Yo Gabba Gabba! is a fun live-action program for young children ages 1 and up. It is an American children's television show which created by Christian Jacobs (lead singer of the Aquabats) and Scott Schultz and produced by The Magic Store Productions and W!LDBRAIN. Among the varied animation sequences during the show is Super Martian Robot Girl, designed by indie cartoonists Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer. The toy models of the characters that appear at the beginning and end of each show were made by Kidrobot.
Here is a song of Christian Jacobs in the show. (HaHa, He is fun, right?)
Unlike most children’s shows, Yo Gabba Gabba was not developed by network executives. Instead the show was developed by two Southern California fathers with no previous experience writing for television let alone children’s broadcasting or education. They simply shared a mutual disappointment in kids’ television. They both wanted to design a kids' show that was entertaining while featuring real artists and real performers. The pair first started working together as teenagers, producing and directing skateboarding videos.After doing some odd jobs here and there, Jacobs and Schultz decided to try something different.
In 1999, after becoming parents themselves, the pair started playing around with ideas for children television. They later produced a pilot independently financed by small loans from friends and family. Even after producing the pilots, Yo Gabba Gabba did not get much attention until it started circulating on the internet. It happened to get viewed by Jared Hess, the director of Napoleon Dynamite andNacho Libre, who then phoned Brown Johnson, the executive vice president and executive creative director of Nickelodeon Preschool and told her to check it out. As soon as she saw it she said, “Lordy, nothing else looks like this on TV”.Yo Gabba Gabba finally found its home on Nickelodeon on August 20, 2007.
In its first two seasons, the show featured a wide variety of guests, including Jack Black, Leslie Hall, The Shins, The Aggrolites, Andy Samberg,Cornelius, Biz Markie, Shiny Toy Guns, Supernova, Mark Mothersbaugh, Rahzel, The Postmarks, Sugarland, Tony Hawk, The Roots, Low, Laila Ali, Elijah Wood, Mýa, The Salteens, Sean Kingston and series co-creator Jacobs' band, The Aquabats. In the second season guests included such bands as Enon, The Clientele, Datarock, Joy Zipper, Of Montreal, Chromeo, My Chemical Romance, Hot Hot Heat, Mates of State, MGMT, and The Ting Tings.
Here is an interview of Yo Gabba Gabba!!!!
What are your earliest musical memories?
Christian Jacobs: Early on, my dad only 45s from the 1950s. Kinda wacky songs like "Alley Oop" or "Yackety Yak." There'd be songs that were like "news report" mixes, where they'd have spoken "news report" mixes interspersed with silly music, sort of like Dr. Demento. Children gravitate to the more silly things.
Then I listened to a lot of radio in the '70s -- DEVO, Blondie, the Clash, stuff that was different from what else was being played. I was drawn to the green hair, the spikes -- the media helped with that interest...
How about your TV memories?
A bunch: Sesame Street, Electric Company, ZOOM, Mr. Rogers... it was a golden age of kids TV. Daily feasts -- it was all new, there were no studies saying watching TV is bad. We'd watch PBS all day as a kid, then run outside.
It was really a different time as a kid. There was lots of freedom to be a kid without adult supervision. Those shows, that freedom, really resonated with a lot of parents our age. Yo Gabba Gabba! strikes that chord, I think, helps bring back that freedom.
Reminds me how I used to walk nearly a mile to my kindergarten along a relatively busy street... I don't think I'd let my kids walk that route today...
It was definitely a different time, yeah. I'd at least be a little scared. So with the show we're going backwards a little bit, trying to capture that feeling of imagination and freedom.
Was your conception of Yo Gabba Gabba! music always to include guest stars?
It definitely evolved. We wanted to have different musical styles represented in the show. But once we brought in Biz Markie in the pilot, we started thinking about about bands we could bring in. We were a little reluctant -- I remembered how a lot of times I'd just tune out the two-minute musical montage in Scooby Doo where they'd have some band. So how could we integrate the bands into the show? That's when we came up with the idea of the Super Friends Music Show, with the TV set. It was an organic thing.
How has the process in getting artists change -- did you ever anticipate getting the Flaming Lips to be on the show?
In the beginning, we went to friends to fill in the gaps, or our own bands. And then we decided we'd send some requests to bands we liked. When folks like the Shins, and Cornelius, and Sugarland said "yes" right away, they made it OK.
With bands, managers or agents serve as a filter for requests; we'd actually written to the Flaming Lips when we first started and didn't hear back. But at some later point, they called and said, "We want to do this, we're fans, what can we do to be on the show?" At some point our schedules finally matched.
At this point bands that have been on the show are really big fans or have kids who are fans. They matched the show's energy level, they're giving really good performances.
I think that's a strength, actually -- you're not going to try to get somebody like Madonna because she's a big star. I mean, you had somebody like Jack Black on the show, and he's a star, but he fits with the show, and you're probably really big fans.
You know, I was talking with Tom Hanks at an awards show recently, which was by itself just cool. But he was saying, you know, my kids are grown now, I really don't know your show. Compare that to Anthony Bourdain, he was a huge fan, and came on the show. If he's not invested in the show, who cares about the performance?
How do you go about selecting the musical acts for the tour (since they're not always the same folks who've appeared on the show)?
Well, usually we start in the area. Like, who is local that could make an impact. It's hard to lock down people out on tour, for example. But we've had some great bands and guests on the tour and guests that have a local relevance to the cities.. Like Bootsy Collins in Cleveland, Run DMC from NYC, Zac Brown Band from Atlanta and so on. We always shoot for the moon, and sometimes we get really close!
What's up next for Yo Gabba Gabba generally?
We have our fingers crossed to start on a season 4 and we are working on a script for a movie. Pretty big plans for a pretty little preschool show! Ha!
This is the current "A Very Awesome Christmas" from Yo Gabba Gabba show airs on last Sunday, How people can imagine My Chemical Romance will perform in the show for Christmas.
This is a gift for all of you, Merry Christmas!