As promised, the following is a little background behind Gooble, the ghostlike mysterious Yo Gabba Gabba character.
Artistically, Gooble's origin began with a song off of the Aquabats 1999 "Vs. The Floating Eye of Death" album called, "Monster's Wedding" The song itself is a ghost story; not unlike Tim Burton's 2005 film, The Corpse Bride. In the song, there is a foreboding ghost's voice saying, "you must go". That ghost's name was Obakemon (which translates to "ghost-man" in Japanese).
I did the graphic design for the "Floating Eye of Death" album and I knew that Obakemon would be a real fun character to illustrate for the inside lyric booklet. Of course, he is what he is in the song, a ghost man. I designed him to emulate the style of my brother Christian's signature red cyclopses that he used to doodle all over the place--which eventually became Muno (but that's another story). In promotion of the album, Obakemon later found himself on Aquabats t-shirts, stickers and jackets. They were mostly glow-in-the dark, cuz you know, he's a ghost!
I really dug Obakemon's sad clown look of misery with his candy red lips. I don't know why, but for some reason it visually appealed to me. When I was working at Paul Frank Industries, I had an Obakemon messenger bag custom made for me that I carried around for years and years.
So then, I believe in 2004, Christian & Scott invited me (with a few others) to the first working Yo Gabba Gabba concept meeting. It was then that they pitched the idea of developing a TV project other than The Aquabat Super Show. This was going to be a character based kids show but pulling from what we had already built in the Aquabats universe. I thought it was a great idea to put some of these characters to better use. Muno, Brobee and Gooble are all characters that have Aquabat roots.
We changed Obakemon's name to Gooble because we liked how it sounded. Besides, Obakemon? American kids don't like them Japanese names fer stuff! They like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon and Apple pie stuff like that!
My job as graphic dude was to help flesh out the early concepts for a pitch. This was Gooble #1:
OK so several years later, we end up making the show. We settle on the 5 main characters, because we just didn't have it in the first season budget to make more! Gooble did survive in a couple of scripts as a minor role, but now he had to be animated. This made me sad because I thought he would look really cool as a live action character.
But then my favorite mistake happened. In the process of making one of the Muno costumes, there was an error, and Muno just didn't turn out right. We spent big dollars on this Muno we simply couldn't use. So, I made this proposal: we take the bad Muno costume, scrape off the bumps and remake it in a Gooble fashion.
...And it worked!
Here, in the episode aptly entitled, "Love", Gooble joins the rest of the cast in a touching rendition of, "Be Nice To Everyone". I personally think this is one of the weirdest moments of Yo Gabba Gabba...and I LOVE it!