Blue Man Group is a creative organization founded by Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton. The organization produces theatrical shows and concerts featuring music, comedy and multimedia; recorded music and scores for film and television; television appearances for shows such as The Tonight Show
, Las Vegas
, FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman
and Arrested Development
, and a children's museum exhibit, "Making Waves".
All of the organization's appearances star a trio of performers called Blue Men, who appear to have blue skin and no voice, hair or ears. The original founding Blue Men still perform occasionally, but they have since then taken on administrative roles in the company. Because of the success of Blue Man Group, a parent company called Blue Man Productions was created, which produces all the Blue Man Group shows in the world.
They have released two studio albums, Audio
and The Complex
, and one live album, How To Be A Megastar Live!
This group provides examples of:
- The Adjectival Man/The Man Is Sticking It to the Man
- Affectionate Parody: "It's Time to Start" parodies rock concerts by explaining what rock concert tropes the audience should carry out, ranging from the realistic ("Rock Concert Movement #1, the basic head bob", and "#2, the one-armed fist pump") to the ridiculous ("#4, the behind-the-head leg stretch", which the Blue Men proceed to actually do). #3 ("the up-and-down jumping motion") receives a step-by-step explanation, though in live performances it's been replaced with #10 ("getting a closer look at the audience") which involves footage from a miniature camera supposedly being shoved down an audience member's throat.
- The rock tours as a whole are one for rock n roll culture, mocking every imaginable rock n roll cliche while also being a really, really awesome concert.
- Amazing Technicolor Population
- Audience Participation: "Time to Start" again.
- "What is Rock?" continues the theme from "Time to Start".
"Rock concert movement #6: The double upward fist pump with yell. Ready? Go."
"Your attention please. Please yell if you are paying attention." note
- At one point, they would play the song "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, while each of them held up an LCD lightboard. The first message on each one was, respectively:
"Read this sign if you know the words to this song
Read this sign if you don't know the words to this song
Read this sign if you don't care for this song."
- Before the Las Vegas live show, scrolling text across monitors asks the audience to participate in various tasks. Among these are speaking "Happy Birthday" ("Don't sing. Just speak."), and "making that noise they used to make on Arsenio Hall".
- If there are latecomers, the Blue Men are interrupted by a really catchy song as the camera focuses on the latercomers entering.
- During the rock tours, an audience member would be selected at random to read off the names of the musicians as part of the "Rock Concert Movements."
- Bald of Awesome
- Butt Monkey: As one of the themes of the group is that three is the minimum needed for majorities and minorities to form, much of the humor comes from one Blue Man being treated this way. Typically, it's whichever one is currently standing on the right.
- Concept Album: The Complex tells two simultaneous stories, one of the boisterous, exciting rock n' roll world ("Time To Start," "Your Attention") and one of the joyless corporate world ("Sing Along," "Persona"). The two eventually meet in "What Is Rock."
- Cover Version: "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer and, in concerts, "Baba O'Riely" by The Who and "One Of These Days" by Pink Floyd.
- Darker and Edgier: The Complex is easily the group's most angst-ridden creation, with themes of becoming a soulless slave to convention is a grim corporate world.
- Double Entendre: "Please give us our balls back." The Las Vegas production, which was revised in 2012 to include the "Shake It" segment, has run with this double entendre in magazine ads and posters: "Blue Man Group: Now with Balls".
- Felony Misdemeanor: Do not come in late to a Blue Man Group show. Or DO come in late if you want to laugh.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Rods and Cones," the big screens show the text as the voice-over guy is saying it. As he's describing the cones in your eyes, he explains that they specialize in color vision, and come in three types: those that respond to the color red, those that respond to green, and those that respond to... (NAKED PEOPLE) ...the color blue.
- Kayfabe Music: In their very earliest appearances, the Blue Men would speak directly to their audience with a short question and answer session. Nowadays, they remain in character as The Voiceless Cloudcuckoolanders, treating items carried by the audience (such as cellphones and cameras) with a combination of awe and mystification.
- List Song: The new finale "Shake It" mostly consists of (largely made-up) synonyms for the human rear end.
