NY Mirror

Alas, it's not clear which is the gay Wiggle, since the one who wears purple doesn't also carry a magic purse.

Closer to Punch and Judy, the Wiggles— Down Under's answer to the Teletubbies— sang 'em all and stayed all night at the Australian Consulate last week. Over the din of cheering children, the quartet performed goodies like "fruit salad, fruit salad— yummy, yummy" and "wag, wag, wag, cockadoodle do." These chirpy creatures make Punky Brewsterlook like Masterpiece Theater, but after a while I became so mesmerized by the adorable insanity of it all that their messages started taking on trenchant overtones. Fruit salad became like a god to me, and wiggling was suddenly the most intense form of prayer since the last Madonna video.

My head filled with visions of spotted dinosaurs and chocolate syrup, I learned that these Wiggles (as seen on the Fox Family Channel) frolic and cavort with people in large, smothering animal costumes— Wags the Dog is my favorite— while selling yummy-yummy kazillions of videos and CDs. Dubbed "the Fab Four for kids," they appeal to the rambunctious toddler in us, especially since one of them is narcoleptic and has to constantly be yelled back into the waking state. Alas, it's not clear which is the gay Wiggle, since the one who wears purple doesn't also carry a magic purse (those darned mixed messages again). Help me understand, oh mighty fruit salad deity!

Finally, I wag-wag-wagged into some cockadoodle-do gossip— Ione Skyeand Samantha Ronson have been closerthanthis lately— but also one embarrassing star encounter: Besieged's David Thewlistold me where he went to acting school, but I'd never heard of the place and (again ill-advisedly) said so. He wincingly replied, "Well, Ewan McGregor went there. Maybe you've heard of him." You win, David. I'm going back to my bowl now.

e-mail: musto@villagevoice.com

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