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Series / Noel's House Party

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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 as revenge.

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 Just a Dream: The Grand Finale ended with one, with a young Edmonds waking up on the set of his previous Saturday morning show Swap Shop, and having to explain to Keith Chegwin and John Craven about the weird dream he had where he was stuck in a house for eight years.
  • 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."
  • Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: One episode of House Party had motormouth Irish comedian Jimmy Cricket on doing some schtick, and the show ran a bumper urging viewers to turn on teletext subtitles in order to get a "translation". When you turned on the subtitles, all it said was "sorry, we can't understand Jimmy either".
  • Hostile Show Takeover: DLT once did this to the show, dubbing it "DLTV".
  • Intercontinuity Crossover:
    • A sort-of example. Not long after 'Allo 'Allo! ended, Vicki Michelle regularly would drop in playing a character barely distinguishable from Yvette.
    • A straighter example comes from the two appearances of Gordon Brittas on the series.
  • Pok√©mon 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"). 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.