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Series / Boohbah

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From the creators of Teletubbies comes Boohbah, a series that aired on both ITV and Nick Jr. in the UK and on PBS Kids in the US from 2003 to 2006. It is about five brightly-colored, atom-like creatures called the Boohbahs who teach their target demographic of toddlers various exercises in each episode. The Boohbahs live in the multicolored Boohzone, and in every episode they enter and leave the Boohzone via the Boohball, a bubble-like vehicle.

Each episode also has a segment featuring live-action actors playing humans called the Storypeople, whose segments are introduced by some children providing them a present. This present appears later on in the Storypeople segment to be used by them. American broadcasts of the show added another segment called "Look What I Can Do", where children show off what exercises they can do.

This show provides examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Of all the Storypeople, the only one whose name isn't just an indicator of what part of the family they are and nothing more is Little Dog Fido.
  • Amazing Technicolor World: The Boohbahs' world is filled to the bursting point with bright colors.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Boohbah!"
    • "Humbah."
    • "Zumbah."
    • "Zing Zing Zingbah."
    • "Jumbah."
    • "Jingbah."
    • "A present for the story people."
    • "Somebody's coming."
    • "It's Grandmama."
    • "It's Grandpapa."
    • "It's Mrs Lady."
    • "It's Mr Man."
    • "It's Brother and Sister."
    • "It's Auntie."
    • "It's Little Dog Fido."
      • "Off he goes."
    • "Goodbye."
  • Christmas Episode: "Snowballs", "Sledge", "Snowman", and "Snowshaker".
  • Colour-Coded Characters: Humbah is yellow, Zumbah is purple, Zing Zing Zingbah is orange, Jumbah is blue and Jingbah is pink.
  • Couch Gag: Every episode opened with the Boohball floating to various parts of the world, where children notice it and play with it. The exact location changes each episode.
  • Ensemble Cast: All of the Boohbahs are given equal focus as main characters.
  • Every Episode Ending: The end of an episode is signalled during the episode's second Boohbah exercise segment through a rainbow-colored tint suddenly passing by the screen. This is the cue for a rainbow-colored portal to appear nearby, which in turn is the cue for the Boohbahs to return to the Boohball.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": With the sole exception of Fido, all the Story People are only known by what part of the family they are.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Storypeople are given names that fall into this. Guess what parts of the family Grandmamma, Grandpappa, Brother and Sister, Auntie, Mrs. Lady, Mr. Man, and Little Dog Fido are.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Zumbah and Zing Zing Zingbah
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All episodes source their names from whatever is a main plot point in the episode's Storypeople segment, usually whatever the gift to the Storypeople is for that episode.
  • Importation Expansion: Due to the show airing on commercial-free PBS Kids in the United States, the American versions of the show add a fourth segment called "Look What I Can Do" - showing children doing their own exercises - after the second Boohbah exercise segment to fill more of the timeslot.
  • Jump Rope Blunders: In "Skipping Rope", three people are using a jump rope. Mrs. Lady comes along and tries to jump with the man in the middle, but since the rope isn't long enough for both of them, Mrs. Lady gets hit in the legs with the rope. A bit later, when the rope has become extra-long, Grandmama bumps into the man behind her, causing everyone else (including the ones holding the rope) to collapse.

  • Narrating the Obvious: Most of the time, the narrator in the Storypeople segments tells the audience exactly what is happening or has happened on-screen as it's happening or already happened. To give one example, one episode had Auntie painting a fence. Only a few seconds after she starts doing this, the narrator explicitly states that she's painting the fence.
  • No Mouth: The Boohbahs have no visible mouths.
  • The Speechless: The Boohbahs do not speak, and instead make noises such as squeaks. The Storypeople are never shown speaking, either.
  • Stock Animal Name: The dog from the Story People segments is known as Fido, or more specifically Little Dog Fido.
  • Strictly Formula: Every episode goes like this: The Boohbahs leave the Boohball to go to their world and do some exercises, a Storypeople segment follows, then the Boohbahs do some more exercises before they leave for the Boohball.
  • Theme Naming: The Boohbahs all have names ending in "bah" (Humbah, Zumbah, Zing Zing Zingbah, Jumbah, and Jingbah).
  • Theme Tune Roll Call:
    Zing Zing Zingbah!
  • Three Shorts: The show seems to follow the ABA format somewhat, with A representing the Boohbah exercise segments and B representing the Storypeople segments. American broadcasts make the format ABAC, with the C representing the extra "Look What I Can Do" segments.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Boohbah" is the only word sung throughout the intro.
  • Web Games: The show's website had a tie-in minigame-centered Flash game called "Boohbah Zone".