For the last few months I had not been able to figure out why Otto refused to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. For anyone outside the parent box, this is a weird, acid trippy children’s show on PBS starring a skinny dude that looks just like Raj from What’s Happening if he were enveloped by yellow and orange spandex and being skull raped by a flokati rug. He and a band of merry robots cruise around a world of colorful make believe playing songs on an 80’s boom box worthy of Radio Raheem and singing about friends, ferries and food. We have one episode on TiVO guest starring Jack Black in the famous Yo Gabba unitard of creepy and it is, to put it simply, fucking hilarious!
We have watched it many times with Otto and he always smiles along with the bizarre twists and turns of Jack Black’s motorcycle riding adventure through magic mushroom land. He never likes it as much as we do but then again, he has not developed a sense of irony or a taste for ingesting illegal hallucinogens. God willing, he never will.
A few days ago I asked Otto if he wanted to watch a little Elmo while I fixed his breakfast. He said yes to Elmo but than quickly followed up with a random, “No Gabba Gabba. No Gabba Gabba.” I thought it odd that I never mentioned the Psilocybin inspired romp but quickly forgot about it, as I do about everything nowadays and put on Sesame Street. Much to my delight, there was Jack Black again, whoring himself on yet another children’s show to insure every man, woman and child gets the opportunity to discover that he really can sing just like Joe Cocker after a bottle of Jack Daniels and a speedball. His hair was frighteningly frosted at the tips but otherwise, he seemed as child friendly and funny as usual. Really, there is nothing more chuckle-worthy than a committed Jack Black talking to a large dude in an animal costume or singing along side a puppet with a hand inserted in a red, furry anal cavity.
Jack Black and Elmo had not been on for more than one minute when Otto looked at the screen and started to scream as if someone had pulled out one of his baby teeth with rusty tweezers. He threw himself into my arms and wailed, shaking like never before. He was clearly petrified and I thought maybe he had become lactose intolerant over night or that I scared him half to death with my blatant disregard for wearing under eye concealer and decent pair of pants. Then he pointed to Jack Black’s face and screamed again and it all made sense to my slow and foggy brain. He feels about Jack Black the way I felt about Lawrence Welk and the child catcher character from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. No matter what anyone said or no matter how many times I was forced to watch either one of these miscreants, they scared me shitless with their overtly trimmed eyebrows and double-breasted suit jackets. I thought to myself that maybe Otto had rented Shallow Hal or The Holiday. And then I took a closer look at Jack Black's face and there they were, the same eyebrows, different man.