Hot Potato: The Story of The Wiggles (2023) Movie Script

[man] It is amazing.
You guys are the top
entertainment earners in Australia.
More than Russell Crowe.
More than Nicole Kidman.
I mean, this thing is a monster.
And as I'd watch it,
I'd kind of be laughing
and I'd sing, you know,
"Hot Potato" and all the songs,
and it's cute.
And I was trying to analyze,
so, okay, these guys
are really smart guys.
There's a reason for the colors.
There's a reason for the lyrics.
There needs to be a psychology
of why you guys...
Why this hits.
[crowd cheering]
[announcer] Everybody,
are you ready to Wiggle?
[crowd cheering]
Come on! Here we go! Give it up!
[bass drum sounding]
[The Wiggles: "Fruit Salad"]
[announcer] Anthony!
[crowd cheering]
[Anthony] Jeff!
[crowd cheering]
[Anthony] Murray!
[crowd cheering]
[Anthony] Greg!
[crowd cheering]
[Greg] Hello, Sydney!
Oh, it's great to see you tonight!
Let me ask you a question.
Are you ready to Wiggle?
- [cheering]
- Yeah!
[The Wiggles: "Hot Potato"]
[man] They are the world's
number-one preschool band.
[woman] They're like
The Beatles for toddlers.
[man] The Wiggles rule!
Hot potato, hot potato!
You can always say it's a hobby,
in the end, for sure.
Hot potato, hot potato!
[man] These tickets were hotter
than The Stones and Springsteen.
[man] They again topped the BRW List
with 50 million dollars.
[woman] Children know a good song
when they hear one.
[man] But do not be fooled
by their simplicity...
It's The Wiggles!
...but their music is up there
with the greats.
- [man 1] And the winner is The Wiggles.
- [man 2] The Wiggles.
- [woman 1] The Wiggles.
- [woman 2] The Wiggles!
[man] There is a saying,
"Childhood is never history.
Childhood is always with us."
- Hi.
- [all] We're The Wiggles.
- [all laughing]
- We are, really.
Potato, potato, potato
["Hot Potato" ends]
[Jeff Fatt] You want my story
of how the colored skivvies came about.
I just chose purple straight up.
I had a red, a red shirt.
I heard that there was a race
to the bargain bin table
between Greg and Anthony.
They both could see a blue shirt,
and so they both ran for it
and Anthony won.
But I'm not sure if that's true.
It's a good story, though.
My memory is Greg got yellow,
and all of us were glad.
No offense to anyone who loves yellow,
but I just, it wasn't my color.
[Greg Page] That's me in a yellow skivvy
even before I wore the yellow skivvy.
[Murray Cook] This wasn't something
that was invented in a boardroom.
It was, you know,
just four mates who did a record
and they thought that was all
it was going to be. [chuckles]
My '49 Martin.
[Anthony] Murray's nickname
just simply is Muzza.
He loves to get out there and rock.
[Murray] Stratocaster.
Murray is very considered in his thinking
and his way of doing things.
[Murray] Sure.
[Greg] He's not spontaneous.
[knock on door]
Is that the secret knock?
Sorry, guys. Sorry, Muzz.
Uh, I've just got to find
this bloody speaker that...
- You know what...
- [Greg] Anthony is so spontaneous
and like, "Yep, this is a great idea.
Let's do this."
Whereas Muzz will be kind of like,
"Mmm, okay, let's have a look at that.
Let's analyze things a bit there."
Anthony is a ratbag.
That's it. That's the one, mate.
I've been bad-mouthing you the whole time.
I thought you would.
Well, you can pay me back. [chuckles]
[Murray] Anthony's great.
He has so much energy.
[playing banjo]
[Murray] So many ideas.
He's really the heart of The Wiggles.
[playing piano]
[Greg] Jeff would take a photo every day,
every day, and I think he still does it.
[Anthony] He reminds me
of The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts.
In the background, but he is cool.
