Having been a parent for roughly 21 months now, one of my favorite things to do is let my daughter watch The Wiggles. They sing, they dance, they play stupid games with one another, pretty much the perfect formula for the under five crowd. My daughter is frequently entranced when they are on, and seeing that sometimes they have some catchy tunes, it doesn’t completely bother me when they are on(more often than not, they’re the last song in my head and I’ll be humming them all day and looking pretty gay while I do, not Harvey Firestein gay, more Lance Bass gay). While I know I may seem to be late to The Wiggles party (since they have been around for awhile), here is a little guide to watching them, hopefully it helps and if it doesn’t, well then that’s your problem, and you just wasted a bunch of time reading my mindless drivel.
Let’s start with The Wiggles themselves – Murray is the Red Wiggle and he plays the guitar, as each Wiggle has one trait they usually beat to death, Murray’s is he plays the guitar. He’s tall and lanky, and looks kind of pasty white, he also has a lot of enthusiasm about well, pretty much everything(this is true of all of them as they get excited about the dumbest things, similar to kids with shiny keys shaking in front of them). Jeff is the Purple Wiggle and he likes to sleep, which being Asian almost goes against the stereotype of being hard workers(ironically a kid’s show would do the opposite of a stereotype, that and he can pronounce the letter L with no audible trouble). Jeff gets the luxury of having a trait that makes him roughly one step above being homeless if not for the fact he seems to have residence at the Wiggle House. Anthony is the Blue Wiggle and he likes to eat, which makes him like roughly 100% of the population who don’t suffer from anorexia(remembering that as a child one of our first senses of joy is through our mouth, later in life it moves about 3 feet south of there depending on height, but even still, eating is about as human and humans can be).
Finally, the last Wiggle is also the lead singer and is the Yellow Wiggle. Problem is, depending on which year the episodes were produced, there are two different lead singers. Greg started with The Wiggles and episodes before 2006, he was the Yellow Wiggle. After 2006, Greg left The Wiggles due to Dysautonomia (basically a fatigue type illness) and handed the reigns over to Sam, formerly Professor Singalottasonga(you may see him some episodes sporting one of the world’s worst goatees, almost giving Randy Jackson a run for his money). Greg likes driving the Big Red Car (we’ll get into later I promise) as does Sam, and doing magic tricks(Greg could eat 3 apples and crap out a fruit salad). Sam is more adept at losing things, which is slightly less boring than Jeff constantly wanting to sleep. Sam is a classically trained musician, which is obvious when you hear him sing, while Greg is a good singer in his own right, but he does more folksy kind of stuff, and is also a big Elvis fan. I’m personally more of a Greg fan, but only because the older Wiggles stuff is more fun and catchy
Non-Wiggle characters who also play a big part – Captain Feathersword is the resident pirate who instead of a sword carries a feather sword, hence the name(it’s much like Irwin R Schyster (or IRS) was the tax man or the Repo Man was well, a repo man back in the WWF, kids shows are a lot like wrestling when it comes to simple things like names, as wrestling promoters pretty much regard the general public collectively as having the mentality of the under 5 crowd, thanks Vince McMahon). The Captain is widely regarded as the 5th Wiggle and is the comic relief, although I tend to find most of his stuff about as funny as Robin Williams(seriously name a funny movie he has ever made, and don’t give me Mrs. Doubtfire, I said a funny movie). Henry the Octopus is a fairly annoying cephalopod who is somehow friendly with The Wiggles, and he is involved with an underwater band. Henry is by far my least favorite character as if you ask me, they spelled his name incorrectly, as it should drop the “Octo”, and add a “sy”, as Henry is about as much fun as having a one night stand with a girl with an abnormally large Adam’s apple.
Dorothy the Dinosaur is another friend of The Wiggles who loves to dance, eat roses, and drink rosey tea(she’s about as complicated as a four piece puzzle). Dorothy speaks in a high toned voice and one of the highlights of the show is during the Dorothy’s Dance Class segment, when showing the dance of the day, it’s not uncommon they will play porn music in the background, except instead of a gratuitous sex scene, you get a gratuitous dance scene(with occasionally simulated sex moves, nothing above a dry hump though). The final character is Wags the Dog, the dog of the Wiggles. His name is Wags, his name is Wags, he eats so much that his tummy drags, oh me oh my, he barks all day and night, at least according to the “Wags the Dog” song. In earlier episodes, Wags could only bark, but more recently he has taken to speaking English, which clearly says one thing, his trainers are the most amazing in the world, making blind guide dog trainers seem grossly overpaid(or the writers got tired of him not speaking and wanted to put more than arf arf on the script pages).
The Big Red Car is the Wiggles main form of transportation and they also have several songs about it. Greg or Sam is always the driver, and being that they are Australian, the driver sits on the right side(which in most of the scenes they aren’t really driving, it seems pretty obvious they are on a flatbed truck filming it, the director is about as lazy as a porno movie costume person having a pizza delivery man with a hat on that says “Pizza Man” on it). I’m not sure if the Big Red Car needs a tune up or not, as according to the song, it goes “Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga” but it is in immaculate condition, and is probably one of the biggest toys that they sell, hence more air time equals more money for The Wiggles, who’s annual intake ranges between $40-50 MILLION dollars per year(this is not a misprint, they’re making money hand over fist, their concerts alone are a license to print money).
