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Oobi character
First appearance2000
Last appearance2005
Created byJosh Selig
Portrayed byTyler Bunch
SpeciesHand puppet
OccupationHomemaker and caregiver
FamilyOobi (grandson)
Uma (granddaughter)

Grampu is a character from the TV show Oobi. He is a talking hand puppet with eyes. He is the grandpa of the main character, Oobi. He was made by Josh Selig[1] and first showed on TV in 2000. The person who played the role of Grampu was Tyler Bunch, an actor who works with puppets.[2]

Role[change | change source]

Grampu is an old man. He lives with his two grandkids, Oobi and Uma. Their parents and grandma are never seen or talked about, so Grampu is the only one who takes care of them.[3] He likes to teach them about the world. He shows them how to do new things. As a running gag (repeated joke) in the show, Grampu is very unlucky and usually has to clean up messes that the kids make.

Grampu's favorite things to do are cooking and growing plants in his garden.[4] When he is in the kitchen, he wears a big chef's hat and an apron. He is in love with Inka, an old woman from France who is Oobi's piano teacher. Grampu and Inka like to go on dates and eat fancy food.[5]

Grampu has hazel eyes and doesn't wear any clothes. His hand is in a different position from the other characters. His fingers are curled in a fist instead of being extended, making him taller and giving him a toothless look.[6]

Creation[change | change source]

Grampu was made by Josh Selig, the maker of the whole show. Josh Selig wanted to show a non-traditional family: a family that was different from most ones shown on TV. This is why he came up with the idea for Oobi and Uma to live with their single grandpa.

In the first episodes of Oobi, which were short two-minute stories, Grampu was a secondary character who did not show up very much. When the show was turned into a longer half-hour program, Grampu got a bigger role. The show writers used him as a foil (a contrasting character) to the kids, or as someone to give them advice. Grampu appeared more than he used to, and he was part of almost every single episode.

The person who played the role of Grampu was Tyler Bunch. Bunch is a puppeteer (an actor who works with puppets) known from the show Sesame Street. While he was playing the part of Grampu, Bunch had to never shave his arm, so that Grampu would look like an old, hairy man.[7] This was different from the other actors, who all had to shave their arms because they played kid characters. Bunch had a manicurist who filed his nails every week during filming.[7]

Reception[change | change source]

Grampu has gotten a good reception from viewers and critics. Many parents who watched Oobi with their kids thought he was the funniest part of the show. In an interview, Josh Selig said "many mothers seem to have developed a 'thing' for Grampu."[1] Neal Pollack, a writer of comedy books, called him "a hilarious character" in his book Alternadad.[8] He also wrote that Grampu seemed like a "children's TV character with whom we could spend an afternoon if [he] magically came to life."[8]

The newspaper St. Paul Pioneer Press included Grampu as a good example of an unusual family unit in children's TV.[9] In a satirical article that made fun of people wanting to keep gay and single parents out of media for kids, the newspaper called attention to Grampu being a single stay-home parent with a foreign girlfriend (Inka).[9]

Other media[change | change source]

Grampu has appeared in media outside of the Oobi show. From 2006 to 2013, toy versions of Grampu's puppet eyes (made of the material acrylic) were sold on an online shopping site called[10] They were available in different sizes for kids' and adults' hands.[10]

In 2007, Grampu appeared several times on a talk show called The Soup when it featured clips from Oobi.[11] They were shown in a part called "What the Kids Are Watching", when the host Joel McHale made comments about funny scenes from kids' shows. Grampu also appeared in a video by the YouTube star Shane Dawson in November 2009, when he imitated Oobi and Grampu with his own hands.[12]

In Oobi: Dasdasi, a spin-off of the original Oobi show made in 2012, Grampu was reimagined as "Grandpa", a new character with a similar role.[13]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Josh Selig, Little Airplane Productions". Gothamist. Gothamist LLC. January 24, 2006. Archived from the original on April 12, 2016.
  2. "Tyler Bunch at DragonCon". DragonCon. 2016.
  3. "Where the hell are Oobi's parents?". Modern Day Dad. February 12, 2006.
  4. "Garden Day!". Directors: Josh Selig, Pam Arciero, Kevin Lombard. Oobi. Noggin. 2003. No. 7a, season 1.
  5. "Chez Oobi!". Directors: Josh Selig, Scott Preston. Oobi. Noggin. February 11, 2005. No. 9a, season 2.
  6. Dalton, Andrew (November 9, 2010). "'Oobi' Through a Grown-Up's Eyes". CafeMom: The Stir. CMI Marketing. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Gostin, Nicki (October 1, 2004). "Oobi Does It: The creator of a popular children's show discusses his low-tech success". Newsweek. IBT Media. Archived from the original on October 27, 2004. Retrieved March 13, 2016 – via MSNBC News.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Neal Pollack (January 9, 2007). Alternadad. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. pp. 275–. ISBN 978-0-375-42480-9.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Billings, Laura (February 6, 2005). "Bunny not alone in kids' TV plague". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on February 19, 2005. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Oobi Eyes Varieties". 2006. Archived from the original on July 6, 2007.
  11. "What the Kids Are Watching". Host: Joel McHale. The Soup. E! Entertainment Television. March 2, 2007. No. 16, season 4.
  12. Dawson, Shane (November 14, 2009). "Bloopers from "3" Britney Spears Spoof". YouTube. Archived from the original on August 3, 2010.
  13. "Dasdasi: Clapping Hands to bow on Channel 2". BlogFa: TVIrani. March 13, 2012. Archived from the original on September 24, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]