Howdy Doody, Barney, Dora the Explorer. Caillou. Parents have battled with their children over changing the channel since screens were invented, thanks in large part to the schismatic timbre and demeanor of kid-luring on-screen stars. Miranda Sings proudly and knowingly fills that divisive role for 2018 families.
Colleen Ballinger, an American comedian, actress and YouTube personality, might just be a genius. She has taken the quintessential American Idol audition fail, added a pinch of Mimi Bobeck aesthetic, the self-aggrandizement of Peter Griffin, and the instructional video skills of Mark Morrone to create her character, Miranda. Somehow, she is an endearing satirical character, accumulating nearly ten million fans.
Her response to legitimate criticisms of her forced tone-deaf, two-left-feet jive? “Haters back off.”
It is no surprise that Miranda’s fan base consists largely of kids and teens, as she seems forever frozen in her awkward years. Her aversion to oversexualized pop culture likely appeals to young people for whom the world may otherwise move a little too fast. Her celebrity crushes tell girls she’s “just like me.”
She’s also gotten the attention of mega-comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who, at the time Miranda was featured in a 2014 season five episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” was father to a 13-year-old Miranda fan. Later that year, Miranda played Pictionary on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” with Fallon, Seinfeld and Martin Short.
What’s the appeal of this malaprop slinging, garish goof? We asked some Wilmington families their thoughts.
Nola O’Connell, age 11: “I like that she burps… and is funny… her fake voice is very creative.”
Ava Hurley, age 12: “Even though she can be inappropriate, she still stands up to the people that bully her online and that makes her a strong girl.”
When Ballinger learned she was pregnant, she had to make a decision about the Miranda storyline, ultimately running with a “Virgin Mary”-esque explanation.
Ava’s mom, JoAnn Hurley, says, “We had to watch the video of Miranda finding out she was pregnant a million times. She was laughing hysterically that Miranda called CVS to tell them the pregnancy test was broken.”
Miranda and Colleen stop by The Playhouse this Saturday #inWilm. Tickets are still available!