Posts Tagged 'flat eric'

Flat Eric

Probably the third biggest yellow star of the decade behind Bart Simpson and the girl who drank too much Sunny Delight, Flat Eric was as fly as the zip on your Levi’s jeans.

The head-popping puppet was created by French music producer/director Mr Oizo and began life as Stephane, a puppet almost identical to Flat Eric but with ears and fixed hands. Stephane appeared in some short films directed by Oizo and developed a small following in France and Britain.

With Levi’s struggling during the decade as sales of denim dropped due to the growth of combat trousers, they selected Oizo to produce an advertising campaign around Stephane. After a few alterations by the same company that produced “The Muppets” Flat Eric was born.

The character got his name as the original plan was to have his head run over by a car, but probably after seeing Brian Conley’s career go into freefall due to puppet abuse they decided that Eric would instead be featured on the run from police, along with his friend Angel in a series of ads in 1999.

The real popularity came though when Eric was seen headbanging along to one of Mr Oizo’s songs in the car as he and Angel drove along. The track was called “Flat Beat” and after public it was released as a record and reached number one in March 1999.

Due to the Flat Eric craze, Levi’s even scrapped their “one advert and you’re out” rule and our little yellow friend returned in a series of ads continuing to avoid the police. The campaign worked as sales of Levi’s Sta-Pressed One Crease trousers rocketed and helped the company get back on track.

Following the adverts, and the avalanche of merchandise that inevitably followed, Flat Eric disappeared only appearing on “The Office” as a prop and alongside David Soul in an Auto Trader advert. Further research reveals that he has turned into an alcoholic and drunkenly spends time spinning around in a washing machine.

Even though it looks like Eric has gone off the rails, here’s to hoping that he does indeed make a triumphant return after a spell in rehab like every other celebrity, and returns to being one of the world’s best headbangers alongside Wayne and Garth once again.

Mr Blobby

There have been some unlikely TV heroes over time. Indeed when you look back at Ant and Dec’s careers no-one would have thought that they’d make the impact they have when they first appeared on the scene as PJ and Duncan in “Byker Grove”.

And then there’s Mr Blobby. Struggling myself to try and describe him to anyone who had never seen him before I looked at Wikipedia for guidance. And what did they say?

A large pink blob, covered with yellow spots, sporting a permanent toothy grin and jiggling eyes.

Now I thought he was an alien but maybe not, he’s a blob. But a terribly amusing blob at that. With the amount of rubbish on Saturday night TV these days (excluding “The Cube” and “Take Me Out”) “Noel’s House Party” was a must see. Think “Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeway” but 10 times funnier and original. And with a purple and yellow blob.

Mr Blobby would appear on the show and just cause mayhem. He used to fall down a lot and could only say the word “blobby”. Even with these gravitational and speech impediments he was the scourge of Noel Edmunds, and anyone who irritates Noel gets a tick in my book. But the viewers loved him and so he just had to release a record which reached number one twice!

Well it was Christmas and people do go crazy but Blobby had conquered the charts. And then he conquered the high street with numerous Blobby themed merchandise hitting the shelves. I for one was a fan of his drink, even though looking back a drink pink in colour surely wasn’t good for a hyperactive child.

But following the demise of “Noel’s House Party” in 1999 Mr Blobby disappeared off our screens. His originally popularity had gone and with Zig and Zag and Flat Eric stealing his thunder there was no room left in the hearts of the British public for Blobby, and so the costume was dumped in BBC storage never to be seen again.

But looking at television now there is a noticeable lack of these non-human characters and with producers running out of fresh ideas he may well be back one day. And quoting the great blob himself he’d most probably suggest “Blobby Blobby Blobby!”.


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About me

Hi I'm Jonny, creator of this blog. Like most people in my generation, I feel that the 90s were indeed an epic decade and this is my tribute to all the things that made it great!