Nick Jr’s wildly entertaining television series Yo Gabba Gabba! may be specifically geared towards kids but there’s definitely no shortage of kicks on offer for a more mature audience too. The ingenious creators of the show Scott Shultz and Christian Jacobs take their inspiration from a heap of different sources: indie music, their own kids and, of course, a bunch of kids’ television shows that paved the way. Christian and Scott each picked the Top 5 TV shows that continue to influence them and their show. Epic nostalgia ahead…

SCOTT’S ANSWERS:
The Muppet Show
“I have strong memories of watching and loving Sesame Street but even more nostalgic was seeing my Dad and Mom sitting on the couch with me laughing and enjoying the same show as me. I’ve always wanted to make entertainment that both kids and parents could watch. The Muppet Show is the grand example of this to me.”

H.R. Pufnstuf
“The idea of a live action show that looks like a cartoon is so groundbreaking and amazing. The colors, the imagination, the craziness… way too awesome and unforgettable. I still have dreams that I own a talking flute.”

The Donny and Marie Show
“This sort of represents all the TV special variety shows that I watched growing up. Costumes, songs, comedy skits, groups of dancers, live bands rocking out. The Donny and Marie Show just comes to mind because it looks so extra colourful, kiddie and wildly trying too hard. I think being produced by Sid and Marty Krofft (Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Land of the Lost) made it just strange enough to be unforgettable.”

Battlestar Galactica
“The original series really grabbed me as a kid and unlocked the endless possibilities of space, robots, weird monsters. I’ll admit I was creeped out and fascinated by the Cylons.”

The Mighty Boosh
“I had to include one TV show that’s less than 25 years old. I love nerdy quirky comedy that loves music, and isn’t afraid to include mutants, monsters, giant chewed bubblegum and embrace the completely weird. While not the only show to do this, I think Mighty Boosh do it the best!”

CHRISTIAN’S ANSWERS:
1. Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot (Giant Robo)
“I first saw this show at a friends house… I think I was 5 or 6 years old. I came on an old UHF channel, Channel 56 here in LA. We had to dial in the rabbit ears on the TV to get it to look good but from the opening credits where a giant Egyptian headdress wearing robot comes to life then springs into action to fight giant rubber suited monsters to save the planet earth… Man.. I can still remember getting goosebumps when the show would start… Missiles launched out of his fingertips for crying out loud! And when he fought the Giant Eyeball!! So crazy, so stylish, so Japanese, so AWESOME!”

2. Battle of the Planets (Gatchaman)
“This was another great Japanese import.. along with Johnny Sokko, Ultraman, Speed Racer, Tranzor z (mazinger Z) and later Robotech..
We used to wake up at like 6 am just so we could watch it before school everyday.. then on the playground we would talk about the episode we all watched that morning and pretend we were the Science ninja team.. G-force.. or in Japan Gatchaman.. It blew all of our minds when we were kids and the lead Villain was unmasked and … HE WAS A GIRL?!?! I found out later that the show was really watered down when it came to the U.S. and that the real show in Japan was way more violent and crazy.. This was the cartoon that launched the live action imitation… the Power Rangers and the beginning of the ‘Sentai’ explosion. I had the lunch box and everything! It was my favorite show for sure.”

3. Sesame Street
“This was the show that started it all for me. Growing up in a low income home, public access television was all we had. Public Broadcasting System had some great shows but this was the best. Truly the greatest, most seminal of all children’s programming. Hiring Jim Henson to do the Muppets on the show, the magazine format with wild animations in between live action segments, bands and the music, the wit and humor and most importantly .. the way it did NOT talk down to kids. It definitely set the bar for what great kids TV could be. What an awesome show.. it was… back then.”

4. Electric Company
“Electric Company was a show that was also broadcast on the Public Broadcast System. The initiative was to teach kids of all ages how to read better. It was so dynamic and stylish .. kind of like a laugh in for kids. It had some great performers and comedians on it… Bill Cosby, Rita Moreno, Morgan Freeman and so many more. It included reading themed skits and amazing animation and music. A really great variety show that literally taught me how to read (along with my Mom!) and the best part…. was the SPIDERMAN segments! So cool!”

5. The Twilight Zone
“Arguably, one of the greatest television shows of all time. As a child, this show freaked me out and left me terrified at times BUT with such thought provoking stories and amazing performances, I couldn’t get enough. It used to come on pretty late at night so I would have to sneak out of my room and watch the show by myself in the dark. It totally freaked out. Especially the scarier episodes. Man .. I still shudder to think back on some of those episodes. Thanks to Netflix, I recently began watching episodes again and cannot believe how awesome and inspiring so many of the episodes were.. not just a freak show but some real social messages about the meaning of life, war and peace, love and loss, greed, hunger etc. etc. The Twilight Zone set the bar too high….it was just too good. Go watch it again .. I dare you!!”

The troupe led by DJ Lance Rock and his five furry pals are heading to Australia for a handful of tour dates, bringing with them their regular contributor hip hop legend Biz Markie and local indie outfits Little Red and Art Vs. Science.

YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!

Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 June Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall
9.30am, 12.00pm & 2.30pm www.sydneyoperahouse.com (02) 9250 7777

Tuesday 7 June Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
10.30am & 4.30pm www.ticketek.com.au 132 849

Saturday 11 June Palais Theatre, Melbourne
10.30am, 1.30pm & 4.30pm www.ticketmaster.com.au 136 100

Title Image Provided by Scott Shultz and Christian Jacobs