Greg was a young, young man
when he joined The Wiggles.
[strumming guitar]
No matter what he's singing,
it's gonna soothe the soul.
Taba naba naba norem
[Greg] It was a great relationship,
the way that the four of us
would work together.
Had its moments, as any relationship does.
[singing] Sere re naba we
But the intent and the motivation
has always been about the kids.
Are you ready to wiggle?
I'm ready to wiggle.
Is everyone ready to wiggle?
- Yeah!
- [children cheering]
We met at university,
doing a course in Early Childhood.
This connection with music
and Early Childhood teaching
is really the flow on thing
of what became The Wiggles.
Can you do that with us?
- The ducks went...
- [all] Quack.
[Murray] When I was at university,
this course was really great
because one of the things you looked at
was the way children think.
How they think
quite differently from adults.
Not just they don't know as much,
their brain works differently,
and I found that really fascinating.
Huh. Who are those young,
fresh-faced fellows?
Well, that one is, um...
Anthony and me at our graduation.
We both started second year
at the same time,
and I would have been 30
and Anthony would have been 27.
I'd just got married and... [chuckles]
He said, "What're you getting married for?
There's all these girls here."
There were five guys in our year,
180 women.
Murray was married, and that was great,
but as a young, testosterone-...
I couldn't understand it. [laughs]
But that is so superficial,
and I'm a changed man.
[rock music playing]
[Murray] Greg was a lot younger.
He's about 12 years younger than me.
Anthony and I were in third year
when Greg started in first year.
At university,
Anthony was pretty well known.
He was in a band called The Cockroaches.
[indistinct cheering]
[The Cockroaches: "She's the One"]
I would listen to that song
over and over, like multiple times.
I'd drive my family crazy with this album.
[mouthing along]
Ready on the starting line
This is The Cockroaches.
They were my idols.
I just... I just loved their music
and I loved them.
Come on, come on,
come on, come on, yeah, yeah
Hey, let's go, let's go, let's go
Hey, let's go...
How can you not love it?
Hey, let's go, let's go
She's the one, she's the one
She's the one, she's the one
She's the one, she's the one
She's the one
[Anthony] The Cockroaches
was a band I was in
with my brothers, Paul
and Johnny, and Jeff.
It was quite an amazing vibe every night.
And it was just so much fun.
Come on, come on...
We played all the time.
There were nights when we played
three gigs in a night.
Hey, let's go...
[Greg] The energy was infectious.
So I joined The Cockroaches fan club.
[Paul] Greg was helping us out
as a roadie.
He did some work experience
with The Cockroaches.
[Anthony] We had a couple of hits,
but it was mainly Paul and Johnny's band.
Johnny was writing all the songs.
I didn't have much creative input.
I left and went
"I've got to go to university."
["She's The One" stops playing]
[Greg] Anthony pulled me aside and said,
"You can't be a roadie all your life."
I said, "Well, look,
if there's something else I could do,
I'd probably be a teacher."
He said, "Do Early Childhood teaching.
It's about freedom of creativity.
It's about expressing yourself
through music and the arts."
And I just loved it.
[Murray] They were really passionate
about music, and I was, too.
And I guess that was partly
why we gravitated.
[Greg] Up in the music rooms,
we'd been getting together
and going through children's music,
but, in our time off,
we'd go busking for a bit of fun,
[indistinct chatter]
One day, we were busking,
Anthony, Jeff, Murray, myself,
and Anthony's brother John,
and John, being a great songwriter,
he would often come up with songs
literally on the spur of the moment.
And he just started playing this thing
on the guitar and, uh...
Can I grab that?
And just starts going...
[playing guitar]
Hot tamale, hot tamale
And he turned to us
and he'd go, "Sing along."
Hot tamale, hot tamale
Hot tamale, hot tamale
Hot tamale, hot tamale
Hot tamale, hot tamale
-Hot tamale, hot tamale
Tamale, tamale, tamale
And Anthony thought, "This is great.
