Yo Gabba Gabba Wiki
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Yo Gabba Gabba is an American-Canadian-Scottish live-action children's television educational comedy music show that aired on the Nickelodeon network from 2007 to 2009 and Nick Jr. from 2007 to 2015. The show bills itself as "with a cult-like following", explaining that hipsters without children watch the show. There is a single topic in each episode, e.g. "Adventure", "Friends" and "Dance", through songs and short story lines 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 television shows. Created by Christian Jacobs (lead singer of the Aquabats) and Scott Schultz, the show's learning process has parents, older siblings, and younger kids watch the show together rather than letting it act as a babysitter. 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 Gabba CaDabra, LLC in partnership with the Magic Store and W!ldBrain. Unlike the Teletubbies, the characters on the show are well developed and are able to communicate. Due to creative differences with Yo Gabba Gabba LLC and Nickelodeon studios, the show was canceled in 2015.

Plot

Hosted by a DJ named DJ Lance Rock, the series featured a mix of live-action segments featuring 5 costumed full-bodied puppet characters -- Muno, Plex, Foofa, Toodee, and Brobee, — and many short animated sketches and musical numbers.

The language spoken in Yo Gabba Gabba is more developed than some of the younger pre-school television shows. The stories are more complex, and the spoken language 'drives' them. The language in  Yo Gabba Gabba is structured to allow children to engage with, and better understand, their feelings and motivations. 

Yo Gabba Gabba is set in 4 realms of a land and deals with dilemmas, challenges and issues common to very young children, such as biting your friends, or not owning up. Story lines provide a non-threatening context within which such issues can be discussed and resolved simply. These characters move like real children; they laugh at the same things they do; sing the same songs; play the same games and see the world in the same way.

The characters are well developed and children are able to predict what their responses might be. The mixture of story, song and creative activity provides excellent opportunities for children to learn through play [according to whom?]. Music plays an important part in the programme and children are encouraged to join in with songs and actions. Yo Gabba Gabba is basically TRL for kids because of its rip-rollicking music videos. Tune in, and you'll get a who's who of indie punk rock music today, including Weezer, MGMTThe Flaming Lips, Belle & Sebastian, Band of Horses, The Shins, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Biz Markie, The Roots and The Killers!   

History

Yo Gabba Gabba was developed by two Greater Los Angeles parents, Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz, who first started working together as teenagers, producing and directing skateboarding videos. Both had no previous experience writing for television, let alone children's broadcasting or education. In developing the show they took inspiration from a number of sources including Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Pee-wee's Playhouse, ZOOM, as well as Sid and Marty Krofft Puppet shows Banana Splits and H. R. Pufnstuf.

In 1999, after becoming fathers, Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz started playing around with 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. Jared Hess (Writer and 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 entertainment. Yo Gabba Gabba premiered on Nickelodeon on August 20, 2007.

Main Characters

The Gabbas consist of DJ Lance and 5 costumed full-bodied puppet characters (Muno, Plex, Foofa, Toodee, and Brobee). Other characters have appeared occasionally, including Muno's sister Chibo, his brother Gogo, his parents, Foofa's brother Fooful, Toodee's brother Keedee, Gooble, Sparkles the Unicorn-Giraffe, Barbara the Bird Lady and her daughter Lola, and the band the Yo Dazzlers. There have also been several animated characters.

The six main characters appeared in the first episode Eat, which was filmed at Downey Studios & aired on August 20th in 2007.

The Gabba Gang was played by only one set of actors, while the voices were provided by other actors. Unless otherwise indicated, all the following actors and voice talent were in the show from 2007 until its last episode, Day Camp, in 2015.

