Bobby's World

Bobby's World
Genre Comedy
Created by Howie Mandel
Developed by Jim Staahl
Jim Fisher
Starring Howie Mandel
Gail Matthius
Edie McClurg
Charity James
Tino Insana
Kevin Smets
Pamela Segall
Rob Paulsen
Gary Owens
Frank Welker
Debi Derryberry
Theme music composer John Tesh
Composer(s) John Tesh (1990–1993)
Mark Koval (1993–1998)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 81 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Phil Roman
Howie Mandel
Producer(s) Mitch Schauer
Gary Conrad
Production company(s) Film Roman
Alevy Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television (1990–1997)
Saban International (1997–2001)
Buena Vista Television (2001–2007)
Splash Entertainment (2007–present)
Original network FOX Kids
Audio format Mono (Season 1–2)
Stereo (Season 3–5)
Dolby Surround (Season 6–8)
Original release September 8, 1990 (1990-09-08) – February 23, 1998 (1998-02-23)
External links
Production website

Bobby's World (originally known as The World According to Bobby, to parody The World According to Garp) is an American animated television series, which ran from 1990 to 1998, on Fox Kids. It was about the daily life of Bobby Generic (/ˈɛnərɪk/ GEN-er-ic) and his very overactive imagination on how he sees the world. The show was created by Canadian actor-comedian Howie Mandel. Mandel also provided the voice of both Bobby and his father Howard Generic. It was produced by Film Roman for Mandel's company - Alevy Productions - and Fox Kids Productions. The theme song for Bobby's World was composed by John Tesh, along with Michael Hanna.


Howie Mandel said that he accidentally created the voice that would be later used to voice Bobby when he was choking on a piece of cake.[1] Two of Mandel's friends Jim Fisher and Jim Staahl signed an agreement with the Fox Corporation's then newly created television division in 1989. Fisher and Staahl asked Mandel to join them in creating a show based on Mandel's Bobby character and voice. Mandel said that he believed Fox did not think his stand-up routines were "family entertainment." He, Fisher, and Staahl (co-producers) recalled stories from their childhoods as they discussed the formation of the show. Mandel stated "that was the seed of Bobby's World." Later stories from the childhoods of writers Dianne and Peter Tilden along with Mitch Schauer were used as the basis of many of the stories. The other characters on the show were mixes of characteristics of the creators' parents' friends and relatives. Specifically, Uncle Ted was based on Fisher and Staahl's former comedy partner in a comedy trio formed by the three after leaving Chicago's Second City, called The Graduates. Amazingly, that partner Tino Insana read for and won the part of Uncle Ted.[2][3]

During his standup routines, Mandel would commonly go into character with the same voice as Bobby, often conversing with an unseen "parent".

The voices of Kelly Generic (Bobby's sister) and Martha Generic (Bobby's mother) are based on two recurring characters Gail Matthius played when she was a cast member on Saturday Night Live in 1980. Martha is based on the character Roweena, a chain smoking hair stylist with an Upper Midwestern accent who gets into arguments with her best customer Nadine (Denny Dillon), while Kelly Generic is based on the character Vicky, a valley girl who annoys others with her shallow questions and rambling stories and often is seen with her friend Debbie (also Dillon).

Mitch Schauer drew the designs for the main characters.[4] Bobby's character design was based on Schauer's then four-year-old son.[5]

In the United States, starting in 1996, the show was open-captioned; this was intended as an aid to help younger children learn to read.

According to a stand up video posted on YouTube,[6] Mandel mentions that they are working on new episodes.

On February 12, 2007, the character Bobby made a surprise appearance on an episode of Deal or No Deal.[7]

Episodes can occasionally be seen in syndication, on a variety of websites, on Netflix or on Comcast's On Demand service.