You know, there's a real opportunity here
to take this
and turn it into a kids' song,
but we can't sing about tamales.
We're going to sing about potatoes."
We kind of went,
Australian kids won't know
what hot tamales are.
Hot potato, hot potato
Hot potato, hot potato
Hot potato, hot potato
Potato, potato, potato
What else?
-Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti
-Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti
-Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti
-Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti
-Cold spaghetti, cold spaghetti
Spaghetti, spaghetti...
Just turned it into a food song,
which kids love.
-Mashed banana, mashed banana
-Mashed banana, mashed banana
-Mashed banana, mashed banana
-Mashed banana, mashed banana
-Mashed banana, mashed banana
Banana, banana, banana
Big jump, everyone.
Whoo, wiggy, wiggy, wiggy
Whoo, wiggy, wiggy, wiggy
Gimme that, gimme that, gimme that
Big jump.
Whoo, wiggy, wiggy, wiggy
Whoo, wiggy, wiggy, wiggy
Gimme that, gimme that
-Hot potato, hot potato
-Hot potato, hot potato
-Hot potato, hot potato
-Hot potato, hot potato
-Hot potato, hot potato
Potato, potato, potato
- Thank you.
- [crowd cheering]
[Anthony] That's when I thought,
"Well, you know what?
I reckon if I get some people together
and we use our Early Childhood training,
our musicianship,
uh, we could make an album."
[Greg] I mean, I remember the call
I got from Anthony
because I was still living at home.
He rang up and he said,
"Oh, you know, I want to get together
and write and record some songs for kids."
You know, I was still in awe of this guy.
To be asked to record with him
was just like, "Wow, this is really cool."
[Jeff] I was renovating my house
and I get a call from Anthony,
"Would you like to come down to the studio
and play on some songs?"
I thought it'd be only a few hours.
Just wanted to get out of
the studio as fast as possible
to get back to my renovations. [laughs]
[Murray] Anthony's initial idea
was that it might be a collective,
that people come and go.
Then we had a guy,
Phillip Wilcher, originally,
who we knew from the university,
he worked in the music department,
and he did a few piano pieces.
[piano music playing]
[Anthony] Phillip was a classical player.
We wanted to be all styles of music
because that's part of the philosophy.
Give children a broad range
of music styles.
But we all brought songs in.
My brother Johnny, he came and, uh,
I said, "Have you got any songs?"
He had an adult song called,
"Here Comes Mr. Wiggle," right?
Which was...
It's wiggle time!
Now we're ready to wiggle
Wiggle your fingers high in the sky
We're ready...
So The Wiggles got its name
from the song "Get Ready to Wiggle."
It's kind of ideal, in a way,
because it is kind of
the way kids dance, too,
they kind of wiggle around,
but it's also no one is going to
mistake it for a heavy metal band.
Come on, wiggle all ten toes
That's right
Big jump!
We can wiggle, whoo, wiggle, whoo
Wiggle at home without a care
Wiggle, whoo, wiggle, whoo
Wiggle on your own or with teddy bear
Wiggle, whoo, wiggle, whoo
Wiggle at breakfast, lunch or tea
Wiggle, whoo, wiggle, whoo
Come on, wiggle along with me
That's right
Wiggle along with me
- Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!
- Whoo!
[crowd cheering]
[Anthony] Yeah, I wanted to go to the ABC
and have it released
because the ABC
were children's music in Australia.
They were the benchmark.
[Jeff] We went through each song
and wrote the rationale
for why it was good for children.
I remember that moment of being told
we've got a record deal.
It was just like,
"Wow, this is happening."
[Murray] It was on cassette and CD.
CDs were just pretty new.
It was just really exciting.
[The Wiggles: "Get Ready to Wiggle"]
Everybody loosen up
[Murray] They did the
"Get Ready to Wiggle" video,
and we were like,
pretty excited about that.
I'd never been in a music video
of any sort.
