Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sweet Jesus, Do I Hate The Wiggles


For the uninitiated (and incredibly fortunate), The Wiggles is a children's television show that the Disney Channel insists on airing in the morning, every morning, twice. And since I have a soon-to-be three-year-old (that's him on the right), that means I have to watch the Wiggles in the morning, every morning, twice. Since I'm not a morning person, I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes me.

The Wiggles are a group of middle-aged Australian guys with constant five o'clock shadow and look hung over in every episode. They look like they should be on some Amber Alert poster. According to a New York Times Magazine article, they formed this musical group after failing as rock musicians. (Thanks to my friend Jenny for pointing out the article. She knows how much I love The Wiggles.) Jeff (Purple), Murray (Red), Greg (Yellow) and Anthony (Blue) - I hate that I can name them all and match their colors, for each one has his own color to wear. These guys are heading for their own special edition of E! True Hollywood Stories. They epitomize those weirdos we tell kids not to take candy from.

But watching the show the other day I saw something that was reall really funny. Every episode has musical numbers (perhaps you've heard "Hot Potato, Hot Potato"?) where there are dancers in the background. Most of these dancers have fake smiles that hide the utter disappointment of their careers. Years of acting and dancing lessons leading only to one-two choreography on a cheesy kids show. But there is one guy who gives it his all. He has as much enthusiasm for dance as Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls. He thinks he's auditioning for Bob Fosse. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended each number with jazz hands or spirit fingers. This guy has so much unwarranted self-confindence. While the others are phoning it in, he's giving 110%. And it is so fucking funny.

So, what does this have to do with writing? I'm glad you asked. Actually, this has to do with my own insecurities as a writer. Dear God, please don't let me be the writing equivalent of that dancing jackass. I don't to go out there with unjustified pizzazz and embarrass myself. I try and avoid going through the motions, but I hope like hell I'm a better writer than that guy is a dancer.

10 comments:

Sandra Ruttan said...

"Dear God, please don't let me be the writing equivalent of that dancing jackass."

What? And pass up on getting one of those super-cool outfits Steve? I think you'd look good in the blue.

Steve Allan said...

I actually wouldn't mind having some of The Wiggles money - they make an astronomical amount of money. Tens of millions a year, each!

Christa M. Miller said...

I want to know why their outfits look like Star Trek uniforms.

I say get rid of cable and restrict the kid to PBS. DragonTales can't possibly be as irritating. ;)

I don't think anyone who has worked with Dennis Lehane can possibly be a jackass. I mean, I bet that dancer has never worked with Twyla Tharp, you know?

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I was going to be smug and say, "This shit is why I don't have cable."

Then I remembered that my two year-old is hooked on Dora the Explorer. And because we lack cable, our little girl owns Dora videos. FUCKING VIDEOS! EIGHT OF THEM! OVER AND OVER AGAIN! Dora toys, books, sandals. If that's not enough, there's Dora's cousin Diego and his videos, toys, etc.

Did you know, for example, that Diego's backpack can turn into anything from a jet ski to a hang glider? Did you that when she's on Pirate Pig's ship and surrounded by hungry cross-eyed sharks, Dora can call down a jumping star to make the ship leap over the sharks? Fuck me sideways.

I can't wait for her to lose interest in Dora. My wife and I will haul all that crap out to burn pile where we throw old brush, and we'll light that Dora bitch up. Then we'll dance around the fire and sing the "We did it" song.

We did it!
We did it!
Lo hicimos!
Dora pissed us off
and we set her on fire.
We did it!
We did it!

Kevin said...

Considering the Wiggles are all multi millionaires, I would imagine their dancers are pretty well paid--so I don't think the guy is probably too disappointed with his career path.
My suggestion to you guys if you don't like these shows--get your kid their own TV and put it in another room. I don't like these shows much either, but I love that they keep my three year old entertained and occupied, allowing me to watch what I wish.

Benji said...

Patrick.... I have plenty o' shit for the bon fire...not much of a dancer, but sounds like what I've been waiting for...hopefully you will accept Doodlepobs, My little pony, Thomas the Tank engine, Trotro, Elmo, etc... They should burn good...
Just looked up this site cos I had Captain Feathersword's Mopping Song stuck in my head for 10 hrs at work today, ...very shitty... Hate the wiggles and Captain Feathersword...Lyrics go something like..."mop mop mop mop....mop mop..mop mop..mop mop.."...repeated... 1000 TIMES!!!Thank god there are others out there who find this shit as traumatising as I do...

Benji said...

P.S. Thanks Kevin...Might try that...and get her her own jet ski and Pony too...I think you missed the point...I for one don't watch it cos I WANT TO!! I HAVE TO!!!... I don't rule my house...My screaming tantrum-throwing 2 year old brat rules my house! And I wouldn't mind if the stuff wasn't so repetitive...but its mashed-out crap!.. And The wiggles don't pay top dollar for dancers...the dancers have to pretend they're fish for christ sake!... Its not Rudolph Norayev or who ever!...Its the wiggles...Balding, Aussie, Hair-arsed, Millionaire...Wiggles..

Benji said...

P.S. Thanks Kevin...Might try that...and get her her own jet ski and Pony too...I think you missed the point...I for one don't watch it cos I WANT TO!! I HAVE TO!!!... I don't rule my house...My screaming tantrum-throwing 2 year old brat rules my house! And I wouldn't mind if the stuff wasn't so repetitive...but its mashed-out crap!.. And The wiggles don't pay top dollar for dancers...the dancers have to pretend they're fish for christ sake!... Its not Rudolph Norayev or who ever!...Its the wiggles...Balding, Aussie, Hair-arsed, Millionaire...Wiggles..

Claire said...

I just typed "I hate the Wiggles" into Google because my three year old is forcing me to watch it right now and I felt obligated to find out whether there is a similar group of Wiggles haters out there - thankfully, there are, and what good taste you have too. I let her have her way with most programmes but I draw the line at these four dancing jackasses (nicely put), the production values are virtually zero, and I don't care how many millions they earn, they should feel shame every time they step out their Australian mansions. From failed rock stars to low-rent entertainment for toddlers, thank god I don't come from Oz because, as a journalist, I'd be forced to dig out some serious dirt on them from their groupie days and sell it to Australia's equivalent of the News of the World so that no one has to sit through this tosh for a moment longer. Dora, however, I've got a lot of time for Dora...

MrPepperberry said...

I just have two observations to make.

First of all, that there's at least one Australian out there who considers Benji's mention of 'Aussie' both misplaced and irrelevant.

Benji - have your rambling, spittle-forming diatribe; go to it with my good will and with gusto. But don't wield the term 'Aussie' like it's a brick, because it's not. They're Australian. Get over it. Go deal with a bigger problem, perhaps the "screaming tantrum-throwing 2 year-old brat" that you've unleashed unto the world.

Secondly, despite your obvious talent with the written word, Steve, I'm surprised to hear that you actually read the article; if you had, then you would know that the majority of the group actually met while studying early childhood education at university and decided to continue together after the success (note here: not failure) of their musical venture.

Arguably, they understand your child better than you do yourself, seeing as their influence wins out over yours every morning.

That said, good luck with the writing.