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There seems to be an unwritten rule that all kids show hosts, except for Mr. Rogers who is an archetype unto himself, must act excitable and zany, if not downright bonkers. Kids do seem to genuinely enjoy this sort of thing, but it can seem irritating to many adults. There actually seem to be different approaches to this:

  • 1 - The Under Sixes Host: Zany but kind sounding, though this comes off somewhat condescending sounding to adults; many an Edutainment Show host is like this.
  • 2 - The Over Sixes Host: Wacky, zany and (usually) less condescending sounding. More likely to engage in pranks and tease (but not too harshly) the kids on their shows.
  • 3 - Informative Over Sixes Host: In shows that are meant to be more Infotainment than Edutainment the hosts aren't really all that zany or wacky. However they do still sound upbeat and excited most of the time, can also sound a bit condescending from time to time but a little less so than the Under Sixes Host as the concepts they explain can actually be somewhat complex.

For his disturbing jerk of a cousin, see Depraved Kids' Show Host.

Examples of Excited Kids' Show Host include:


Type 1

  • Mr Maker and most other Cbeebies Hosts.
  • Blues Clues, although Steve doesn't actually come across as condescending - more like he's phenomenally slow and really needs the kids' help.
  • Barney as well.
  • Murray and Elmo Monster.
  • Hoop-de-doo! It's The Wiggles!
    • And their wannabees, the Hoolie-Doolies.
    • So. Many. Wiggles-alikes. In Scotland, we have The Singing Kettle, although they predate the Wiggles by about ten years.
    • Hi-5 is another Australian one.
  • The (literally) animated dog host of the PBS Kids game show Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman.
    • Almost any kids' game show host, ever, really.
  • DJ Lance Rock of Yo Gabba Gabba.
  • Kayne Peters of TVNZ 6's Kidzone. And to some extent Suzy Cato.
  • Jodie, Kathrine and Okutai of the New Zealand childrens show The Go Show.
  • The Imagination Movers.

Type 2

  • Bill Nye the Science Guy Although it should be noted that he is a favorite of science class students all the way to at least high school AP classes, and probably in college as well. He probably falls between Type 1 and Type 2 actually.
    • Bill Nye is excellent at taking complex scientific concepts, and making it so a 10-year-old can understand them. It comes with the territory.
  • Dick and Dom in da Bungalow
  • The presenters of Totally Doctor Who
  • Beakman's World -- Beakman falls between a Type 2 and 3, as opposed to Bill Nye.
  • One of the oldest examples is Soupy Sales, a host from the 1950s and '60s.
  • Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman in Pee-wee's Playhouse
  • Timmy Mallett on The Wide Awake Club. In addition to being unable to talk in anything other than a manic shout, his gimmick included hitting kids with a large foam-rubber mallet.
  • Elliot, the host of Rollercoaster on the ABC in Australia.
  • Every "PJ" (program jockey) YTV has used to present its afternoon and saturday morning programming over the years.
  • Unsurprisingly, Richard Hammond is this type on Blast Lab.
  • Ant and Dec on SM:TV.

'Type 3

  • Current day Bill Nye, now a regular on the Discovery Channel.
  • Newsround "Text in and tell us whether you think David Cameron should be prime minister!" has type 3s.
  • Blue Peter is similar.
  • Mr Wizard
  • The hosts of the Spanish and Portuguese language versions of "Disney's Art Attack".
  • LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow. (Not so much on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but then it wasn't a kids' show and he wasn't the host.)
  • Marc Summers of Double Dare fame.
  • Linda Ellerby of Nick News

Parodies

Film

  • Highlighted in "Weird Al" Yankovic's movie UHF when they hired crazyman Michael Richards to host the kids show... and the ratings immediately exploded.
    • As well as when Weird Al attempts to be a Type 2 earlier in the film, and fails miserably.
  • Johnny Depp's take on Willy Wonka is partially a spoof of how unnerving these hosts can seem.
  • Death to Smoochy.

Live Action TV

  • Mike Nelson parodies this in one of the skits of the Parts: The Clonus Horror episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
    • The presenter(s) of Mystery Science Theater 3000 come across as presenting a kids show for adults/stoners. Clean living and polite human host? Check. Puppet supporting cast? Check. Bits and pieces between the film/actual content? Check. Mild villains? Check.
  • Chuckles the Clown, on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
  • Dead Ringers parodies this in one early episode where they replace Dick and Dom in da Bungalow with (art critic and well known snob) Brian Sewell in the Stately Home and he retains some of the Zaniness but with fine art references and caviar. "Brian Sewell" used caviar in the same way Dick and Dom used Creamy Muck Muck although he used only finest silver teaspoons to fling it at people.

Newspaper Comics

  • Parodied mercilessly in Garfield with Binky the Clown. Unlike Krusty, Binky seemed to simply, like most things in Garfield's world, genuinely enjoy being annoying and grating to anyone - especially Garfield, when the two of them had reason to interact.

Stand Up Comedy

  • One of Andy Kaufman's stage personas was Type 1, in which he treated his adult audience as if they were children ("offstage", he was revealed to Hate the Job Love The Limelight). Andy hosted a children's show in Boston while he was in college, so he had that experience to build upon.
  • "The Uncle Freddie Show", on Bob Newhart's Behind the Button-Down Mind album.
  • George Carlin and Jack Burns parodied '60s style kiddie shows (which were mostly Type 1) with the "hip" kiddie show, Cap'n Jack and Jolly George.

Web Original

  • Hilariously parodied in this "educational" Barats and Bereta video.

 "Let's barrage ourselves with colors until someone passes out!"

  • Brutally skewered in the short film It's Oppo!. It starts out like this, but then gets flat-out terrifying.
  • Uncle Jay of the aptly-named political podcast Uncle Jay Explains The News appears to've based his entire shtick off of 90s children's Edutainment shows while aiming the podcast at teenagers. While he usually acts like a Type Two, the teasing consists mainly of teenager-aimed jabs that would likely fly over the heads of children.

Western Animation

  • This was the exact reason they promoted Bart to co-anchor of "Kidz Newz" to Lisa's chagrin on that episode of The Simpsons -- he had "zazz" (exact wording, too).
    • Likewise Krusty the Clown is one of these in his TV persona but his real personality is that of a drinking, gambling, money grubber who seems to actually find most kids annoying.

 Krusty: LOUD!? THAT'S OUR SECRET WORD FOR THE DAY!

  • One could fill pages on the countless Barney parodies. This editor's favorite is Baloney from Animaniacs, who remained upbeat even as the Warners pelt him with anvils.
    • Let's not forget that he remained upbeat WHILE BEING REPEATEDLY ANVIL'D. It got to the point in that episode where the Warners themselves got incredibly creeped out.


Exceptions

Live Action TV

  • Mr. Rogers from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Of course, he was going for "kindly guy on the block who reminds me of my uncle" rather than "cool random person who reminds me of my older cousin."
  • Raven from Raven wouldn't be described as zany...overly intense perhaps, but not zany.
  • Canadian TV seems to favor quieter, more laid-back kid-show hosts: Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant, Fred Penner, etc. Note that Fred Rogers' first show was Canadian.
  • Greg Lee on Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?? tended to be much more laid back than most other kids' show hosts.
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