Get ready to wiggle
We've been ready for so long
Get ready to wiggle
When you wiggle, you can't...
[Murray] We all thought
it was just a one-off.
We never thought
we'd make a career from it.
Wiggle will make you big and strong
[Anthony] I got a job in a preschool.
I was really loving teaching.
And Murray was teaching, too.
In the holidays, we'd do shows.
We had a meeting,
and we said we need a character
for the children to relate to.
So Murray came up
with Dorothy the Dinosaur.
I just saw how fascinated
children are with dinosaurs.
But I wanted
this kind of friendly dinosaur.
[Anthony] He wrote a song, or wrote
the words for "Dorothy the Dinosaur,"
which I said scanned exactly to
a Cockroaches song called
"It's Another Saturday Night."
Yeah, it's on again
Just like it was before
Revvin' and raisin' and lovin' up a storm
Eating all Mum's roses
There in the moonlight
It was Dorothy the Dinosaur
[Murray] Anthony would take
some of the songs
and play them to the kids
at his preschool.
He would give out tapes.
The parents would come back and say,
"Our kid's playing that song,
you know, 20 times in a row."
You know, rock and roll
just really resonated with kids.
That was also the key
to our popularity increasing.
Rose is cool
[Anthony] Dorothy was
our first feminine character.
Murray's wife, Meg, made the first suit.
You could see jeans, you could see shirt,
but we knew from research
that children are centered thinkers,
so they would center on the face
and that's all you needed.
And that was true.
Children didn't say,
"There's a man in there."
They'd just go, "There's a dinosaur."
...he fell to the ground
Now I take it that's Dorothy the Dinosaur!
[chuckling] Ah!
Good times. [chuckles]
We're so young. And you can hear my voice.
[singing along in high voice]
"In the backyard now?" [chuckles]
Dorothy the Dinosaur
[Anthony] Jeremy Fabinyi was
our Cockroaches manager,
and I came to him
with the idea for The Wiggles.
[Greg] I remember being
at Jeremy's office.
He said, "You've got to get out there
and promote the album.
You've got to do some shows."
That's what any band does, right?
They get out and they tour.
[Jeff] We'd do kids' birthday parties,
so we'd play to, you know, ten people.
[Anthony] So Greg found a booking agent
for children's entertainment.
He gave her photographs of us,
the thesis behind
what The Wiggles are, the tape,
and she said, "I'm sorry, Greg,
can't do anything with this.
What am I going to do
with four men and a dinosaur?"
And Greg was very downhearted
and came to us.
I do remember saying,
"Oh, mate, let's just try it anyway."
[children chattering]
[Greg] Well, we started playing
at preschools.
Phillip had left by that point in time.
By '92, we were doing town halls.
Then I think we did
two shows of 500 people,
and we did the numbers, and we thought,
"Hang on, maybe we could be
making more out of this."
That's when the business side
of things kicked in for us.
We saw that there was a market
for what we were doing.
[children chattering]
[Anthony] I remember
Greg on the phone saying,
"We could actually do a lot more gigs
if you give up teaching."
It was a big decision,
but I went, "Oh, okay. Mmm, okay."
I gave up my scholarship to teach,
so I didn't actually start teaching.
[Anthony] Murray said,
"I'm gonna give it up.
Just do The Wiggles."
Hello, everyone. We're The Wiggles.
How are you all?
-[children] Good,
-That's good.
[Greg] We changed our look,
and that look was a much better look.
Yeah, you can see why
these didn't stay. [laughs]
Things like that being chosen.
The whole idea of the colors was,
well, if children don't know our names,
it was a really easy way to identify us.
Now this is my favorite
part of the song because...
[Greg] Anthony was great.
He said, "Guys, whenever
somebody's talking on stage,
we all need to be looking at them."
We never thought about that.
We treated it like a band.
Did I hear someone say they were going
to play a trick on somebody?
- Nope. Not at all, no.
- No, no.
[Greg] This was the shift
that needed to happen.
