Series / Noels House Party
Seminal British Saturday night entertainment show of The '90s
(1991-1999), hosted by Noel Edmonds (formerly of Multicoloured Swap Shop
, contemporaneously of Noel's Christmas Presents
, and later host of Deal or No Deal
). A Spiritual Successor
to the now largely forgotten Noel's Saturday Roadshow
, its framework was based on the fiction of Noel owning a large stately home, the Great House, in the fictional but quintessential English village of Crinkly Bottom
. It was a variety show, with a cast of recurring colourful villagers, audience participation, setups that involved people being drenched in the Gunge Tank (similar to Nickelodeon
's slime, and equally emblematic of The '90s
) and the recurring feature of the Gotcha Oscar (later just Gotcha). This was a Candid Camera Prank
involving a celebrity being conned into doing what they think is some kind of serious activity (usually actors in a fake TV show) only for Noel to pop up with their 'Gotcha' award statue at the climax. One such celebrity was the radio DJ Dave Lee Travis (DLT) who was particularly outraged at the event and became Noel's Arch-Enemy
, once participating in a Hostile Show Takeover
Another recurring feature was "NTV" (a pun on MTV
) in which cameras would be concealed near the television of a random family of viewers (nominated by friends or neighbours) and, at the appropriate time in the show, it would cut to the view from these cameras and Noel would talk to them and involve them in activities. As a regular viewer, you could never be sure that it wouldn't cut to you
In 1993 the show did a Gotcha segment which involved a fictional children's TV show based on the ridiculous character "Mr Blobby". This was intended to particularly embarrass the celebrities and arguably mock them for not realising that such a daft character would never get his own show...aaaaaand then Springtime for Hitler
happened and Mr Blobby achieved absurd levels of mainstream popularity in his own right, getting a number one pop single and being more famous than the House Party itself, while continuing to appear in it.
Both Mr Blobby and Noel's House Party
in general are The '90s
in the UK.
Contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The tie-in book The Tourist's Guide to Crinkly Bottom fills in a lot of information about Crinkly Bottom's bizarre history and its neighbouring villages.
- Arch-Enemy: DLT to Noel.
- Big Fancy House: The Great House.
- Breakout Character: Mr Blobby.
- Candid Camera Prank: The Gotcha segments.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: The Gunge Tank.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "I'm Sammy the Shammy. I'm the window cleaner. I clean the windows."
- Hostile Show Takeover: DLT once did this to the show, dubbing it "DLTV".
- Pokémon Speak: All Mr Blobby ever says is "blobby blobby blobby!"
- Punny Name: The names of Crinkly Bottom and its neighbouring villages ("Dangley End", "Nether Scratching") are all Getting Crap Past the Radar examples of this. This works because many real English villages have equally bizarre and suggestive names (there really is a "Nether Wallop" for example).
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Tony Blackburn would appear from time to time in this role — on one occasion, making an entrance in the Mr Blobby costume to hand a Gotcha to Noel.
- Spiritual Successor: As mentioned above, to Noel's Saturday Roadshow, which was almost exactly the same except instead of a stately home, the sound stage would be a different location every week (but still very obviously a sound stage).
- Springtime for Hitler: Mr Blobby was invented as a deliberately ridiculous parody of children's TV characters. He then became massively popular in an unironic fashion...
- Unintentional Period Piece: As noted above, considered highly representative of The '90s in the UK.
- Widget Series: Not the show, but Mr Blobby himself somehow spawned a widget franchise that the rest of the world simply can't wrap their heads around.
- Writing Around Trademarks: The Gotcha Oscars were renamed The Gotchas when the Academy threatened legal action. The trophy itself was also redesigned, arguably for the better—instead of looking generically similar to an Oscar, they now took the form of an Oscar-like statue being grabbed by a giant hand.