Puppets have always taken center stage in kids' entertainment. It started with Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Howdy Doody in the late 40's and quickly caught on with Lamb Chop, Sesame Street and the castle puppets in Mister Rogers. Then…things got a little weird. There was a giant puppet dragon in Eureeka's Castle before everyone decided to forego the marionette action entirely in favor of big, plush costumes for Barney & Friends and Teletubbies.
Is anyone else noticing a pattern here?
The puppets are taking over.
The big thing now in life-size puppetry is Yo Gabba Gabba. If you don't know what Yo Gabba Gabba is, you either live under a rock or you don't have a toddler. I'm not sure how anyone could manage to live under a rock with a toddler, but I can understand why you might want to. I feel compelled to crawl under a rock myself from time to time. I find it slightly odd that a nubbly one-eyed cactus monster is doing some sort of pogo stick action in the direction of my baby, but Some Boy totally digs it. Yo Gabba Gabba comes on and the kid is mesmerized. I swear he's picked up some of his latest moves straight from Brobee, the little green furry guy who swings his arms around like his shoulders are dislocated. And don't even get me started on the host with the funny orange hat. Whatever Starbucks drink he's pounding every morning…I NEED some of that.
What makes Yo Gabba Gabba really unique is that they have a tour on the road in addition to the television show. Unlike a lot of real-life adaptations of other shows, this tour actually features DJ Lance Rock and the rest of the TV cast performing live. It really bridges the on-screen and in-person experience, so kids can get all star struck and hear their favorite songs while parents get into it with guest appearances from celebrities like Biz Markie and Leslie Hall.
Some Boy and I are checking it out up in LA over Thanksgiving weekend (children under one year old are free on a parent's lap at most venues – score!). For our local readers, it'll also be here in San Diego before the crew heads on out to Vegas and Texas to continue their whirlwind nationwide tour.
This post is sponsored by Yo Gabba Gabba. All opinions are my own.