It was no longer a band.
The Wiggles became a show.
As adults, we can understand
the hype of the Rolling Stones,
but it's hard to comprehend toddlers
going berserk over a rock band.
You have to see it to believe it.
I've got my ticket.
[Greg] Muzz and I,
we put together the sound system.
It was very DIY.
Security barrier.
[indistinct chatter]
[Greg] It was like the embryonic nucleus
had exploded and just went,
"Yep, this is The Wiggles."
See, 'cause that's the way we do it
Riding in our Big Red Car
-Big Red Car
-Our Big Red Car
-Big Red Car
-Our Big Red Car
And then, we made our own VHS video.
Sophia, would you start the tape, please?
[The Wiggles: "Hot Potato"]
[Murray] We made
the cheapest video of all time.
We took that Play School approach,
which they kind of did pioneer
of talking directly down
the barrel of the camera.
We'd like you to meet
a very special friend of ours.
She's not a person like you or I.
She's a dinosaur.
It's as if you're talking
just to that one person,
especially with egocentric kids,
'cause they do think
they're the only ones there.
[Anthony] And wherever
The Wiggles go and sing and play,
our friend Dorothy the Dinosaur
comes with us.
The merchandise, in the real early days,
was just in a suitcase.
And then, we made our own Dorothy hats,
which Jeff designed.
[Jeff] This is a prototype
of the original Dorothy hat.
I did all the sewing myself.
I've got an industrial machine at home.
I hand-painted the whole cap.
Would have been
very satisfying for children
to be able to be Dorothy
in a very simple manner.
No, Dorothy's not behind me.
She is, Jeff. She really is.
I better have another look then.
[Anthony] Murray took care
of the dinosaur.
But I was thinking,
"Well, that's feminine."
Of course, it's for everybody,
but predominantly boys love a pirate.
And if you went to a party at that time,
there'd be a dinosaur
and there'd be a pirate.
Now we're anti-guns or anti-violence,
but the scheme of a pirate
must have a sword.
[all growling]
[all laughing]
Who is that? Who's tickling us?
It's Captain Feathersword,
the friendly pirate.
So I thought, give him a feather sword,
then he's still a pirate,
but he's harmless.
And I was the original
Captain Feathersword.
I'm Captain Feathersword,
the friendly pirate. Arrgh!
Captain Feathersword?
A bing-bang-bong!
A ring-rang-rong!
That's a pirate song.
[all] A pirate song.
[Anthony] When Paddy came along,
he was doing West Side Story at the time.
He is a classical actor.
He has got all the chops.
I was playing trumpet one night,
and I got a hernia.
And he just said,
"Do you want to fill in?"
And, at that point, I hadn't even met
the other three Wiggles.
Had no clue what the show was.
- Just stand very still.
- Okay.
- And I won't be very long.
- Okay.
Now, as I was about to say to you...
[children laughing]
[Greg] He's what?
He's dancing?
[Anthony] Anyone who's watched The Wiggles
knows how good that fella is.
Even my mother said,
"He's a lot better than you are,
Anthony, at that." [laughs]
The characters provide
that fantasy element,
which is great for kids and imaginations.
[woman] It's very, very interactive.
The kids really get into it.
Everything's got to involve them.
Every song we do,
they've got something to do in it
and they feel like
they're helping The Wiggles.
I remember when I was teaching
a preschool class,
I brought a vacuum cleaner into the class.
But then I noticed that all the children
gathering around, watching me do this,
I thought, "Okay, if they were
a bunch of adults,
they would not give me a second look."
And I wrote a song which became
"Here Comes a Bear."
Here comes a bear
Stomping, stomping
But it was...
Picking up the rubbish
Zooming, zooming
So, people say sometimes
they give a present to a child
and they are more interested in the box.
And that, again, shows you
it's a different, uh...
Different thinking to the adult.
We've got a song called "Walk."
Walk on your way to school
Walk to the swimming pool
[Anthony] 'Cause walking's
pretty exciting for children.
