…Blobby Blobby Blobby! I don’t know whether to apologise to those outside the UK for introducing you to Mr. Blobby, or to those inside the UK for reintroducing you to Mr. Blobby. Perhaps both would be wise.
Mr. Blobby was a fixture of Saturday night TV in the 90s, the sidekick to Noel Edmonds on the hugely popular Noel’s House Party. He was created as part of the ‘Gotcha’ segment – an elaborate prank played on various celebrities, captured for our amusement – but apparently became so popular with the audience that he not only earned his spot on the program as a recurring character, but also spilled out into other avenues.
Like the 1993 Christmas Number One. Yes, that song.
Wikipedia says there was a follow-up in 1995, Christmas in Blobbyland, which bombed in comparison. I genuinely had no idea.
I shouldn’t really criticise the character, though, for I loved Blobby at the time, and seemed to fall for a lot of the merchandise. I had Blobby toys and always used to get cans of Blobby pink lemonade from Woolworths (that’s going back, too). For my second birthday, which would have been just a month after that wonderful song topped the chart, I had a Blobby birthday cake – it was quite a marvel, and it’s lucky I wasn’t older as I probably wouldn’t have let it be eaten otherwise.
Blobby’s repertoire of waddling about and saying nothing but “Blobby Blobby Blobby!” did, surprisingly, get stale after a while – eventually the character faded away, much like House Party itself. By the end, the only real enduring feature for me was the Gotcha. The one they played on Richard Whiteley was and remains excellent; on a scale of its own, they rigged and recorded a whole brilliantly nightmarish episode of Countdown with the most troublesome (and flatulent) contestants ever. Astonishingly, only a few minutes ever made it to air, but the uncut recording session is on YouTube. Highly recommended.
How hilarious it is to see Whiteley trying so hard (and failing) to keep patient and salvage the programme right to the end. Mr Blobby didn’t feature – that might have given the game away, even to Richard. But, while most younger than me will likely have very little idea of what on earth this thing is, Blobby continues to crop up here and there, and, for all the foibles I can now observe, the memories of coming together as a family to watch Noel’s House Party on a Saturday evening are, collectively, very fond ones.