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|Format||Animated television series|
|Created by||Howie Mandel|
|Theme music composer||John Tesh|
|Composer(s)||John Tesh (1990–1993)
Mark Koval (1993–1998)
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||81 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes (with commercials)|
|Production company(s)||Alevy Productions
|Distributor||20th Television (1990–1997)
Saban International (1997–2007)
Taffy Entertainment (2007–present)
|Original channel||FOX Kids|
|Audio format||Mono (Season 1–2)
Stereo (Season 3–5)
Dolby Surround (Season 6–8)
|Original run||September 8, 1990 – February 23, 1998|
Bobby's World (originally known as The World According to Bobby, to parody The World According to Garp) is an American animated television series, which ran from 1990 to 1998, on FOX Kids. It was about the daily life of Bobby Generic (// GEN-er-ic) and his very overactive imagination on how he sees the world. The show was created by Canadian actor-comedian Howie Mandel. Mandel also provided the voice of both Bobby and his father Howard Generic, who looks like a cartoon version of Mandel himself. It was produced by Film Roman for Alevy Productions and FOX Kids Productions. The theme song for Bobby's World was composed by John Tesh, along with Michael Hanna.
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Mandel said that he accidentally created the voice that would be later used to voice Bobby when he was choking on a piece of cake at the age of 11. Two of Mandel's friends, Jim Fisher and Jim Staahl signed an agreement with the Fox Corporation's then newly created television division in 1989. Fisher and Staahl asked Mandel to join them in creating a show based on Mandel's Bobby character and voice. Mandel said that he believed Fox didn't think his stand-up routines were "family entertainment." He, Fisher, and Staahl (co-producers) recalled stories from their childhoods as they discussed the formation of the show. Mandel stated "that was the seed of Bobby's World." Later stories from the childhoods of writers Dianne and Peter Tilden along with Mitch Schauer were used as the basis of many of the stories. The other characters on the show were mixes of characteristics of the creators' parents' friends and relatives. Specifically, Uncle Ted was based on Fisher and Staahl's former comedy partner in a comedy trio formed by the three after leaving Chicago's Second City, called The Graduates. Amazingly, that partner, Tino Insana, read for and won the part of Uncle Ted.
During his standup routines, Mandel would commonly go into character with the same voice as Bobby, often conversing with an unseen "parent".
The voices of Kelly Generic (Bobby's sister) and Martha Generic (Bobby's mom) are based on two recurring characters Gail Matthius played when she was a cast member on Saturday Night Live in 1980. Martha is based on the character Roweena, a chain smoking hair stylist with an Upper Midwestern accent who gets into arguments with her best customer Nadine (Denny Dillon), while Kelly Generic is based on the character Vicky, a valley girl who annoys others with her shallow questions and rambling stories and often is seen with her friend Debbie (also Dillon).
In the US, starting in 1996, the show was open-captioned; this was intended as an aid to help younger children learn to read.
In an April 2006 online interview, Mandel expressed his desire for a possible re-launch of the series. Episodes can occasionally be seen in syndication, on a variety of websites, on Netflix or on Comcast's On Demand service.
Episodes often consist of a short live-action segment either before or after the main story (and sometimes both before and after). The segment would include Mandel describing some aspect of the story and often relating it back to his personal childhood. Sometimes during these segments, the character of Bobby would appear in animated form and converse with Mandel. Other times, a live action child would appear and exchange words with Mandel. Endings of the show also featured Mandel breaking the "fourth wall" by talking to viewers about the preceding episode. In some part of the episode, Bobby will break the fourth wall by telling the audience his perspective on life.
Robert Elvis "Bobby" Generic (voiced by Howie Mandel using the same voice he used for Skeeter in Muppet Babies) is the main character of the series, a 4-year old little boy with a big imagination. Scenes with Bobby most often involve elaborate literal interpretations of the popular or colloquial sayings uttered by other characters during the show (i.e. a "traffic jam" becomes Traffic Jam, as Bobby imagines spreading tiny cars and trucks on a piece of bread and taking a bite). When he enters contest, he tends to end up losing because Bobby ends up being him-self instead of using his common sense.
Generic family members
The Generic family's surname is pronounced "JEN-a-rick" to make it sound like the word "general", but uttered as "gin-AIR-ic!" (as in the prescription classification) by other characters.
- Howard Generic – Bobby's father (modeled upon and also voiced by Howie Mandel using his regular voice)
- Martha Generic – Bobby's mother, who has red hair and is often seen wearing a sky-blue track suit. She speaks with a heavy North Central American English/Scandinavian accent, in stereotypical Minnesotan/Great Lakes style, and often punctuates her speech with phrases like "Fer corn sakes", "Fer cryin' in the mud", "gee golly", "gosh darn" and "don't 'cha know". (voiced by Gail Matthius and based on her Saturday Night Live character, Roweena, a chain-smoking hair dresser)
- Kelly Generic – Bobby's 15-year-old tomboy bully sister, the eldest Generic sibling, sporting a shag haircut, purple eye shadow, striped tights, and a valley girl accent/demeanor and often uses her catch phrase "Get real!" (voiced by Charity James)
- Derek Generic – Bobby's 10-year-old brother, also something of a bully, with a rat-tail hairdo, slashed jeans, and a sarcastic manner. He always teases and insults Bobby and tends to call him a "dork." Bobby has a bad habit of listening to him. (voiced by Kevin Smets seasons 1–5 and Pamela Segall season 6–7)
- The Generic Twins (Jake & Al) – Identical twins who were introduced in Season 4 but mentioned in Seasons 2 and 3 as Martha was pregnant with them. Bobby's infant brothers.
