Mr Blobby

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Mr Blobby
Mr Blobby, 2009.jpg
First appearance 21 November 1992 Noel's House Party
Created by Charlie Adams
Portrayed by Barry Killerby
Information
Gender Male
Spouse(s) Mrs. Blobby
Children Baby Blobby (son)
Nationality British

Mr Blobby is a character featured on Noel Edmonds' Saturday night variety BBC 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 has a permanent toothy grin and jiggling eyes. Mr Blobby communicates only by saying the word "blobby" in an electronically altered voice, expressing his moods through tone of voice and repetition, he topped the UK Singles Chart with the 1993 Christmas release "Mr Blobby".

Although popular in Britain, the character came to attract substantial criticism.

Origins[edit]

Mr Blobby first appeared in 1992 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 made regular appearances on Saturday morning show Live & Kicking and Saturday evening show The Generation Game with Jim Davidson. The character has appeared in cameos on Dead Ringers, Harry Hill's TV Burp, Dick and Dom in da Bungalow and Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. The character also appeared in the music video for Peter Kay's 2005 charity single "Is This the Way to Amarillo".

Mr Blobby has toured around the UK making public appearances at events such as university balls and in pantomime, and has made short videos and sketches exclusively for his official YouTube channel.[citation needed]

John McLagan stood as "Mr Blobby" in the Littleborough and Saddleworth by-election in 1995, having changed his name by deed poll. He came seventh out of ten candidates, with 105 votes.

In May 2017, Mr Blobby made a guest appearance in the Ghostbusters episode of The Keith & Paddy Picture Show, where he was portrayed by Paul Denson. He also appeared on The Last Leg, where he was declared as leader of "The 90s Party", a political party formed by the show's hosts.

In 2012, Mr Blobby made a guest appearance on the 23 September 2012 episode of The Big Fat Quiz of the Year "The Big Fat Quiz of the '90s".

Criticism[edit]

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.

On 25 April 1997, The Mirror ran the headline, "Mr Blobby's not funny".[2] Addressing the character's popularity, former longtime BBC employee Michael Parkinson in 2007 confessed that he "really didn't get it", and found Blobby "far from amusing";[3][4] in February 2009, Cole Moreton of The Independent featured Blobby in a recounting of 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?"[5] Looking back in a 2016 article, Stuart Heritage of The Guardian said that Blobby "became a sensation immediately", but then devolved into a "widely despised irritant".[6]

Music career[edit]

Blobby's 1993 Christmas release "Mr Blobby", which topped the UK Singles Chart for three weeks, is regarded by many as the worst single,[7] and indeed, song,[8] of all time. His 1995 track "Christmas in Blobbyland" (a number 36 UK entry) was voted the worst festive song ever by British Christmas shoppers in 2011[9] and 2015 polls,[10] and was named in the Metro as the second-worst Christmas song of all time in 2013.[11] Mr Blobby: The Album (1994) was voted the worst LP ever made in a 2016 listener survey.[12]

The Sun featured Blobby in a 2012 recounting of "The top 15 worst attempts at a pop career".[13]

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 and plush toys, slippers, egg cups, condiment shakers, small cans of pink lemonade (no longer in production), towels and other items.

Theme parks in Somerset and Morecambe were created based on the Blobby character.[14] Visitors could travel through attractions such as Mr. Blobby's house. All of the parks have since closed.[15] 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.

Three VHS's were released, "Mr Blobby" (1993), "Blobbyvision" (1994) and "The All New Adventures of Mr Blobby" (1996).

UK VHS and DVD releases[edit]

VHS covers of the three Mr Blobby releases.
No. VHS Title Catalogue no. Release Date
1 "Mr Blobby" BBCV 5157 1993 (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.
2 "Blobbyvision" BBCV 5397 1994 (1994)
Mr Blobby displays his skills as only he can in 'Blobbywatch', 'Blindblob', 'Masterblob' and 'Blobstand'.
3 "The All New Adventures of Mr Blobby" BBCV 5786 1996 (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

The Nutter Clutter Productions released the original Mr Blobby VHS on DVD in 2013.

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."[16][17] 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 1990s with the Somerset site being vandalised and used for raves following its closure.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kolbert, Elizabeth (27 March 1994). "Britain's Answer To Barney". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Purnell, Tony (25 April 1997). "Mr Blobby's not funny". TheFreeLibrary. The Mirror. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "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."
  4. ^ Farrier, David (2013). "Mr Blobby". Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Moreton, Cole (1 February 2009). "10 most irritating television characters". The Independent. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Heritage, Stuart (1 April 2016). "Mr Blobby does America: a beginner's guide for all his new Stateside fans". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  7. ^ Butler, Ben (13 May 2016). "Azealia Banks' music has had less success in the UK than Mr Blobby's". Gigwise. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "7 songs you can't believe made Christmas number one". Metro. 20 December 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 
  9. ^ "Mr Blobby's Christmas song is the worst ever". The Sunday People. Trinity Mirror. 18 December 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "East 17's Tony Mortimer reveals the worst Christmas songs". Belfast Telegraph. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Caster, Yvette (4 December 2013). "The top 10 worst Christmas songs ever, fact". Metro. DMG Media. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "One Direction, Justin Bieber and Bruce Willis albums voted among worst of all time". The Irish News. 8 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 
  13. ^ Wood, Beci (27 September 2012). "The Top 15 worst attempts at a pop career". The Sun. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  14. ^ "Morecambe and the Blobby Land saga – 20 years on". 
  15. ^ "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. 
  16. ^ "District Auditor's Report: Crinkley Bottom Theme Park". 
  17. ^ a b "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. 

External links[edit]