Mr Blobby

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Mr Blobby
First appearance Noel's House Party
Created by Charlie Adams
Portrayed by Barry Killerby
Information
Gender Male

Mr Blobby was a character on Noel Edmonds' Saturday night variety television show Noel's House Party, portrayed by Barry Killerby and was the brainchild of British comedy writer Charlie Adams, a writer for the show. A bulbous pink figure covered with yellow spots he sported a permanent toothy grin and jiggling eyes. Mr Blobby communicated only by saying the word "blobby" in an electronically altered voice, expressing his moods through tone of voice and repetition.

Although popular, the character was not well received critically.

Origins[edit]

Mr Blobby first appeared in the 'Gotcha' segment of the second series of Noel's House Party, in which celebrities were caught out in a Candid Camera style prank. Mr Blobby was presented to the celebrities as if he were a real and established children's television character, in order to record an episode centred around the guests' profession. In truth, there was no "Mr. Blobby" TV series, and he was created purely for the prank. Mr Blobby would clumsily take part in the activity, knocking over the set, causing mayhem, and saying "blobby blobby blobby." His childish and unprofessional behaviour was calculated to irritate the celebrities taking part. When the prank was finally revealed the Blobby costume would be opened, revealing Noel Edmonds inside.

Once the first 'Gotcha' segments had aired, Mr Blobby was no longer usable as part of the 'Gotcha' sequences. He continued to make appearances on Noel's House Party with various members of the production team donning the costume created by artist Joshua Snow.

Through Noel's House Party, Mr Blobby was seen in short comedy sketches, 'guest-appearing' on other TV programmes. Examples include Lovejoy, where he unintentionally broke antique furniture, and Keeping Up Appearances, where he was seen making an impromptu visit on Hyacinth and Richard Bucket, disrupting their kitchen.

Other appearances[edit]

Mr Blobby was hired to make appearances at events such as university balls. For example, he was the guest performer at the University of Birmingham Spring Ball in 1994. In 2002 he appeared in pantomime in Croydon, London. Mr Blobby made regular appearances on Saturday morning show Live & Kicking and Saturday evening show The Generation Game with Jim Davidson. He appeared on a Get Your Own Back Christmas special in 1998 where he and Kirsten O'Brien joined forces to get revenge on Dave Benson Phillips for gunging them in the past. Gunging is when a guest of Dave Benson Phillips' television program appears on a segment called Gunk Dunk where they are thrown into a pool of disgusting liquid for incorrectly answering a question. On the Gunk Dunk, Mr. Blobby was reading the questions and if Dave answered one of them correctly, they would let him go. Because Mr Blobby could only say 'Blobby' Dave got all the questions wrong and was thrown in the gunge pool.

He also appeared briefly at the end of the 2001 Comic Relief special of My Hero. He was also a celebrity "Bungalowhead" on Dick and Dom in da Bungalow, and appeared in the "cellar cage" in the final episode of series four. The character has appeared in the music video for Peter Kay's 2005 charity single "Is This the Way to Amarillo", where he was played by actor Martin Jarvis. He makes an appearance in the videos for "Chelsea Smile" and "The Comedown" by the band Bring Me the Horizon (played by lead singer Oliver Sykes). In a form of in-joke, Barry Killerby appeared on the 8 May 2006 edition of Dead Ringers as a contestant on a sketch spoofing Deal or No Deal. He appeared again on the 29 May edition, this time in the Mr Blobby costume.

On 27 January 2007 Mr Blobby made an appearance on Harry Hill's TV Burp in an EastEnders joke, where character Dot Branning is in Pauline's kitchen, thinking an intruder is coming, grabs a saucepan as weaponry and resorts to the corner of the kitchen. The door opens and Dot says "You!" in disbelief. The camera cuts to the door and Mr Blobby is standing there, starts screaming in his characteristic voice and proceeds to smash up the kitchen, before Harry enters the set and knocks him unconscious with a frying pan. Later in the episode he had a fight with Phil Mitchell, to decide who was best at crashing through doors. On 24 October 2009, Mr Blobby made another appearance on Harry Hill's TV Burp in another EastEnders joke with him being the father of Heather's baby. John McLagan stood as "Mr Blobby" in the Littleborough and Saddleworth by-election in 1995, having changed his name by deed poll. In 2012 he made an appearance on Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the 90's giving the teams their final bonus question and terrifying panelist Jack Whitehall at the same time.