- Mood Whiplash: About three quarters though The Complex Live Tour, the Blue Men perform Exhibit 13 — a subdued, solemn piece that includes recitations from scorched documents found in Carroll Gardens during the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.
- The Mole: In the audience! During some concerts, a member of the BMG's crew will be planted into the audience with the express purpose of shouting "FREEBIRD!" during the concert. The band will then start playing the beginning guitar riffs of "Freebird".
- Mundane Object Amazement: A recurring theme is that the Blue Men don't know what any object's purpose is, and will investigate it in the most unusual fashions.
- Numerological Motif/Rule of Three: Except for the original Blue Man Group performance, "The Funeral for the Eighties", there have always been three Blue Men. This is because this is the smallest number for a group to have an outsider, which many of their acts and sketches revolve around. They do have others behind stage to use their limbs for some impossible stretching or bodies to fake teleportation and there are three dudes hidden in a dark balcony that wear completely black clothes with some glow-in-the-dark green straps on them.
- One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others:
Periodically, you may want to check with your fans to see if they are "with you". If so, you can reward their devotion by handing out a few special souveneir items - such as drum sticks, guitar picks and Courvoisier.
- Overly Long Gag: The song "Shake Your Euphemism".
- You will need to start shaking your rear end, or as some people call it...
- Your hindquarters, your backside, your bottom, your buttocks, your rump, your posterior, your heiney, your keister...
- Your tush, your buns, your bumcakes, your junk in the trunk, your badonkadonk, your squash tart, your fanny, your double slug,...
- Your wiggle bags, your mud flaps, your rump rockets, your flesh pot, your second face, your bounce house, the jiggle twins, Jar Jar Binks...
- Your bubble pop, your medicine ball, your sonic boom...
- Ladies and gentlemen, please stand up.
- The Rival: The Orlando, Florida production is Universal Orlando's answer to Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba at nearby Walt Disney World.
- Shaving Is Science: One blade mocks the hair, another shoots tiny arrows.
- Silent Snarker
- Sophisticated as Hell: The voice-over guy in the song "Rods and Cones."
Each of your eyes has over 3 million photoreceptors called rods and cones. These receptors convert light into electrochemical signals that travel through the optic nerve and into the brain. Here, these signals trigger the neurological process scientists call, "the hellawhack shiznit that happens inside your brizzle."
- Sorry, Billy, but You Just Don't Have Legs: Among the requirements to be a Blue Man are to be between 5'10" and 6'1" with an athletic build. The others may be used for the green glow-in-the-dark musicians that sit in a dark balcony.
- Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "Shake Your Euphemism," which actually uses the word "buttocks" as one of the less absurd euphemisms for the human posterior.
- Take That: Some of the things on the Rock Instruction stuff.
If you don't have a lot of natural charisma, you can give yourself a descriptive name like Slash
, The Edge
, or Scary Spice
- Trash Can Band/Everything is an Instrument: One of the band's trademarks is their self-invented instruments made out of unusual materials, their two most famous being the PVC pipes struck with foam paddles or drumsticks and boat antennas which are waved about to create rhythmic "swooshing" sounds.
- Unreadably Fast Text: All three Blue Men simultaneously flash cue cards filled with lots of text to the audience, waiting just a few seconds before moving to the next one. One of the cards says you can't read all of them and should just pick one Blue Man and stick with him.
- Even if you can read fast enough to read all three cards each round, they eventually get into stuff like Greek text, numbers, bar codes...
- In 2012, the Las Vegas production updated this segment with giant "GiPads" that the Blue Men "flip" through. One pad has "Twit that Lit!" (really condensed versions of classic literature), another mock ads, and the last facts about the increased role of technology in people's lives.
- Unusual Euphemism: The song used in the finale of the current show rattles off a lengthy list of pretty much every (reasonably family-friendly) euphemism for the human posterior that one can possibly think of. Toward the end, most of these get to be a bit of a stretch...
- And then they announced a contest, part of the prize being that the winner's submitted euphemism would be added to the song.