Catching a train the first time.
We're about being childlike
with the children.
Here we go.
[singing] Can you point your fingers
and do the twist?
[Anthony] Children love challenges.
"Can You (Point Your Fingers
And Do The Twist?)" is a challenge song.
...your fingers and do the...
[Anthony] They want to show a grown-up,
"I can do that."
Well, we're gonna go up, then go down
Get back up and turn around
But can you point your fingers
and do the twist?
Yeah, I love that one.
It's fun. It's good fun.
All through our work, you can go,
"Oh, that's a challenge song.
Oh, that's a listening song.
That's a singing song, a dancing song."
So, dancing songs are, you know,
"Do the Monkey."
Do the monkey
Ooh-ooh-ah-ah, ooh-ooh-ah-ah!
Do the monkey
Yeah, my favorite
Wiggles song of all time
is "Rock-A-Bye Your Bear"
because it's so simple.
The actions... A lot of parents teach it
to their children as their first song.
I know a song about teddy bears.
Can you sing and do the actions with us?
[Anthony] Greg came up with...
[singing] Everybody clap
[rhythmic hand claps]
Everybody sing
La la la la la
That's all I had.
Anthony said, "Oh, yeah, this is great.
No, I can do something with that."
And he said,
"Okay, now bow to your partner."
[Greg singing]
Bow to your partner
Then you turn around
Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
Bear's now asleep
I know I came up with,
"Bear's now asleep,"
but what I added to that,
which was brilliant melody from Greg,
[playing melody]
Everybody clap
Everybody sing
[kids] La la la la la
Bow to your partner
Then you turn around
Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
Bear's now asleep
Sh, sh, sh
[woman] Good boy.
What's brilliant about it is
you can do all the actions,
a child standing next to a child.
What they call that is parallel play.
Because a lot of children
don't want to hold hands,
but they do like to play
next to each other.
- [Greg] One, two, three, four.
- [crowd cheering]
Arms up, everyone.
Let's all sway from side to side
and we'll sing "Rock-A-Bye Your Bear."
Everybody clap
[rhythmic hand claps]
Everybody sing
La la la la la
Bow to your partner
Then you turn around
[crowd singing]
Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
Bear's now asleep
Sh, sh, sh
Bear's now asleep
-Sh, sh, sh
-What's that?
Bear's now asleep
Sh, sh, sh
Bear's now asleep
Greg, you were saying something?
[crowd cheering]
[Murray] Oh, what?
- It's past his bedtime.
- [Murray laughs]
[Anthony] When Jeff first joined,
he was really worried.
And if I hadn't been
Early Childhood trained,
I would be scared
of a children's audience.
[quirky music playing]
[Jeff] When I was at school,
all my other siblings were forced
to learn the piano. [laughs]
As was I.
I mean, I...
I'm very uncomfortable, actually,
with being in front of an audience.
Unless I have a role to play and...
Like, for example,
public speaking, that sort of thing,
forget about it.
We couldn't really trust him
to say much. [laughs]
Because he quite often say things
that weren't appropriate for kids.
Not in a bad way, but just like,
"No, you wouldn't say it like that."
So we had to give him an education
as the Wiggles evolved.
Hi, we're getting ready for a show.
Somebody's missing.
[both] Where's Jeff?
Oh, no! He's asleep!
[Greg chuckling] Oh, no.
When I was teaching,
a play came to preschool,
and the children had to wake up a tree.
The tree would fall asleep
and they'd have to go, "Wake up, tree."
And I... "This is fantastic."
So we gave him the role
of just falling asleep.
Wake up, Jeff!
- [Jeff blubbering]
- [all laughing]
I like the song, "Wake Up Jeff!"
Wake up, Jeff
Everybody's wiggling
Wake up, Jeff
We really need you
Wake up, Jeff
Something, um, something, something
Wake up, Jeff, before the day's through
I should know that, but I don't.
I do, but I can't remember.
