Jul 12

MR BLOBBY – “Mr Blobby”

Popular220 comments • 13,878 views

#698, 11th December 1993

“Mr Blobby” is something of a first. We’ve met terrible records before – worse than this, in many cases – but their terribleness has been down to incompetence or cynicism (or in Jive Bunny’s case both). Blobby is doing something different: his single is best understood an extension of the Blobby M.O., the gag which made him a star on Saturday night TV. Celebrity is given to understand Blobby is a harmless kids’ TV character; Blobby then deliberately annoys the sleb, destroys the set, etc.

In other words the awfulness of “Mr Blobby” was a given. More, it was an aim. By Christmas 1993 Blobby was a national figure so his effectiveness as a prankster was long over, but there was enough time for one last great prank – get to number one with a record designed to infuriate, but that people would buy anyway because it would be funny to see it at the top of the charts, especially at Christmas. Hardly anyone had heard of “trolling” but here it was.

If you were being melodramatic – or keen on a bit of trolling yourself – you might say that this is the moment when the British public give up on the charts, turn their back on the one-shot dance hits, the first-week price-fixing, the return of boybands, et al. “Sod this,” the public cry, and vote for a deliberately stupid single by a pink jelly monster. Except I don’t think there was any malice in it – this isn’t a “Killing In The Name” type of incident, where one species of pop was pitched against another with plenty of sneering on each side. Nobody stood to win or lose. It was – like Blobby in general – just slapstick, corporate Dada, highly merchandised nonsense. It’s true that Blobby struck an awful lot of nerves – he was a lodestone for a wider debate about “dumbing down”, the BBC’s shift to an internal market under John Birt, a lurid, shambling “why we can’t have nice things” symbol for a vaguer sense of cultural decline.

But he was also a man in a rubber suit who fell over a lot. And this is his single, coming on like a megamix of previous novelties – the tinny Casio rush of Bombalurina, a chorus of kids a la St Winifreds, three-line-whip jollity (not quite as gritted-teeth as The Stonk), and plenty of parping and farting because, er, Britain. And what do you know – it improves on its sources.



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  1. 211
    Mark G on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Presumably they had 2 linemen already..

    (coat, I know..)

  2. 212
    Erithian on 25 Apr 2013 #

    PAGING WICHITA AGAIN! – The return match is tonight, Whyteleafe v Erith & Belvedere: see you there Lino? Squeaky bum time sees Deres two points ahead of VCD Athletic with three games to go, the abovementioned September result being one of only two league defeats so far this season. Leafe are a further 15 points behind in 4th but always dangerous. Also tonight VCD are visiting Bowie’s old haunts at Beckenham (though I’ll wager the Dame never took in a match at Eden Park Avenue).

  3. 213
    wichita lineman on 25 Apr 2013 #

    Sorry I’ll be in Yorkshire. But good luck to the ‘Deres. It would be great to see them back in the Isthmian.

  4. 214
    Erithian on 25 Apr 2013 #

    Thanks, appreciated. According to people who know way more than I do about feeder leagues, we and VCD are probably both going up, but you’re never quite sure.

  5. 215
    Erithian on 1 May 2013 #

    You’ll be pleased to know the Deres clinched the Kent League title last night. We only drew on Saturday, so went into the final pair of games behind on goal difference, needing either a better result than VCD or to beat Greenwich by five more goals than VCD beat Lordswood. And while we hammered Greenwich 7-1, VCD were being held to an unexpected goalless draw – cue the end of 31 years of hurt.

  6. 216
    Patrick Mexico on 24 Sep 2014 #

    Re 151: He was also just getting to MY era, so to speak! This is the first Popular entry I ever read, and my emotions quickly shifted from “This is MY kind of town” to “Oh shit! I completely derailed this through unintentional un-divine intervention!” But two months later, Tom came through a river of pink and yellow gunge made from the thickener in fruit pies (true story, ask Noel Edmonds) and came out smelling of roses on the other side.

    Which sadly isn’t the case with EveryNowSong (a Twitter page posting the video for every Now! That’s What I Call Music track) – does anyone know why the user pulled the plug on that? They got as far as NOW 11..

  7. 217

    This song is the definition of why the EU won’t ever take us back.

  8. 218

    At least the fears of #216 have been completely eased! You’re the one for me, Patreon.

  9. 219
    Gareth Parker on 3 May 2021 #

    Of course it’s inane and silly, but I still think I could be charitable and give this 3/10.

  10. 220
    Coagulopath on 25 Sep 2021 #

    I get it’s supposed to be bad, but it’s also bad in peculiar, unique ways that we’ve never seen before or since. Ways that couldn’t have been intended.

    Why does it sound like the Eurovision entry from the fascist dictatorship in a PK Dick novel? Seriously, this is the music we’d be listening to if Hitler had won the war.

    The verses are terrifying, like we’re being warned about some all-powerful monster. It doesn’t matter if you run into the mountains or the deserts. Escape is impossible. Blobby sees all!

    In disagreement with Marcello, the “no bridge too far (he’s got a car!)” part is actually funny. A high-minded and abstract sentiment (“no bridge too far”), punctured by mundane logistical details. It’s the only joke in the song that lands (again, maybe unintentionally).

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