As an adult, the first time you see the Emmy Award-nominated children's show "Yo Gabba Gabba!" you may find yourself thinking,"What on Earth is this?"
But, if your toddler is anything like mine, it doesn't take long to figure out — it doesn't matter what it is; she likes it.
With only one or two viewings under her belt, our little one quickly added Muno, Foofa, Plex, Toodee and Brobee to her gaggle of imaginary friends and, on special occasions, DJ Lance Rock joins the din.
And now, that din is a live stage show, "Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: There's a Party in My City!"
To fill in a few blanks, DJ Lance Rock is host and narrator. He wears bright orange and carries a large boom box that, as you might imagine, opens, and his "toys" come to life and become characters on the show.
They are cyclops, cat-dragons and robots, naturally, and they sing about everything from "Don't bite your friends" to why "Babies need our help."
"That's the biggest comment we get — where does this come from?" said Scott Schultz, who along with fellow new-dad Christian Jacobs, developed the show in 1999.
"As a young parent we just wanted to be a part of their (our kids') whole experience with entertainment and music," he said in a phone interview.
Neither man had previous producing or writing experience.
"But our ideas came from knowing there are so many different styles of music and art, exciting colorful visuals, and we just wanted to do a show that was like a live action cartoon," he said.
"During our childhood, it was shows like " 'H.R. Pufnstuf' or the 'Electric Company.' That was the initial idea.
"So we just brought a whole bunch of influences from past television — even obscure Japanese shows — and things we don't see too often these days.
"Some parents don't get it, but that's OK. We're really doing it for the kids."
Schultz, however, hopes that by incorporating celebrities, "that it's really something parents can watch with their kids.
"And that is something that pleases us most about the stage show," he said.
"With many kid's shows, it's just the mom going and you don't see too many dads in attendance. But with our show, we see dads in larger numbers than you would at other shows. The whole family will come.
"We felt strongly that the stage show needed to be more like a live concert, an extravaganza," he says of the tour.
"Your kid's first live concert experience. We have confetti cannons, and balloons and everything is exciting and fun. It's the real DJ Lance interacting with the kids.
"When you have thousands of kids singing along, and shouting and having fun, it's really a really touching experience for me."
The show will include live music (by Reel Big Fish at 2 p.m. and Aquabats at 6 p.m.), and rapper Biz Markie will be there to do the Beat of the Day.
Life has changed a bit. Schultz's "guinea pig" (his 9-year-old) "was 1 when we started, and we tested everything on him.
"I now have a 6-year-old who still loves the show and offers feedback. But my 3-year-old is the biggest fan," he said.
Schultz now has a brand new baby, "so there will be years of new material."
And that, in the words of DJ Lance Rock, is "Awesome!"
If you go ...
What: "Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!: There's a Party in My City!"
When: Tuesday, 2 and 6 p.m.
Where: Maverik Center, West Valley City
How much: $46.55
Web: www.yogabbagabba.com or
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