at the end.
  • In 2011, the cast appeared in the Raising Hope episode "Sabrina Has Money."
  • The title of the Futurama episode "Yo Leela Leela" parodies this, as does the show in the episode, known as "Rumbledy Hump".
  • On June 9, 2012, The Fresh Beat Band's 14th episode "Yo! Fresh Beats Go Gabba Gabba!", the "Gabba Gang" gets beamed into the episode by way of a malfunctioned Plex has with robotic hiccups which was caused by Gearmo: a gear who always causes trouble.
  • Insane Clown Posse recorded a cover of the song Hold Still for the 2012 album Smothered, Covered & Chunked.
  • The South Park episode "Taming Strange" features Foofa becoming a spoof of Miley Cyrus after Kyle's adopted younger brother, Ike, attends a "Yo Gabba Gabba Live!" performance and "tames Foofa's strange" in front of everyone seeing the show.
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