  • DJ Lance Rock – (Portrayed by Lance Robertson U.S., voice dubbed by Ortis Deley in the UK) A DJ who is the friend of the other characters and the series' host.
  • Muno – (Voiced by Adam Deibert U.S., Bob Golding UK) A friendly red male cyclops. He's the tallest, is somewhat clumsy and has a close bond with Foofa (though she also bonds with Brobee in the same way). He is also the band's guitarist. He lives in a summer place called “Muno Land”. In the episodes "Family", "Circus", and "Baby", his family makes an appearance. During Super Bowl XLIV, he appeared in a commercial for the Kia Sorento. His realm resembles the moon, another planet, or a desert and he has a pet horse. He has three stomachs with Anthropomorphic candy seen in the X-ray in the Season 1 episode "Halloween" (#13). However another X-ray in the Season 1 episode "Imagine" (#20) shows him with one stomach, a normal heart and lungs. His catchphrase is "Razzle Dazzle".
  • Foofa – (Voiced by Emma Jacobs-Briggs U.S., Teresa Gallagher UK) A female flower bubble character who's "pink and happy." She likes flowers, rainbows, dolphins and unicorns. She lives in a spring place called “Foofa Land”. Her instrument is the tambourine. Her realm is a spring or summer meadow.
  • Brobee – (Voiced by Amos Watene U.S., Justin Fletcher UK) A small, green male monster and the youngest of the gabbas. He lives in a fall place called “Brobee Land”. He is the drummer for the Gabba band. He is the one of the characters whose facial expression changes depending on the situation; his normal face turning into a frown, and vice versa. He is often subjected to trying new foods. His realm is a vast autumn forest. It is mentioned that he is four years old.
  • Toodee – (Voiced by Erin Pearce U.S., Jonell Elliot UK) A mellow blue arctic female cat dragon who loves to have fun. She has a close bond with Plex and is the bassist for the Gabba band. She resides in a winter arctic realm, with icicles. She lives in a winter place called “Toodee Land”.
  • Plex – (Voiced by Christian Jacobs U.S., Justin Fletcher UK) A magic yellow robot who is treated as a male and the oldest of the gabbas. He is portrayed as being smart and as the leader of Gabba Land. Plex usually teaches lessons to his friends and is a father figure to the gang. He can also use his special ray to bring things into existence. His instrument is the keytar. He has no realm in particular, though he seems to have a "docking station" between Foofa and Brobee's realms. In "Gabbaland Begins", Plex is the first in DJ Lance's original creations before he goes through the main characters like Muno, Foofa, Brobee, and Toodee, although, Brobee is supposedly a four-year-old in the series.
  • Gooble – (Voiced by Joel Fox U.S.) A ghost who is always sad. He resides in a magical house located in a non-gabba land-place named "Gooble Land".

Production

The show was produced by The Magic Store and W!ldBrain Entertainment. Yo Gabba Gabba! airs on the Nick Jr. cable network in the United States and the Nick Jr. networks in the United Kingdom & Ireland, Italy, France and Australia as well as Treehouse TV network and Family Jr. in Canada, CBeebies in the United Kingdom, Disney Junior in Latin America 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 from February 23, 2008 to October 24, 2016 on the Nick Jr. TV channel. The show was not renewed for a fifth season.

Episode Structure

All episodes follow a similar format. In the opening scene of the episode, DJ Lance Rock is shown walking on a plain white background while holding a gray radio with colorful buttons. He then arrives at a table with four different colored lands and a gray cloth underneath it. He then places down the radio, and then he shouts "YOOOO Gabba Gabba!" and opens the radio, and inside it are 5 toy figures: Toodee, Muno, Foofa, Plex, and Brobee. He places down the figures one-by-one, and then they become alive.

The episode features four main segments (shortened to three after the first season) that are connected to each other as a plot. They involve DJ Lance and the gabbas doing an activity. After each main segment, a short clip is shown that shows a kid dancing around. The kid says his or her name, followed by "I like to dance!".

Between the main segments, there is another segment called "The Super Music Friends Show", which features a performance by a band about the episode's topic. Other small segments include "Mark's Magic Pictures" and "Biz's Beat of the Day".

Near the end of each episode, DJ Lance and the gabbas do a mix-like song about what had occurred during the main segments. After it is finished, DJ Lance shouts "YOOOO Gabba Gabba!" once again, and then Brobee, Muno, Toodee, Foofa, and Plex turn back into toys. One-by-one, DJ Lance puts them back in the radio, closes the radio, and then walks off carrying it. The credits then roll.