What's that sound?
I can hear somebody snoring...
[Murray] But the other part to this,
which was so powerful,
kids love having power over an adult,
so we need your help to wake Jeff up.
Yeah, they'd yell out...
- [children] Wake up, Jeff!
- [Jeff exclaiming]
It's like a remote control, right?
If you've got a remote control
over a person,
they absolutely love it.
[boy] Wake up, Jeff!
Wake up, Jeff!
[indistinct shouting]
[indistinct shouting, screaming]
[Jeff] And I remember that Anthony said,
"Look, your life is never going
to be the same after this."
And it never has. [laughs]
Oh, my goodness, it must be Jeff
Wake up, Jeff
Everybody's wiggling
Well, a few thank-yous.
Of course, thank you to ARIA.
[man] Wake up, Jeff!
- Yeah.
- [crowd clapping]
Our albums were selling
and our VHS videos were wildly successful,
so we thought,
"Why can't we do a TV show?"
We went to ABC Television.
They brought in an expert to critique us
who said he was embarrassed by us.
[bird trilling]
[cow mooing]
Biggest rain we ever had
[Murray] We had several meetings
with different producers,
and one particular guy said,
"Your videos make us cringe" [laughs]
The ducks went quack
The cows went moo
And basically said
we had to lose the dinosaur.
That was a moment where we just went,
"No, we know what we're doing."
- Yeah.
- [Dorothy] Thanks, Anthony.
Well, it's been a great party.
And thanks very much for coming along.
From then on, we just went,
"Okay, we'll just make it ourselves."
[The Wiggles: "Get Ready to Wiggle"]
We always knew that man was wrong
about Dorothy the Dinosaur.
And Dorothy became
the most loved character of all.
[woman] Oh, look, Dorothy.
[crowd cheering]
[Anthony] When we look in the audience
and see 20-year-olds
wearing Dorothy hat or Dorothy tail,
it's just beautiful.
[Jeff] Do you wanna give
those roses to Dorothy?
[crowd cheering]
[Anthony] Their relationship with Dorothy
was something that they've still got.
- [woman] Dorothy the...
- Dinosaur
Dorothy the Dinosaur
She's my favorite dinosaur
- [cheers]
- [Murray] Dorothy!
[crowd cheering]
[Dorothy] Bye-bye!
Well, everyone,
it's almost the end of the year.
Christmas is coming.
Hanukkah is coming.
We've got our Santa hats on.
Let's sing some Christmas songs together.
[The Wiggles: "Go Santa Go!"]
[Anthony] By '97, we had an office,
we had staff.
It was commercial.
We had to support that.
[singing] Go, Santa, go
Go, go...
[Paddy] We went from playing venues
that held 500 people
to playing to 1,500 people a show.
And then I was like,
"Wow, this is really growing."
[man] The Wiggles have sold
more than 850,000 videos.
- [woman] Are you guys millionaires?
- No. [laughs]
Definitely not.
Wiggly Christmas!
[crowd cheering]
[Greg] I think having a parent
who is in the public eye
can be challenging for a child
because it gave the other kids at school
something to tease them about.
And I would just say,
"Well, look, if I was an accountant,
people would find something
to tease you about regardless."
Started out pretty much as a band
and I guess, in our naivety,
we didn't know
there was such a thing as a brand
and that we would ever become a brand.
[Paul Field] I became the manager
for The Wiggles.
It was growing to the stage where,
"Okay, this is a kind of
fork-in-the-road time.
We know what we've done, but
jeez, there's some real opportunities."
[woman] They're The Wiggles
and, parents be warned,
the whole Wiggles crew have just made
their first feature movie.
172, take 3.
We're always trying
to take it to the step forward,
which is why the movie's great to do
after doing the videos,
and it's just such a big jump up.
[Jeff] That's a photo of me
getting made up
to have gone into this street
called Brrrrrr Street,
[laughs] where you could get very cold.
It was a segment in the movie.
