Does Barney Still Come On Tv – Barney & Friends was a mainstay of daytime television in the early 1990s, turning its title character into a star: a purple anthropomorphic T. Rex who extolled the virtues of love, kindness and cleaning up toys.
The character was the avatar of kindness, endearing himself to countless young children around the world, even as he sometimes resented their overbearing parents. It was inevitable.
Does Barney Still Come On Tv
But not everyone saw Barney as a friend, a phenomenon that is at the heart of Peacock’s new documentary series I Love You, You Hate Me. (NBC News and Peacock are owned and operated by NBCUniversal.)
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The documentaries examine how Barney became a cultural punching bag in the 1990s and early 2000s, the object of scorn by adults and the object of ridicule by children who want to renounce their childhood entertainment. He was the Jar Jar Binks of children’s television.
School-aged children added violent lyrics to the Barney & Friends theme song. NBA great Charles Barkley bashed Barney during a Saturday Night Live sketch. Urban legends emerged about the character’s dark secrets. The Internet gave rise to new genres of anti-Barney humor that freely mixed winking irony with seemingly genuine rage.
University of Chicago academic W.J.T. “Barney gets more hostility than any other popular culture icon I can think of. Mitchell wrote in 1998 “Parents profess a sincere dislike of saccharine saurians, and no self-respecting second grader will admit to liking Barney.”
Bob West, veteran performer, 1992-2000. who provided the voice of Barney, recalls creating Barney & Friends as a blissful experience that was sometimes overshadowed by darker intrusions from the wider world, like a string of death threats. he received by email.
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In a phone interview last week, West (who appears in the documentaries) reflected on the success of Barney & Friends and offered a few theories as to why Barney turned out to be such a lightning rod. In his opinion, the backlash was partly due to children trying hard to develop their “machismo”.
Thirty years after Barney first appeared on television, West still believes Barney has more friends than haters.
NBC News: I read that you started out as a voice artist in the late 1970s. How exactly did you voice Barney?
Bob West: I started doing commercial work and storytelling around 1979. I made the world’s bleakest demo tape. I had done costume character work. I worked as a robot named “The Blaster” at a hospital in the Dallas area.
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My agent recommended me to Dennis DeShazer, who was one of the producers on Barney & Friends. I auditioned with a lot of other people. Coincidentally, they started designing the costume before releasing the voice. I was too tall for the suit. [Costume actor] David Voss, who was shorter than me, fit the suit before I got the voice. We just synced together.
Barney & Friends was a true pop culture phenomenon. The show was everywhere when I was growing up in the 90s. How does it feel to be at the center of such a big hit?
It was absolutely surreal. We’ve been in the studio so often and we haven’t really seen much reaction to the show. But then we would go out and show up in person and meet the kids and the parents. We got to see the love that was showered on Barney and it was just amazing.
When you show up at a mall in Hartford, Connecticut, and the sidewalks are lined with parents and strollers, and you walk inside where you expect 600 people but there are 6,000, it brings you back to the present. [Laughs.] That’s a pretty good indication that the love was strong.
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I’ve been online since most people have been online. I had heard of some internet groups who role play there when they fought Barney because he was mean and stuff. But everything turned out cheerfully. They were really good at it. [Laughs.] I actually joined and said hello. They received me very well, very nice.
Every now and then I’d walk out with a Barney jacket on and hear, “Oh, I hate that show!” It was kind of sad, but you just have to laugh.
You say in the documentaries that you received death threats around that time, which is terrifying. Have you ever sensed the motivations behind specific messages?
Specific motivation was growing. The people who sent me those threats were high school kids. What they were doing was trying to throw away their childhood and trying to be cool. I’m sure many of them had emotional problems or maybe they had problems at home. There’s just no way of knowing.
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But usually when people get this angry, they have something they’re dealing with. They are in pain and this is the only way they know how to cope.
I actually replied to a lot of them, back when I was on AOL and it was cool to be on AOL, and most of them would write back and say, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t realize it was a real person who was going to reply.” Never heard from some.
It’s definitely part of growing up, although I have to say that we seem to have intensified that phase of life in the United States. I don’t remember that there were such reactions in other countries. We’d go to Ireland or wherever and there would be 12-year-olds in the audience singing along. I think there may be a cultural difference here.
I think we focus on, and at times are obsessed with, rugged individualism. I won’t go into an analysis of John Locke or anything. But there’s a certain machismo that kids are encouraged to adopt as they grow up, and I think that contributes a lot.
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I think consumerism plays a big part as well, because a lot of kids are pressured to wear the coolest thing or buy the coolest toy to be useful. I think we as a society have some work to do to learn to live together and support each other and put the community before the individual.
I think it is very possible. I think different people value innocence differently. Barney will always have a place in education, in culture, helping children grow up feeling safe. Who knows how long this current wave of social and political clashes will last?
Barney was loved by far more people than ever hated him. It is a false claim that he was loved and hated in equal measure. The millions of people who watched the show…they loved it.
It’s easy to amplify the negative voices, and I think we examine the negative feedback and call it what it is: someone reacting to innocence in a negative way, and we need to figure out why. We need to talk about it. If we don’t, this kind of thing can catch up with you.
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It’s funny – we hear more hate after than we did then. I have to say that it didn’t really make any difference to me at the time.
When social media started to take off, especially when Facebook took off, I started reconnecting with old friends from college. A few guys said, “I used to absolutely hate that show. But then I had a kid and now I get it and I love the show because my kid loves the show.
Oscar-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya has been reported to be developing a live-action Barney movie. Has anyone involved in this project reached out to you?
I would say, first of all, there were a lot of loopholes about the project. [Laughs.] There were a lot of bloggers and people who like to say, “Oh, this project is going to be so dark.” However, as far as I know, Daniel never said anything about the project being dark. This is a created meme.
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The producers have not contacted me. I would like to meet Daniel and talk to him about voice acting. I’m very interested in honoring the character’s traditions. But on the other hand, I completely understand the impulse to expand on the character and include a new theme. in 2024 Mattel is bringing back Barney with a new TV show (and a new look) for Barney, the big purple dinosaur with preschoolers. According to Mattel, by 2024 will return to television with a new animated series. There is also a new movie, toys and clothing for adults in the works.
Mattel has released a preview of the new Barney animation
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