If Beck and Deee-lite teamed up to make a kids show, it would probably be a lot like Yo Gabba Gabba. Featuring a freaky DJ named Lance Rock and a cast of colorful creatures who (seriously) live in his boom box, the Nickelodeon show is packed with references aimed straight at 30-something ex-hipster parents: a drop-in from the Shins, an extended riff on 2-Tone ska, regular segments featuring Biz Markie and Mark Mothersbaugh, etc. Today’s episode, which airs at 1:30 p.m. ET, is especially packed, with appearances from Roots drummer ?uestlove and SNL‘s Rachel Dratch, along with a performance from excellent ’80s R&B revivalists Chromeo (pictured).
My 2-and-a-half-year-old son is absolutely obsessed with the show (his favorite phrases, in order of importance: “No,” “I want Yo Gabba,” “I don’t like that”), so this morning I threw on a DVD of today’s episode and had him weigh in. Overall, his reaction was mixed. An early segment with some nasty-looking cartoon germs scared the hell out of him (“I don’t like that, Daddy. Turn it off!” he said, burying his head in the chair), but he went nuts for a hair-washing sequence with a talking shampoo bottle (“that’s funny, Daddy!”). As for the celebrity guests, well, he thought they were okay. ?uestlove’s drumming demonstration was short enough to keep his interest, and he managed to tolerate Dratch’s “dancey dance” (less so his father).
Oddly, he didn’t have much of a reaction to Chromeo, whose typically funky tune about hand washing — performed, naturally, inside a sink floating in outer space — was easily the episode’s highlight, at least for those of us less easily amused by animated bathing products. “Nice and Clean” boasts vintage beats straight out of a Klymaxx song and a funny breakdown moment when one band member chastises the other for forgetting to wash his hands before touching the keyboard. Maybe you had to have been into Midnight Star in 1983 to get it (did I just admit to that?). Or maybe my son’s just more interested in funny creatures than bearded old-school beat-crafters. Either way, it’s his loss. Now he’s downstairs throwing plastic balls at his mother’s head. I’m gonna go watch that Chromeo song one more time without him.
Who else enjoys Foofa, Plex, and the gang, with or without their kids as an excuse?
More ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’:
Jack Black rocks ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ and more first looks