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Mr. Blobby

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

OriginsEdit

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 guest's 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, but continued to make appearances on Noel's House Party, with various members of the production team donning the costume, created by artist Joshua Snow. A "Mrs Blobby" character was later introduced.

Through Noel's House Party, Mr Blobby was seen in short comedy sketches, 'guest-appearing' on other fictional 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.

SongsEdit

The Mr Blobby spoof theme song "Mr Blobby" was released as a single, and hit #1 on the UK top 40 charts. On 11 December 1993, it hit #1, replacing Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" which had been in the #1 spot for 7 weeks. A week later, "Babe" by Take That bumped it off #1, but only for a week. It returned to the #1 spot on the charts on Christmas Day and remained for another 2 weeks. The song also became the first to return to the No.1 position since 1968.[1]

The single later received the dubious honour of being voted the most annoying Christmas #1 single according to the yearly HMV poll.[2] A music video - filmed in the Kew Bridge Steam Museum - was created for the single, which spoofed several famous music videos. For example, in the opening, there were dancers in skin-tight suits doing a dance very similar to the dancers in the "Rhythm is a Dancer" video; Mr Blobby took the role of the dying man from the Shakespears Sister "Stay" video which featured a Marcella Detroit lookalike; there was a segment which featured guitar-playing girls dressed like those in the "Addicted to Love" video and homage to the members of Genesis by spoofing their "I Can't Dance" video. It featured Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear as Mr Blobby's limo driver.[3]

Mr Blobby was a one-hit wonder for two years; however, a follow-up single called "Christmas In Blobbyland" was released on 16 December 1995, peaking at number 36, and it was in the charts for 4 weeks. Mr Blobby had a wife who was introduced in "Mr Blobby's Holiday", with a personality similar to that of her 'husband'. 

CriticismEdit

Despite Blobby's lengthy tenure at the BBC, the character was criticised because of his broad, low-brow humour. Elizabeth Kolbert of The New York Times wrote that some commentators have seen the character as "proof of Britain's deep-seated attraction to trash."[4] In February 1994, The Sun reported that Blobby had reduced a young girl to tears after throwing her birthday cake onto the floor during a show, which led to the girl's father taking to the stage and assaulting Blobby] Neville Crumpton, who owns the rights to Blobby, said, "If the press can knock him, they'll knock him whenever they can." In his 2008 autobiography, long time BBC employee Sir Michael Parkinson acknowledged the criticisms of Blobby and expressed disdain for the character, opining that he was "far from amusing."[5] Blobby's 1993 single "Mr Blobby", which reached #1 in the UK at Christmas 1993, was voted the worst Christmas song ever in a 2002 poll conducted by HMV.

Mr Blobby UK VHS ReleasesEdit

<table class="wikitable"
!VHS Title
!Release Date
!Episodes
|-
| Mr Blobby (BBCV 5157)
| align=center |1993
| align=center |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. Released in 1993
|-
| Blobbyvision (BBCV 5397)
| align=center |1994
| align=center |Mr Blobby displays his skills as only he can in 'Blobbywatch', 'Blindblob', 'Masterblob' and 'Blobstand'. Released in 1994
|-
| The All New Adventures of Mr Blobby (BBCV 5786)
| align=center |1996
| align=center |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. Released in 1996
|-
|}"> |</table>

Other AppearancesEdit

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. On the Gunk Dunk, Mr. Blobby was reading the questions and if Dave answered one of them correctly, they would let him go, but because he 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 Children in need 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" [7] 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.[8] 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.

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