A brief chat with Yo Gabba Gabba!’s Christian Jacobs
If a recent Coachella Festival appearance is anything go by, everybody loves the Nick Jr. TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! It doesn’t matter how old you are, the mere sight of exuberant host Lance Robertson in his furry orange hat getting silly with a tin robot, a furry green thing, a spiky red Cyclops, a blue cat and a pink girl with a Hershey’s Kiss for a head is enough to turn the most drained of parents into dancing loons, while hipster kids are getting attached too. Ahhh, post-modern irony – you love your games. It’s the Teletubbies with an anime twist, and Biz Markie doing beat-box.
So we were offered the opportunity to present some questions to creator Christian Jacobs via email, and we promptly sent a bunch of questions over, in September. We received answers back a couple of months later, but they were to different questions. We don’t know if they muddled our questions with those from another publication, of if they just decided to interview themselves. It’s a bit bonkers, but then so is Yo Gabba Gabba!. Here it is anyway…
Do you ever plan on introducing any new characters?
Ha! Yes! Sure! We always have new characters and character ideas for the show. We can’t say if any are going to be introduced in the live show or not because that would be giving it away!!
I saw that one of the awards you got at this year’s KidScreen Awards was best music; who writes the songs that the characters sing?
Wow! Yeah, it’s crazy to win awards for something so fun like writing songs for Yo Gabba Gabba. Scott and I usually come up with the main themes or ideas for the songs and then we have a little crew of friends that all write music for them! Including Scott, DJ Lance and myself, there’s about 7 or 8 songwriters on the show. Adam, who is the voice of Muno is one of the main songwriters as well as our other friends Ricky( who plays drums in the Aquabats), Aaron, Jarond and Kevin. Mossy who is the voice of Brobee also writes songs too! It’s seriously the funnest part of making the show!
I haven’t seen you live since 2011. What are some differences I should look for?
Well, it’s a holiday/Christmas show so that alone is pretty different! They’ll be some of the favorite songs that we all know and love as well as a bunch of the Holiday songs we had written and put on the Christmas shows that aired on Nick Jr. It’s going to be a lot of fun! It’s like the same great show but totally Holiday style.
How do you all expect to adapt YGG’s content to an ever evolving world?
Well.. no matter how the world evolves we still want to help foster love and respect for one another through fun songs and entertaining segments. Certain things will ALWAYS be important to teach and learn no matter what. Things like “Sharing”, “Be nice to animals”, “all my friends are different… but I love them all the same” and ‘Don’t bite your friends”. These are lessons we’ll always want to stress. The classics!
Does Yo Gabba Gabba ever expect to go cinematic?
Yeah for sure. We’ve been trying to get the right story together to make a film now for a while. We’d love to get that going as soon as possible. I think getting the first one off the ground will be the hardest but there is a story to tell for sure!
Nick Jr. Is the only network you’ve been on; Are you in the market for any new ventures with other networks?
Well… NICK JR. is still holding onto a few episodes that haven’t aired so please demand that they air them ASAP! Jeez! HA! Seriously though, be on the look out for some new episodes coming your way. Any day now… Nickelodeon. HA!
You all successfully performed at Coachella in 2010; Do you feel this further solidified how vast your viewership is?
You know, I think it’s pretty crazy to think how well we were received at a festival like Coachella. I think it’s the best music festival in the world by far and being a part of it was really incredible. It definitely solidified my belief in a show that can appeal to the kid in all of us in a pure and fun way. With so many terrible things happening in the world, seeing college kids and adults and parents and all of the little kids at the show, out in the sun dancing around, singing songs together like “There’s a Party in My Tummy!”, made me a believer in humans once again.
A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba! Holiday Show will be at the Fox Theatre on Friday, December 13; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-3200.