“BLOBBY, BLOB BLOB BLOBBY!” To an entire generation of British millennials, these words — repeated in a weird, robotic drone — conjure up childhood memories of Mr. Blobby, the beloved 1990s TV mascot experiencing a resurgence in popularity as a viral, anti-capitalist icon.
Articulating Mr. Blobby’s genius is an almost-impossible feat. Blobby is an agent of chaos; a rebel without a cause known for destroying fancy TV sets and, more recently, smashing festive pastries into the faces of respectable, suited-and-booted journalists. In fact, some would say Blobby has all the anarchic spirit and excitement of political graffiti artist Banksy, if Banksy hadn’t turned out to be just another nondescript white guy hiding his identity to avoid being arrested for vandalism.
Unlike Banksy, Blobby doesn’t need trite spray paint art to make his points known — his physical presence is enough to send the clear, unambiguous message that he’s here to fuck shit up. Standing seven feet tall, he’s a sight to behold — his body is spherical and his pink, rubbery “skin” is covered in acid-yellow splotches. There’s always some poor, sweaty actor encased in his foamy skin-suit — he’s not animated, he’s a real-life whirlwind of batshit craziness — but the actor’s face is always covered by a mask of Blobby’s trademark, demonic visage. His big, bulging green eyes are framed by over-the-top black lashes, his cherry-red mouth etched into a permanent, maniacal grin. The proverbial frosting on the cake is his multicolored bow tie — usually the only clothing he wears. This accessory gives him the distinct aura of a horror movie clown.
Like plenty of Brits, 28-year-old illustrator Honey Parast was first introduced to Blobby’s unhinged ways when she saw Noel Edmonds’ House Party as a kid. It was Blobby’s only regular TV gig for decades, and the one that made him a household name in bemused family homes across the U.K. “I’m still not sure what demographic the show was aimed at,” Parast says of the bizarre variety show, which ran from 1991 to 2000. Although ostensibly a “children’s show,” it featured Blobby emerging sporadically to wreak havoc on set. To call him kid-friendly would be a stretch — on a British game show, comedian Jack Whitehall said the creepy, pink monster “chilled his blood” and described him as a “fat, jaundiced baby.” When Blobby bounded on-set for a cameo spot, a fellow comedian said, bemused: “Who the fuck let him near kids?”
In 2018, Parast started talking to friends at a dinner party about the candy-pink fever dream. “The conversation was mostly oriented around whether or not he’s made of lunch meat,” she tells me. “He just looks like he is, you know?” These musings on Blobby’s disturbing flesh sowed the seeds of an idea. By the end of 2018, Parast had started curating Blobby Zine, a niche, crowd-funded 52-page publication dedicated to the sinister yet lovable character.
At the time, Blobby’s star was on the rise after a decades-long hiatus. Noel Edmonds — Blobby’s sidekick — had returned to TV as a contestant on the reality show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. If you don’t know the show, the premise is that Z-list stars are air-dropped into the Australian jungle and forced to eat animal droppings to earn basic food rations. Fittingly, it was in this flurry of truly bizarre media interest that Blobby started making chaotic cameos on talk shows, all in the name of promoting his long-term BFF.
Now you know Blobby’s origin story, but what about his values? Put simply, he stands for anarchy. In one 1990s video, Blobby wanders around a suburban mall and ransacks a sneaker store when he can’t find a pair of shoes in his size. Moments later, he’s taken under the wing of a friendly sales assistant who locates the perfect, boat-like sneakers for his gigantic feet. His shopping spree continues, and within minutes he’s bagged an entire new outfit — seemingly without paying a dime.
Subverting capitalism by stealing goods and destroying corporate chain stores? Check. Banksy could never.
Blobby also gets a kick from humiliating middle-class liberals. In 2018, he strolled nonchalantly onto a daytime TV set, pushing vases onto the floor as he went. The bemused hosts chat politely as he straddles a couch, his skinny pink legs flailing wildly as he disrupts the everyday niceties of daytime TV. Then, in a video compilation entitled “mr blobby being a menace to society for 3 minutes,” he rips up floors and throws his round, wobbly body through expensive paintings. Bourgeois, bullshit decorations stand no chance in the presence of Mr. Blobby!
Blobby is also a Twitter icon in his own right now too, thanks to an anonymously run account that captures his truly deranged nature. The profile frames Blobby as a horny menace, who squirts his foamy, pink load across random bikes and tweets wildly libidinous declarations like “HERE TO FUCK!” He’s a trans ally as well — when Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling got back on her TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) bullshit, Blobby simply quote-tweeted her with a message: “GROW UP.” Sure, Banksy may have raised tens of thousands of dollars to turn queer icon Oscar Wilde’s prison into an arts center, but has he ever had Twitter beef with the world’s most famous transphobe? Again, Blobby wins this war of relevance.
When I reached out to the person who runs the account, they responded: “BLOBYS WORDS MUST REACH THE MASSES. DICTATE THAT WHICH YOU WOLD WISH TO KNOW.” I promptly replied with a series of brief questions — for example: “when did you decide to become so horny?” — but alas, Blobby didn’t respond. Elusive as ever.
It’s been nearly 20 years since Blobby topped the U.K. charts with his wildly catchy debut single, “Mr Blobby,” but this gloriously delirious mascot shows no signs of slowing down. For seemingly no good reason, he’s been cast in a pantomime (a gloriously camp, distinctly British brand of lo-fi, goofy theater) production of Peter Pan, and again, he’s back to his old antics — see his truly unsettling appearance on BBC News for proof.
His countercultural impact may be underrated, but longtime fans like Parast are glad to see Blobby back on top. “[The British public] has a love/hate relationship with him, but he’s a chaotic icon regardless,” she says. “He’s the hero we never knew we needed.”