I’m just going to come right out and say it …. my kids hate The Wiggles.
I tried really hard to persuade both of them to watch those kooky colourful guys, but no dice. My eldest would actually come running to me, crying. “Mum! The … the WIGGLES are on.”
So there was barely a ripple around here this week when the Wiggles announced they were breaking up.
Well, *kind* of breaking up—after 21 years performing together, the yellow, red and purple ones are leaving. The blue Wiggle (aka the hot one) is staying. Three new, younger Wiggles are coming up the ranks. Including the very first female Wiggle, Emma Watkins.
The new generation will feature three new members: Watkins, 26-year-old Lachlan Gillespie and 40-year-old Simon Pryce. All three have been performing with the Wiggles in supporting roles over the past few years.
“I’ve been a big fan of the Wiggles since I was a little girl,” said Watkins, “so it’s a huge privilege to be invited to perform for a new generation of children.”
The official announcement was made by the primary colour-clad guys themselves. “We’ve been entertaining children around the world for 21 years and it’s important that we plan for the future so that the Wiggles can keep wiggling in the years to come,” said red Wiggle Murray Cook.
“The touring and performing over the past 21 years has meant that we’ve spent a long time away from our own families and friends. We miss them and want to spend more time at home.”
The Wiggles have sold 23 million DVDs and seven million CDs worldwide. The group are one of the biggest earners in Australian entertainment history. They’ll perform in a final tour this year, travelling to the UK, USA, New Zealand, and Canada. In a letter to fans, the outgoing members said they would still be involved with the Wiggles behind the scenes, including the creation of new material.
I asked my sons if they were interested in bidding goodbye to one of the biggest and most successful exports Australia has ever seen. “Hey! Do you guys want to go to the very last proper Wiggle concert?” My ten year old was deadpan. “That’s so not funny.”
I’m sorry, guys. I tried.
The original members will all hold a stake in their lucrative business profits. Not a bad effort from a band whose previous incarnation as Sydney band The Cockroaches led to a few hit songs. Formed in 1979 and named after a pseudonym the Rolling Stones used in the 60s, the Cockroaches were pop/rock. Hits include “I Want a Leather Jacket,” “Through With Her,” and “She’s The One.”
With earnings last year hitting a cool $28 million, the Wiggles are set for life. What you have from here on in is a production line of Wiggles. A puppy farm of Big Red Car drivers. Once they get too old and rickety to do the Hot Potato, BAM. Replaced.
Children’s performers never die; they just change their sweaters. (Or as we say in Australia “skivvies.”)
I prefer the Woggles, seen on 30 Rock recently: