For a four-year-old, the world seems a mighty strange place. For a four-year-old who has Howie Mandel for a father, strange might be an understatement. Such was the case for the little animated star of the Saturday morning series, Bobby’s World.
With his spiked hairdo and vivid imagination, Bobby Generic tended to escape into a fantasy world when the real world became too strange to understand – and who could blame him? The real world consisted of his odd father (modeled after Mandel’s likeness), Howard; his Midwestern mom, Martha; whiny older sister, Kelly and typically obnoxious older brother, Derek. The only family member he even remotely related to was his Uncle Ted. And when Ted wasn’t around, it was off to fantasyland, filled with imaginary animals such as Webbly the spider and Roger sheepdog.
Each episode was book-ended with live appearances by Mandel, who at the outset would reflect upon his own childhood and the similar problem Bobby was facing, then transform into an animated version of himself. At the end of the show, live Howie was back to offer some commentary on what everyone had learned from the situation they faced.
The popular series, the first of Fox’s foray into Saturday morning entertainment, enjoyed an 8-year run before finally being cancelled in 1998. Fans of the show continue to hope that Bobby’s World might return one of these days, especially since Mandel suggested in 2006 and 2007 that the show would return while appearing on various talk shows. As of yet, there has been no word on where or when the family might return but until then, episodes of Bobby’s World are readily available on DVD for those that remain nostalgic over the little guy.
Do you have fond memories of curling up to Bobby’s World while eating a bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning? If so, we’d love to hear your recollections of this popular animated series from the 90s in our comments section, as we tip our hats to Howie Mandel for his wonderfully imaginative show.