Checking in with the creator of "Yo, Gabba Gabba"
"Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! There's A Party In My City" -- the traveling version of the Nick Jr. show, "Yo Gabba Gabba" -- comes to Milwaukee's Riverside Theater on Sunday, March 14 for live performances at 2 and 5 p.m.
Christian Jacobs is the co-creator of the popular kids' television program, and his band, The Aquabats, is featured in the show.
Aside from being a TV show creator and musician, Jacobs was a child actor who appeared in "Pretty In Pink," "Married With Children," "Roseanne" and the "All In Family" spin-off show, "Gloria."
OnMilwaukee recently caught up with Jacobs and asked him about the show, both on the stage and behind the scenes.
OnMilwaukee.com: What inspired you to create the show?
Christian Jacobs: Scott (Schultz) and I were doing skateboard videos and band videos and were developing another show for older kids, but our kids were preschool age at the time and we realized there wasn't much in that market. We wanted to create a show that we would actually watch with them, instead of a TV show that made us run from the room screaming.
OMC: So you really had the parents in mind when creating the show?
CJ: Yes. The show appeals to a lot of parents who grew up in the '70s and '80s. There are a lot of references from that era, and the (Atari) video game images are also from our childhood. We thought about what we liked as kids, and then, lo and behold, our kids liked it, too. But creating the show is less formula than it is homage to the past.
We are still pretty big kids ourselves, but we definitely had parents in mind when Scott and I commiserated the state of kids' TV and how we wanted our show to be different.
OMC: Music is a huge part of the show. What are your thoughts on the kids' music industry?
CJ: We noticed our kids liked a lot of music we were listening to and maybe some of that music wasn't super appropriate for preschoolers. So, we wanted to create kids' music for our show that reminded us of the music we really listen to.
OMC: Why is "Yo, Gabba Gabba" attracting so many interesting celebrities (Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, etc.)?
CJ: Again, it's a generational thing. Biz Markie was a big hero of ours when we were kids and we wanted him on the show and that started the ball rolling. A lot of celebrities just like the show. Elijah Wood contacted us, asking to be on the show, very early on.
OMC: Where do you live and how old are your kids?
CJ: We live in Huntington Beach, Calif., and my kids are 10, 8, 4 and 6 months old. My oldest was 2 when we began to develop the show.
OMC: Do you have any plans to change the show?
CJ: We're really excited about the live show right now. And we feel the show was born to be a live show. It's breathing new life into the TV show, too. We're also talking about a movie.
Yes, "one of the shows that don't make the adult run from the room" is an excellent take on this show. Funny and odd, our child loves it.
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