Yo Gabba Gabba Sell Out

Since first airing in 2007, Yo Gabba Gabba! has become one of the most interesting, hip and forward-thinking shows on TV. In addition to regular contributions from Mark Mothersbaugh, Biz Markie and lovable host DJ Lance Rock, the program has hosted a slew of musical guests including MGMT, Chromeo, Of Montreal, the Shins, the Flaming Lips, the Roots, the Ting Tings and countless others. This fall, the show is taking its wild-eyed enthusiasm and inimitable sense of humour on a massive North American tour. Concert Hospitality Tickets are still available!

Yo Gabba Gabba! creator Christian Jacobs is also the frontman for long-running ska punk outfit the Aquabats. Speaking on the phone from his Los Angeles office, he recalls hatching the show with his creative partner Scott Schultz. “We were working on doing a television program for the band that I'm in, and my mind was kind of in that children's show fun land: crazy, wacky Japanese costumes and weird music fun,” he recalls. “My wife and I had our first kid and we were watching TV with her as she was getting older. She was about two years old and I was watching preschool shows with her. I found that none of the shows we were watching with her were as cool as the shows we watched as kids, like Sesame Street or The Electric Company. Everything was just for the kid, whereas the things we watched growing up had something for everybody.”

Eventually landing on the idea for Yo Gabba Gabba!, Jacobs and Schultz knew it would be a tough sell to studio execs. Pitch meetings came and went without a contract, so they filmed a pilot on their own in 1999. Jacobs' history with the DIY spirit of punk was a major help. “I'm 39, so I grew up through the DIY age of make your own magazine, make your own record, make your own video. DIY is just the independent spirit, it's always been there. In our generation, it's really prominent in entertainment. I think this is definitely one of those break-through, DIY children's shows. It's not connected to the government, it's not connected to the Children's Science Institute. It's connected to some real dads that love their kids and wanted to make something fun.”