Criticism[edit]

Despite Blobby's lengthy tenure at the BBC, the character has received significant criticism. In March 1994, Elizabeth Kolbert of The New York Times wrote: "Mr. Blobby's rise to stardom has provoked anguished commentaries about just what he stands for...Some commentators have called him a metaphor for a nation gone soft in the head. Others have seen him as proof of Britain's deep-seated attraction to trash."[1] A Sun article published the previous month had reported that Blobby reduced a young girl to tears after throwing her birthday cake onto the floor during a show, causing the girl's father to mount the stage and assault Blobby.[1] Neville Crumpton, who owns the rights to the character, said: "If the press can knock him, they'll knock him whenever they can."[1] A trio of failed Mr Blobby theme parks also resulted in considerable negative press and scandal.

Blobby's 1993 Christmas single "Mr Blobby" is widely regarded as one of the worst songs recorded,[note 1] and his 1995 festive release "Christmas in Blobbyland" was voted the worst festive song ever by British Christmas shoppers in a 2011 poll.[8] In 2013 it was named in the Metro as the second-worst Christmas song of all time.[9]

Journalist Tony Purnell declared in an April 1997 headline for The Mirror, "Mr Blobby's not funny".[10] Addressing the character's popularity, former longtime BBC employee Sir Michael Parkinson confessed that he "really didn't get it", and found him "far from amusing".[11][12] In February 2009, Cole Moreton of The Independent ranked Blobby number one in the "10 most irritating television characters", asking: "Was there something in the water? Did the nation really once fall about laughing at the clumsy antics of a bloke in a big pink rubber costume with yellow blobs all over it?"[13] When Blobby appeared on Channel 4's The Big Fat Quiz of the '90s in 2012, contestant Jack Whitehall asked: "How the fuck were you allowed near kids?"[12]

Music[edit]

The Mr Blobby spoof theme song "Mr Blobby" was released as a single, and hit #1 on the UK top 40 charts. A follow-up single called "Christmas in Blobbyland" was released on 16 December 1995. The song failed to match the success of Blobby's first Christmas release, peaking at #36. Mr Blobby had a wife, "Mrs Blobby", who was introduced in "Mr Blobby's Holiday", with a personality similar to that of her 'husband'.[citation needed]

UK VHS releases[edit]

VHS Title Release Date Episodes
Mr Blobby (BBCV 5157) 1 November 1993 A comical 'blobbumentary' programme made by Noel Edmonds on the star of his 'Noel's House Party' show, Mister Blobby. See Mister Blobby with Will Carling, Valerie Singleton, Wayne Sleep, Hudson and Halls, and Garth Crooks.
Blobbyvision (BBCV 5397) 10 October 1994 Mr Blobby displays his skills as only he can in 'Blobbywatch', 'Blindblob', 'Masterblob' and 'Blobstand'.
The All New Adventures of Mr Blobby (BBCV 5786) 5 February 1996 He's back! Everyone's favourite big, bouncy, big blob (well how many do you know?) In his new guises, Mr Blobby is a complete hoot, hilariously bumping, bashing and bruising his way through life. Superblob, Mr Blobby Sees the optician, Blobby The Bell Boy, Mr Blobby Goes Fishing, Mr Blobby is James Blob, Blobby The Busker, Blobby The Traffic Warden, Blobby Goes To The Bank, Mr Blobby On The Water

Toys and merchandising[edit]

Around Christmas 1993, retailers came out with many types of Mr Blobby merchandise. In addition to the CD or cassette tape single, you could purchase Mr Blobby dolls, slippers, egg cups, condiment shakers, small cans of pink lemonade (no longer in production), towels and other items. Lledo even made a die-cast Mr Blobby themed pink, bull nosed Morris Van.[citation needed]

Theme parks in Somerset and Morecambe were created based on the Blobby character. Visitors could travel through attractions such as Mr. Blobby's house. All of the parks have since closed.[14] Pleasurewood Hills theme park near Lowestoft also featured Mr Blobby and Crinkly Bottom during the 1995 and 1996 seasons. Pleasurewood Hills is still operating to this day.

