If you have young kids, the Wiggles are probably an inescapable fact of life. The perpetually peppy Australian kids-TV-music-sensation drive a lot of parents nuts, but I bear the group no ill will. And that’s because I’m just embarrassed for them. Granted, the Wiggles’ utter lack of dignity is part of their charm, but sometimes it can be a little much. It’s rare for me to get through a 10-minute episode without sympathy blushing at least once.
But who’s the most awkward of the bunch? Get ready for a delicious shame salad as we rank the Wiggles from least to most second-hand embarrassing…
Note: There’s only so much cringe I can take, so we’re only covering the current “new Wiggles” here.
5) Yellow Wiggle
The Yellow Wiggle (Emma Watkins) is far-and-away the most popular current Wiggle, with most of the group’s concerts attended a sea of kids, both girls and boys, sporting yellow bows. It’s not hard to see why the trained dancer is such a hit, as she’s lovely, enthusiastic, and, unlike pretty much every other Wiggle past and present, an obvious natural entertainer. After decades of unbroken Aussie dude dorkiness, Emma hit the show like Kylie Minogue strutting into the annual birthday party clown convention. Honestly, it wasn’t even fair. Of course, nobody’s perfect. I did clench my teeth a bit that one time Emma tried to teach hip-hop dance to the kids, but that one slip-up aside, her record’s pretty spotless.
4) Blue Wiggle
Just look at that sly silver fox. The Blue Wiggle (Anthony Field) is the only original member of the group still performing. While he doesn’t seem to have let that go to his head, he takes subtle advantage of his seniority. He gets to play the coolest instruments (guitar, didgeridoo) and largely avoids the sillier stuff inflicted on his bandmates. Granted, a nearly 60-year-old man doing the Propeller is inherently a bit embarrassing, but the veteran Wiggle manages to keep his cool by maintaining an ever-so-slight ironic distance from the material. If only everyone in the group did.
3) Purple Wiggle
The Wiggles are generally a pretty egalitarian outfit without much of a defined hierarchy, with one exception — everyone clearly outranks the Purple Wiggle (Lachlan Gillespie). Lachy joined the group when he was only 26 and seems he’ll forever be pigeonholed as the eager sidekick, which is getting a touch sad now that he’s in his mid-30s. Also, while the Wiggles don’t tend to have particularly deeply developed characters, the Purple Wiggle gets not one, but two defining traits, neither of which are terribly flattering. The poor guy’s beset with chronic narcolepsy and is fixated on creating inventions that invariably fail, backfire, or cause trouble. I’m afraid Lachy may never move up in the organization at this rate.
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Also, just to delve into the hot backstage Wiggles goss for a second, Lachy and Emma were briefly married, but broke up last year. Following the Wiggleverse-shaking split, the former couple have committed to being chaste Big Red Carmates for the rest of their lives, which … isn’t the post-divorce setup I’d opt for. We’ve all had those relationships we just can’t let go of, I get it, but every time I see the two together now, I just want to shout, “Go Lachy! Find a new kid’s show that will make you happy!” Maybe the Doodlebops are hiring?
2) Captain Feathersword
Yeah, I know, Captain Feathersword (Paul Paddick) isn’t technically a Wiggle, but come on, the guy’s all over every episode. Also, colors or no, he’s still above Lachy in the social order. So, he counts, okay?
Anywho, while I do admire Captain Feathersword for not bowing to the man and adopting the corporate Wiggles monkey suit, pretty much everything else about the guy is pure annoying uncle cringe. The “rock star” voice he sings songs in, the air guitar, the shameless mugging, the cheesy jokes. It’s a lot to take, and the Captain can sail on out of Wiggle Bay and never return as far as I’m concerned.
1) Red Wiggle
I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as bad for another human being as I do for the Red Wiggle (Simon Pryce). Don’t get me wrong, Simon seems to have it together in real life. He’s pretty cut under the costume, competed on Australian Ninja Warrior, and is married to a former Dorothy the Dinosaur. But man, on screen, literally everything he does is awkward. His clumsy dancing, line delivery, and a multitude of weird expressions and mannerisms all put my stomach in knots. It’s clear the Wiggles brain trust is fully aware of his weapons-grade gooberiness. When it’s time for somebody to do or wear something ridiculous, Simon is usually the first one called on.
How did Simon even get into this gig? Dude looks like a supporting character from a Guy Ritchie crime flick. My working theory is he’s on the run from the mob and opted for the “hide where no one would think to look” strategy by joining Australia’s most-beloved children’s entertainment group. If he doesn’t put 110 percent into every Fruit Salad performance, the mask might slip, and he’ll be found out. Suddenly, the air of desperation surrounding everything he does makes sense! The alternative is that the Red Wiggle acts as he does voluntarily, which is simply too tragic to consider.
Bonus Non-Human Wiggle Cast Power Ranking!
3) Wags the Dog
Poor Wags. The rest of the non-human cast get to talk and wear clothes, and Wags is just a dog who digs holes and eats bones and stuff. That said, he is bipedal and can do complex dance routines, soooo … are the Wiggles forcing Wags to act like a typical dog even though he’s intelligent? Troubling.
2) Henry the Octopus
He certainly looks dapper in that hat and suit, but come on, Henry’s nobody’s favorite.
1) Dorothy the Dinosaur
Dorothy the Dinosaur runs the Wiggle House. An episode of the show would be worthless without Dorothy’s recap at the end. Also, she’s my son’s favorite character, so there’s that. All hail our polka-dotted queen.