Segments

  • Jingles, each episode has animated music videos featuring music by a guest musician and animation by guest artists, designers, and animators. They often happen after the first segment in an episode. (One episode does not have the segment.)
  • Mark's Magic Pictures, featuring Mark Mothersbaugh, drawing simple pictures that often come alive at the end of the segment.
  • Biz's Beat of the Day, starring Biz Markie, demonstrating new beatboxing beats.
  • Super Music Friends Show, featuring musical guests and introduced by John Reis as "The Music Swami" and Matt Chapman as the announcer.
  • Dancey Dance, featuring celebrity guests performing dance moves with the characters. It is rarely used after season one.
  • Numbers, live action music video similar to the jingles, usually with counting up numbers or back.
  • Cool Tricks, in which a child or adult demonstrates a special talent (e.g., gymnastics, breakdancing, playing a theremin, cup stacking or another cool trick.)
  • Storytime, where a child narrates a story (e.g., Goon Fishin', Goodnight Moon or another story.)
  • Super Martian Robot Girl, featuring a helpful comic book-style superhero who saves the day, but only solves extremely contrived misunderstandings of ignorant citizens, instead of battling crime. (Season 1 only)
  • Fun To..., a solo segment in which Plex teaches basic daily skills like brushing your teeth, making lemonade, putting on pajamas, etc. (three times by saying "it's fun to" do whatever he is teaching) in chants, using four repeated steps. (Season 1 only)
  • Play Pretend, in which Muno encourages viewers to pretend along with him, as he imagines himself as various creatures and objects. (Season 1 only)
  • Listen to Sounds, in which Toodee listens to sounds and encourages the viewer to help her identify them. (Season 1 only)
  • Colors with Brobee, in which the viewer guesses what color Brobee is thinking of by the examples he gives. (Season 1 only)
  • Play Games, in which Foofa solves simple puzzles, such as mazes and matching games, and encourages the viewer to help her find the solution. (Season 1 only)
  • DJ Lance Dance, in which DJ Lance Rock teaches the viewers a different dance.
  • Funny Faces, in which DJ Lance Rock encourages viewers to make funny faces.
  • Knock Knock Joke Segment, a segment where Jack McBrayer and Paul Scheer tell knock-knock jokes. This segment first appeared in season two.
  • Look Back At Today, each episode ends with a music video recap of that episode, featuring special effects, and a remix of every song featured in that episode. (Season 2 onward has DJ Lance remembering the things he and the gang did in that episode before the music video starts.)

Television Soundtrack releases

Two television soundtracks have been released featuring songs from the show performed by the cast and the Jingles or "Super Music Friends Show" segments.

ABC for Kids released a CD in 2010 titled Yo Gabba Gabba! Party In My Tummy.

Album releases

Five albums have been released featuring songs from the show performed by the cast and the Jingles or "Super Music Friends Show" segments.

  • Music is Awesome! Volume 2 (2010)
  • Music is... Awesome! Volume 3 (2011)
  • Music is... Awesome! Volume 4 (2012)
  • Hey! (2017)
  • Fantastic Voyages (2017)

In other media

  • In 2009, the cast was featured in their own float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • 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 a 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 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!" (a crossover episode) 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.
  • The cast appeared in a Delta Airlines safety video which first aired in August 2015.
  • In 2008, Aaron Olson & Lee Patrick McIntire created a Yo Gabba Gabba ripoff called, "The Lee and Aaron Show" on YouTube.

Mobile streaming

On March 8, 2017, the first season (20 episodes) of the show were made available for streaming on the Noggin video subscription service. The series was removed from the Noggin App on June 25, 2019. The series was also removed from the Nick Jr. website, the seasons got removed from iTunes and Amazon Prime Video, and the “Yo Gabba Gabba! episodes that were on the Nickelodeon iTunes compilation collections were removed as well because Nickelodeon lost the rights to the show. However, it is available on YouTube, Roku, Xumo (Seasons 1 and 2 only), and Tubi.

Critical reception

On April 30, 2008 the television show received a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design/Styling. The show has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy in both 2008 and 2009 for Best Costume Design. Time magazine's James Poniewozik, who said the show "will convince you someone slipped something into your Fruity Pebbles" named Yo Gabba Gabba! one of the Top 10 new TV series of 2007, ranking it at #8. In November 2008, the Yo Gabba Gabba! production team won a BAFTA Children's Award, International. The show has also become popular among some college-age young adults because of the artists often featured. Due to the show's popularity amongst both adults and children, they performed at Coachella 2010 as special guests. Their live touring show also won a Creative Content Award at the 2010 Billboard Touring Awards. The Television Critics Association Awards have nominated Yo Gabba Gabba! for Outstanding Achievement in Children's/Youth Programing. The years include 2008–2012. Yo Gabba Gabba! won for the year 2009 and 2010. In February 2013, Yo Gabba Gabba! won two Kidscreen Awards for "Best Non-Animated or Mixed Series 2013" and "Best Music 2013"

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