- Aunt Ruth – Bobby's aunt and Martha's sister (voice of Edie McClurg) She is a blonde, amply contoured lady with a sweet, pretty face, hair in a bun, and kindly ways. She is loving and affectionate toward her small nephew and particularly likes to pinch his cheeks, which Bobby really doesn't go for. Part of her signature attire is knee-high stockings rolled into a ring at the top.
- Uncle Ted (Ted "Teddy" Sven) – Bobby's uncle and Martha's brother. He is a blond, large-bodied gentleman with a deep rough voice and his signature garment is a yellow shirt printed with red hearts. Uncle Ted is a fun-loving fellow who loves to give noogies to Bobby and is a collector of various things, one of which is a novelty item called Socks in a Can. His last name is revealed to be Sven. He is also affectionate toward his little nephew and often calls him by the nickname "Bob-O." Bobby likes hanging out with Uncle Ted because he thinks of all kinds of fun stuff to do. (voice of Tino Insana)
- Roger – the Generic family dog (voiced by Frank Welker)
- George - Boyfriend of Kelly Generic. (voiced by Pauly Shore)
- Jackie – Bobby's cute girlfriend/next door neighbor/classmate with the floor-length pigtails who has a crush on Bobby and always kisses him, which Bobby hates. She hugs him, which Bobby loves. She speaks with a monotonic voice. (voiced by Debi Derryberry)
- Charlotte – Rambunctious and sassy, Charlotte was the fun-loving adventurous girl who was famous for her dislike of chocolate and her ability to tease Bobby incessantly over small things he does.
- Shannon Farnon
- Richard Kind
- David L. Lander
- Rodger Bumpass
- Gregg Berger
- Tom Kenny
- Howard Morris
- Clancy Brown
- Barrie Ingham
- Larry D. Mann
- Arnold Stang
- Allen Swift
- Janet Waldo
- Charles Nelson Reilly
- Ernest Borgnine
- Tim Conway
- Bill Fagerbakke
- Alan Young
- Billy West
- John Kricfalusi
- Rob Paulsen
- Mr. Lawrence
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Tara Charendoff
- Catherine Cavadini
- Val Bettin
- Mason Adams
- Wayne Morton
- Don Messick
- Henry Corden
- Hal Smith
- Alyson Court
- Billie Mae Richards
- Paul Winchell
- Tom Holland
- Jim Cummings
- Julie Bennett
- Jennifer Hale
Home video releases
From 1994 to 1998, Fox Kids Video released VHS titles of the series.
- Volume 1 – Uncle Ted's Excellent Adventure/The Visit To Aunt Ruth's
- Volume 2 – Bobby's Big Move/Bobby's Big Broadcast
- Volume 3 – Swim By Me/Jets, Choo Choos & Cars
- Fish Tales/Generics Under Construction
- Me & Roger
In 2004, Anchor Bay Entertainment released two best-of compilations- Classic Scratch 'n' Sniff Episodes and The Signature Episodes on DVD in Region 1. These releases have been discontinued and are now out of print.
On December 15, 2011, it was announced that MoonScoop Group had acquired the rights to the series and planned to release all eight seasons of Bobby's World on DVD in Region 1 via Amazon.com's CreateSpace program in early 2012. These will be manufacture-on-demand releases, available exclusively through Amazon.com. All seasons were made available for purchase on March 13, 2012.
|Developer(s)||Riedel Software Productions|
|Publisher(s)||Hi Tech Entertainment|
A video game based on Bobby's World was made for the Super NES in 1994 but was cancelled. It was developed by Riedel Software Productions and published by Hi Tech Entertainment. In the game, Bobby's mother tells him to clean his room. As he is cleaning his room, Bobby starts daydreaming about a toy. After beating a level, Bobby has another daydream about another toy that he puts away.
- "Interview with Howie." Bobby's World Official Website. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
- Cawley, John (July 26, 1990). "How To Create Animation: Interviews by John Cawley". USA: cataroo. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- Fritz, Steve (October 23, 1998). "Mania: Animated Shorts, Oct. 23, 1998". USA: Mania. Archived from the original on April 27, 1999. Retrieved May 22, 2011. "But things really took off for Schauer in the early 90's. At that time he was working at Film Roman, where he was put in charge of design for their new series, Bobby's World. In fact, the character of Bobby is actually based on Schauer's then four-year-old son, not series co-creator Howie Mandel."
- The TV Squad Interview: Howie Mandel – TV Squad
- Howie Stand Up
- DeMott, Rick (April 13, 2007). "Taffy Pulls Into MIPTV With New Fantastic Four & Bobby's World Deals". USA: AWN. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- SNES Central: Bobby's World