As a blogger I’ve had the opportunity to do many things that have been completely awesome—none more than my very first celebrity interview last week with Yo Gabba Gabba co-creator Christian Jacobs. As you all know my kids love YGG and having the opportunity to chat with one of the brains behind the phenomenon was an experience I’ll never forget! I must say that Christian was a very down to earth, fun person to talk to, which wasn’t actually a surprise—I mean how could one of the creators of YGG not be cool!?!
As y’all also know I asked some of you (via the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and my MomDot girls) for some questions and you guys delivered in a BIG way and I thank you all for that…I didn’t get to ask too many questions, but I did include a few from you guys! Alright on to the interview—I got to ask Christian some questions about both the YGG show and the Live show so I hope y’all enjoy!
He’s a former child actor, popular musician,producer and one half of the creative force behind the hugely popular children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba, but he’s also a dad and one heck of a cool guy…is there anything Christian Jacobs can’t do?
Me: I’ve read that you grew up doing TV and film…how would you feel if one of your children wanted to go into acting?
Christian Jacobs: It was a different time when I grew up and when my parents grew up—I was a kid in the 80s and late 70s and things were different. My 10 year old daughter was interested in acting and a few years ago I took her on some auditions and I knew what to expect with that stuff and it’s a lot of work. I don’t want to offend my parents if they ever read this, but when we were kids we kinda didn’t have a choice, so if they really wanted to do it I would be super supportive and I would help them do it, but I would never force them to do it. But we took her on a couple of auditions a few years ago and she was like, “I’m over it” and I couldn’t have been more happy at that moment, because it is a lot of work for parents and for the kids. The kids have had a lot of exposure being involved with Yo Gabba Gabba; I ask them to do stuff and they reluctantly agree cause they know they might get 20 bucks so, I wouldn’t discourage it (acting) as much as I wouldn’t encourage it.
The greatest thing I learned from being a kid actor, the one thing I would want to teach my kids if they really wanted to do it…is rejection. Being rejected so many times as a kid—really wanting to get a part and not getting it—actually formed a stronger sense of self for me. Probably the most important thing we can teach our kids is that you are gonna fail, you just gotta get back up and go again!
Me: When you and Scott were independently creating the pilot for Yo Gabba Gabba did you ever imagine it would become as popular as it has?
CJ: Scott and I had no idea that YGG would become what it is becoming, and yet at the same time we always believed that it could be big. We’ve always believed, whether it’s Yo Gabba Gabba, the Aquabats or other things that we’ve been doing, of course, we always believed that it could happen…we just never believed that it would (laughing). We shot the pilot and we all could feel a tingling feeling that something is happening and this is gonna be good and now that it’s happening it’s surreal. We’re just “tickled over the moon”, you know instead of “Tickled Pink” or “Over the Moon” I put them together and say “tickled over the moon”—I like putting clichés together, it’s one of my favorite things.
Me: Which of the Yo Gabba Gabba characters was the hardest to bring to life?
CJ: All of the characters have little bits of personality traits of my kids and Scott's kids probably any kid;they have personality traits that you see in every child. It could really be a toss-up, but maybe Toodee? Toodee was tricky because she had to have some traits that may be a little abrasive at times and yet you still wanna make her likeable, but someone has to have the impatient, cranky traits. Toodee had to be a little bit impatient and abrasive on the negative side of things, but on the positive side she is really fun and all about jumping around and having fun so I think it was a tricky balance between the characteristics in all of us that can be positive and negative at the same time.
Equally Lance (DJ Lance Rock) as well. Initially the show wasn’t built around Lance, it was built around a host and we didn’t know who that host was going to be, we were trying to figure that out for a while. Scott (Schultz) had a hunch and he’d always thought that Lance would be the perfect guy (for the role of host). Lance is really a DJ that worked in a record store, he’s not an actor who came to LA to be on a kid show, he’s a real guy who DJs in clubs in LA. So in bringing Lance’s character to life it was really a, I don’t wanna say crap shoot on a kids blog (I assured him that crap shoot was fine as I’m known for throwing in colorful words every once in a while) it was kind of a crap shoot, we didn’t know if Lance was gonna be able to step it up. You come out to the live show and see him in full effect and it’s like “Wow this is beyond our expectations”…Lance really stepped it up and stepped in to be that DJ Lance Rock. It wasn’t hard to create (his character) but it was just magic!
Me: If you could have any celebrity do a dancey-dance who would it be and what dancey-dance would they do? (This was a reader question sent to me by MaDamnPITA…so thanks a million he seemed to like this question).
CJ: Scott and I we love everybody, but I would love to have Bill Murray on the show, I’m a big Bill Murray fan. This would never happen, but you know what would be awesome would be to have Pee Wee--Pee Wee Herman on the show and have him do the Tequila Dance. (I agree) That would be amazing, but I know a lot of parents would feel uncomfortable about that, maybe I would too but that’s maybe why I like it.
Me: Whose idea was it for Jack Black to wear DJ Lance’s costume and will he be making another appearance on the show? (This question was asked by Kim @ What’s That Smell…thanks Kim)
CJ: That was Jack Black’s idea, no you know I’ll give equal credit to Scott for that too because Scott actually had a dream a couple of nights before Jack Black came in, we were all really anxious about it, and he had a dream that Jack Black was in the Lance costume so we wrote something in at the last second. When Jack Black came in to film the episode he wanted to try on Lance’s costume right off the bat he was like, “I wanna try on Lance’s costume.” You know the costume he’s wearing on the show is actually Lance’s costume, like the same one he wears, we had made Jack Black a special costume but it was kinda baggy and he was like, “No, no I wanna wear Lance’s costume.” He put it on and he was like, “See it fits perfect.” He’s just such a good guy and such a good dad, it was rad having him on the show.
Me: How does performing as the Aquabats for preschool children during the Yo Gabba Gabba live show compare to performing for your older fans?
CJ: It’s a lot less sweaty, there’s a lot less kids jumping onto the stage and off of the stage. It’s funny—it feels right, because the AquaBats are such a parody of itself. When we come out and were playing for little kids who think we’re like super heroes it’s super fun, because we’re just middle-aged men playing guitars. It’s really fun for us because it’s pure we can see the joy in the kids eyes they’re like “Ah wow cool the Aquabats.” The kids that are older and come to our shows are kinda in on the joke so it’s fun to really become a kids again whenever we play but it’s extra special to do it for the real kids…they’re the real deal!
(Christian also told me to be on the lookout for more appearances from the Aquabats on YGG…I know some of the Aquabats fans out there will be very excited about that.)
Me: What’s next for Yo Gabba Gabba?
CJ: Season 3 just finished filming, we have lots of new episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba coming out soon. There maybe could be a Yo Gabba Gabba movie that we’re working on this year. Yo Gabba Gabba is just gonna keep going!
I want to thank Christian for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with me. I had a blast and I can’t wait to see The Aquabats, DJ Lance, Biz Markie and all of the YGG characters at the Yo Gabab Gabba Live show in Cincinnati next month!
Make sure you check out the official site of the Yo Gabba Gabba Live show to see when Brobee, Foofa, Plex, Muno, Toodee, and DJ Lance will be partying in your city!