Possible revival

In an April 2006 online interview, Mandel expressed his desire for a possible re-launch of the series.[8]

In November 2014, it was announced that Mandel told a crowd at Comikaze that plans to revive the series were in motion.[9]

Show format

Episodes often consist of a short live-action segment either before or after the main story (and sometimes both before and after). The segment would include Mandel describing some aspect of the story and often relating it back to his personal childhood. Often very similar. Sometimes during these segments, the character of Bobby would appear in animated form and converse with Mandel. Other times, a live action child would appear and exchange words with Mandel. Endings of the show also featured Mandel breaking the "fourth wall" by talking to viewers about the preceding episode. In some part of the episode, Bobby will break the fourth wall by telling the audience his perspective on life.


Bobby Generic

Robert Adelvice "Bobby" Generic (voiced by Howie Mandel using the same voice he used for Skeeter in Muppet Babies) is the main character of the series, a 4 (5 in season 2 through six, then six in season 7-8) year old little boy with a big imagination. An imaginative Bobby claims however that he came from a magical place called "Bobbyland" where he ruled everything. Scenes with Bobby most often involve elaborate literal interpretations of the popular or colloquial sayings uttered by other characters during the show (i.e. a "traffic jam" becomes Traffic Jam, as Bobby imagines spreading tiny cars and trucks on a piece of bread and taking a bite). When he enters contests, he tends to end up losing because Bobby ends up being himself instead of using his common sense.

Bobby has spiky black hair. In "Bobbyland", he wears a white sailor-like hat with a black tassels, white shirt with short sleeves, blue navy sailor collar with white stripes, blue shorts with two white buttons, white socks and black Mary Jane shoes. On earth, he wears a white shirt with red short sleeves, red shorts and blue sneakers.

Generic family members

The Generic family's surname is pronounced "JEN-uh-rick" to make it sound like the word "general", but uttered as "jin-AIR-ic!" (as in the prescription classification) by other characters.

Recurring characters


Home video releases

From 1994 to 1998, Fox Kids Video released VHS titles of the series.

In 2004, Anchor Bay Entertainment released two best-of compilations- Classic Scratch 'n' Sniff Episodes and The Signature Episodes on DVD in Region 1. These releases have been discontinued and are now out of print.

On December 15, 2011, it was announced that MoonScoop Group had acquired the rights to the series and planned to release all eight seasons of Bobby's World on DVD in Region 1 via's CreateSpace program in early 2012.[10] These are manufacture-on-demand releases, available exclusively through All seasons were made available for purchase on March 13, 2012.[11]

Video game

A video game based on Bobby's World was made for the Super NES in 1994. It was developed by Riedel Software Productions and published by Hi Tech Entertainment. In the game, Bobby's mother tells him to clean his room. As he is cleaning his room, Bobby starts daydreaming about a toy. After beating a level, Bobby has another daydream about another toy that he puts away.[12]

Broadcast history

During its original run, Bobby's World was seen on Fox Kids. After it was cancelled in 1998, reruns began airing on Fox Family (now Freeform) until 2001.

The series was available in its entirety on Netflix instant streaming and Kabillion as well. It's now available on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

International broadcast


  1. Mandel, Howie. "Howie Mandel Stand Up Bobby's World Voice". Youtube. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  2. FisherII
  3. "Interview with Howie." Bobby's World Official Website. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  4. Cawley, John (July 26, 1990). "How To Create Animation: Interviews by John Cawley". USA: cataroo. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  5. Fritz, Steve (October 23, 1998). "Mania: Animated Shorts, Oct. 23, 1998". USA: Mania. Archived from the original on April 27, 1999. Retrieved May 22, 2011. But things really took off for Schauer in the early 90's. At that time he was working at Film Roman, where he was put in charge of design for their new series, Bobby's World. In fact, the character of Bobby is actually based on Schauer's then four-year-old son, not series co-creator Howie Mandel.
  6. Howie Stand Up
  7. DeMott, Rick (April 13, 2007). "Taffy Pulls Into MIPTV With New Fantastic Four & Bobby's World Deals". USA: AWN. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
  8. The TV Squad Interview: Howie Mandel – TV Squad
  9. O'Connell, Ryan (1 November 2014). "Howie Mandel Bringing 90s Cartoon 'Bobby's World' Back to TV". Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  12. SNES Central: Bobby's World

External links

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