Photo Credit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage
A new season of Yo Gabba Gabba! premieres on March 8. And what's a new season of a live-action kids' show without gratuitous drop-ins by celebrities completely unrecognizable to children?
So, in addition to recurring Gabba-ppearances by standbys Biz Markie and Jack McBrayer, the show will be visited this season by Sarah Silverman, Weird Al Yankovic, Anthony Bourdain, Weezer, Mos Def, and more.
I know it's fun for parents to see stars from their universe dropped into kids’ TV neighborhoods as if by parachute -– Sesame Street has certainly perfected the art of celebrity appearances. But what happens if your children want to see more of, say, Sarah Silverman (who's actually appeared onstage with the live version of the Yo Gabba Gabba! show)? I bet kids would love those Comedy Central promos for The Sarah Silverman Show that feature her peeing into a mailbox.
Anthony Bourdain's signature Travel Channel program, No Reservations, features a "may not be appropriate for you" advisory at the top of each show. And you know there aren’t even a lot of kids watching the Travel Channel.
(If you think your kids are perfectly fine with this, consider how you'd feel if Elmo dropped by Law & Order: SVU for a little meet & greet)
For the record, I really like Scatological Sarah and Weird Al, and I typically watch Anthony's show at the end of a fruitless channel-surfing run. I also know seeing grownup strangers -- not to mention strange grown-ups -- on TV isn't any more harmful to kids than encountering them in real life. And I admit to perking up a little when I see a recognizable star like Jake Gyllenhaal or Robert DeNiro on a kids' show.
But seeing a celebrity who kids already know, like, and appreciate -- whether it be Michelle Obama, Justin Bieber, or Shaun White –- would mean something more to them, and I'd like to see more of that. After all, aren't we making this stuff for them in the first place?