Before I go into the top 10 songs that The Wiggles have, there is one thing that is by far the worst thing The Wiggles have ever done, and it was on for a couple of seasons, and is the segment of when The Wiggles were young, aka The Little Wiggles.
There are several problems with The Little Wiggles, first and foremost, they are tone deaf. If they were on American Idol, they would be shown in the opening episodes where you deal with the idiots who can’t sing, they are literally this bad(think Heidi Montag singing to Spencer Pratt on a YouTube video where they were trying to promote her new album with zero production value). Secondly, their acting is so bad that anything that Pauly Shore, Carrot Top, or Paris Hilton have ever done, is Oscar worthy by comparison(I have also pinpointed the world’s worst actor, in the first season they did The Little Wiggles, little Greg was replaced for some reason, so by default since they are that horrible, the kid who was replaced would pretty much have to be the worst actor ever, since collectively it is the worst acting you will ever witness. I’m not trying to pick on a 10 year old kid, but if this kid told his guidance counselor in high school he wants to be an actor, they should discourage him to the point that he should get detention if he ever brings it up again, yes, that bad.)
The final thing they do that is beyond awful is when they try and combine the two, and they do the opposite of Hannah Montana and it’s the worst of both worlds(my wife use to watch Hannah Montana so by default I did as well, I felt slightly gayer with every episode I ever saw). The four to five minute segments that they throw together should be shown on a continuous loop at Guantanamo Bay to torture the prisoners, as if we ever want to get information from the terrorists, The Little Wiggles would be the way to go(I’d say as far to dub the segment in Farsi so they can understand how bad it truly is, we’d fine Bin Laden in a matter of weeks they’d be begging to make it stop).
Now that I’ve gone over most of the basics of the show, here are my top 10 songs which if you watch more than three times, I can pretty much bet you will be humming all day and will get people to ask what’s wrong with this guy. (I’ll put if its a Sam or Greg in parenthesis so you’ll know when to expect them if watching an episode, some Sam sings as well, but if it originates with Greg, that’s what it will say, most will be Greg since Sam hasn’t been around that long)
10 – “Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car” (Greg) – It goes over pretty much everything The Wiggles do, and it’s catchy. Great Beginner song to see what The Wiggles are all about.
9 – “Bow Wow Wow” (Greg) – It’s about Wags the Dog and my favorite part asks what kind of animal you give a bone to(it never asks about your wife, I guess they mean a dog’s bone).
8 – “Dr. Nickerbocker” (Sam) – It’s about a doctor, the number nine, and the rhythm of many a body part. It’s not complicated, and it will have you humming it later in the day.
7 – “Wiggly Party” (Greg) – It’s a party, and everybody’s coming. You’ll sing it enough times, every party you go to in the future, you will question if it’s a regular party or a Wiggly party.
6 – “Fruit Salad” (Greg) – It’s yummy, yummy, and if you know Justin Timberlake’s classic “D*ck in a Box”, it mentions three steps, but in this case peeling bananas, toss in some grapes, chopping up some apples, and melons but it’s very tempting to change the lyrics, trust me.
5 – “Hot Potato” (Greg) – Normally a song that has a total of 10 words that repeat themselves wouldn’t qualify as a good song, but if you’re under five, no one really cares, and the Wooo Wiggly, Wiggly part is addictive.
4 – “Lights, Camera, Action, Wiggles!” (Greg) – This was also the opening them to one of their seasons, it has hand motions, kids yelling Wiggles, and a lot of go’s.
3 – “Where’s Jeff?” (Greg) – Even though the answer is who cares, it has some high-pitched stuff and had it’s own segment at one point on the TV show, and if you have a friend named Jeff, I dare you not to sing it if anyone asks where he is.
2 – “The Shimmy Shake” (Sam) – The Wiggles ode to the Beatles and it’s genuinely a fun song. If you listened to it without knowing where it came from, you’d probably think its a pretty good song on it’s own merit. It’s the best of the Sam lot.
1 – “Rock-A-Bye Your Bear” (Greg) – Hand motions, good lyrics, easy to remember, and most importantly you can sing it to your kids and they might stop crying.
Honorable mentions to the “New York Firefighter” (the video is borderline pornographic), “Here Come the Chicken”, “Wags the Dog”, “Old Dan Tucker” with Troy Cassar-Daley, & “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” with Leo Sayer, all very catchy in their own right, but the last two songs having guest stars, kind of disqualifies them. The Wiggles have literally hundreds of songs to pick from, but these were my favorites, or at least the ones I sing the most (and sadly know by heart).
So this pretty much sums up all you need to know about The Wiggles, as they are on Sprout four times a day, and we frequently DVR all of them, just to give our little one some variety. I still try and mix in some Sesame Street but some days, she sticks one finger on each hand up in the air and mumbles out, “Wiggle, wiggle!” Unfortunately for me, my daughter is just so stinkin’ cute, we can’t say no to her, so for most of our dinners The Wiggles join us at the table. Honestly, I don’t even mind The Wiggles, as we embrace them as our TV babysitters, so much so, the wife and I dressed as The Wiggles for Halloween, and our daughter was Dorothy the Dinosaur. So whatever you think about The Wiggles, I can tell you first hand, we’re a Wiggles family, and it doesn’t bother us in the least as they’re fun, catchy, and at least mildly educational so on the bright side, my little one isn’t getting any dumber, it’s not like we’re watching Yo Gabba Gabba! (which we haven’t seen yet, so I’m not judging, well just from afar, it just looks weird)