Theme parks[edit]

An agreement with Unique, Noel Edmonds' merchandising company, to use the "Crinkley Bottom" theme at Happy Mount Park, Morecambe, led to large losses, a local scandal toppling councillors and finally an auditor's investigation, which reported in 2004 that "the Council's decision to proceed with the Theme Park was, on the basis of information available to Members and officers in March 1994, imprudent and failed to give due regard to the interests of local taxpayers." The auditor noted "the failure of the Council to carry out market research, the failure to make informed estimates of likely attendance figures, the absence of a design concept, the absence of a detailed specification, the absence of an accurate financial forecast and the imprecise drafting of the Heads of Terms", concluding that "the Council entered into an open ended commitment without knowing what it was going to get for local taxpayers' money."[15][16] Council losses stood at £2.5 million. Unique successfully sued the council, whose activities were described as "imprudent, irrational and even unlawful", for £950,000.[17]

Similar parks in Lowestoft and Somerset also failed to outlive the 1990's with the Somerset site being vandalised and used for raves following its closure.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ; "Mr Blobby", Mr Blobby (1993) : An MTV critic said that Blobby "tried to kill music...with what might be the worst song of all time".[2] Rupert Hawksley of The Telegraph ranked the track as the worst Christmas number one in history, arguing that Blobby "set the bar so low with this bizarre single, it's hard to imagine that it could ever be usurped".[3] Daily Record writer Euan McColm named it the third-worst Top 10 single of all time,[4] while Gemma Wheatley of the Daily Star called it the third most-annoying track ever written.[5] It placed first in an HMV public poll of the worst-ever festive songs,[6] and second in a VH1 viewer survey of the worst number one singles of all time.[7]
  1. ^ a b c Kolbert, Elizabeth (27 March 1994). "Britain's Answer To Barney". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "10 Songs We Wish Were Jokes". MTV. Viacom International Media Networks Europe. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Hawksley, Rupert (7 December 2013). "Worst Christmas number ones of all time". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  4. ^ McColm, Euan (30 March 1999). "Worst Top 10 records in the world". TheFreeLibrary. Daily Record. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Wheatley, Gemma (23 March 2009). "Agadoo: Worst single ever set for comeback". Daily Star. Northern & Shell. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Blobby voted worst Christmas hit". BBC News. 3 December 2002. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Oliver, Mark (13 August 2004). "Cliff hit voted worst ever number one". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Mr Blobby's Christmas song is the worst ever". The Sunday People. Trinity Mirror. 18 December 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Caster, Yvette (4 December 2013). "The top 10 worst Christmas songs ever, fact". Metro. DMG Media. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Purnell, Tony (25 April 1997). "Mr Blobby's not funny". TheFreeLibrary. The Mirror. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Classic Clips: The 1990s". UK Gold. 22 October 2007. "I really didn't get it, to be honest...Millions of people just loved [Blobby], but he was far from amusing to me."
  12. ^ a b Farrier, David (2013). "Mr Blobby". Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Moreton, Cole (1 February 2009). "10 most irritating television characters". The Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Pictured: The abandoned ruins of Mr Blobby theme park after ravers trash site | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  15. ^ "District Auditor's Report: Crinkley Bottom Theme Park". 
  16. ^ "BBC News: Council Blamed for Blobbygate Fiasco". 15 January 2004. 
  17. ^ "Council blamed for 'Blobby' fiasco". BBC News. 15 January 2004. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "Pictured: The abandoned ruins of Mr Blobby theme park after ravers trash site". Daily Mail. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 

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