The Surreal Appeal of ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’

'Yo Gabba Gabba!' (Photo: Nickelodeon)

'Yo Gabba Gabba!' (Photo: Nickelodeon)

Elijah Wood and Sarah Silverman have shown up for Dancey Dance Time. Tony Hawk showed up to bust some moves, too – albeit on his board. Heck, Jack Black showed up for a whole episode. Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh serves as resident art instructor. Let’s not overlook Weezer dressing up as insects, or a white-lab-coat-festooned Anthony Bourdain making like Hugh Laurie in Gabba Land.

Yes, a kid’s show can combine happy and wholesome hijinks with a high hip quotient. Nickelodeon’s ‘Yo Gabba Gabba!‘ is living (and dancing, and beat-boxing) proof. The series, which premiered on August 20, 2007, has become a cult of sorts, appealing to everyone from the little ones to their parents to even college students.

The fact that the show is frequently compared to an “acid trip” is hardly surprising. Gabba Land is presided over by DJ Lance Rock, who bears a striking resemblance to a perky orange Q-Tip. He carries his friends – a gaggle of monsters and one robot – around in a hollowed-out beat-box, but brings them out to play and boogie when the mood strikes.

Not the most predictable of kid’s show formulas … yet it works. The original animation and instructive, effervescent songs are irresistible. Who amongst us can ever forget the party in Brobee’s tummy? (So yummy! So yummy!) Not me. Not you. It’s a damn catchy number. Admit it.

The hip bands that routinely make guest appearances (The Killers, The Ting Tings, Taking Back Sunday, the Aggrolites and the Roots, to name but a small few) can’t hurt the show’s adult appeal, either. My own mind is still a little bit blown after having been introduced to the hip-hop violin duo Nuttin’ But Stringz via this show.

Throw all these ingredients together and you’ve got a party – for kids and grown-ups alike.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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