Academy Award-worthy. [laughing]
[The Wiggles: "Toot Toot,
Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car"]
[woman] The Wiggles
are set to take the world on
with expectations of global exports.
There has been some interest
from overseas, so, yeah, fingers crossed.
[man] Done New Zealand
and Hong Kong already.
Um, where do you wanna go next?
Where are you going?
Well, we're looking towards
the United States
later in the year, hopefully, so...
Don't go to the States.
They can't have The Wiggles.
I honestly believed in them.
I knew that they could be, in theory,
as big as they wanted to be.
[singing] Big Red Car
Riding all night long!
Ooh, yeah!
[Anthony] We decided to concentrate
on America, the biggest market.
It was exciting.
Trying to get a footprint
into the USA, it was hard.
You know, back home,
we could sell out shows,
but here in the U.S.,
we're playing to like,
one, two, three, four, five,
you can count 'em on one hand.
Five people.
And those two adults were publicists.
And the three children
were their children.
But this is how you start out, right?
It's hard work, but what isn't hard work
that's worth doing, right?
[Anthony] We got a job to play
at SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida.
And we had a six-week residency
in this little theater.
Then, somehow or other, Lyrick had
put out Barney the Dinosaur saw us.
I don't look a day over
6,000, though, do I?
No, you don't.
You look really good.
You brought some special friends with you.
Can you can introduce them to us?
Oh, sure.
- Uh, they're my very wiggly wonders...
- I'll stand here.
...from Down Under.
- Hey!
- It's The Wiggles!
- The Wiggles.
- [Barney laughs]
Welcome, guys.
Great to be here.
What's it like for you guys
to travel with this dude?
Oh, Barney's fantastic.
He's friendly, he teaches all the songs,
shows us around America.
[Murray] They'd had
the foresight to actually test
some of our videos on kids
and watch them watching,
and these are kids
who're just watching it cold,
and they got into it straight away,
so they knew we had something.
- Yeah.
- We're going to do "The Monkey Dance."
- "The Monkey Dance."
- Yeah.
These guys, it's like Jagger saying,
"I'm going to do 'Satisfaction.'"
- [all laughing]
- [Russ Mitchell] The Wiggles.
We discovered The Wiggles
when they opened up for Barney,
and, you know, we just...
They were so catchy and they were so fun.
We're both kind of exhausted,
these new parents.
We would put on the tapes
and we found ourselves
rewinding to The Wiggles.
We were like, you know, "This is really
more our speed," you know?
Do the elephant
[Jackie] Their songs were just phenomenal.
They just had become part of everyday life
in our household at that time.
- [singing] Here we go!
- Here we go!
Let's jump to the front and back
We're gonna jump to the front and back
[Greg] Back in Australia,
we were in the studio recording
and saw the news.
[Murray] The TV was on,
and it had just happened.
[Greg] And it was just like, "What
on earth is going on? This is crazy."
The devastation. I mean...
It was just...
Yeah, totally incomprehensible.
[Paul] New York was attacked.
We had a tour lined up
of North America
and the East Coast, you know.
And we were going
to two of the places that were hit,
Washington and New York City.
There was real concern.
[Greg] At a time when there's been
such a scale of devastation,
not knowing if they were actually wanting
The Wiggles to be there,
singing and dancing?
You know, it was a little bit like,
"Is this the right time?"
But we got so much feedback
from fans saying,
"If ever there was a time
when we need you, it's now."
This is Brian Cannizzaro,
and he was a firefighter
in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Brian Cannizzaro was a firefighter
who responded.
[Paul] Brian was getting people out.
[sirens wailing in distance]
[Jackie] I remember
saying goodbye to him and...
[emotionally] saying "Be careful"
and "I love you."
Which is what I always said.
And that was the last thing
that I said to him.
You can only imagine the public death
of your husband, you know?
And they replayed it, and replayed it,
and replayed it,
as they did here in Australia.
[somber music playing]
[Jackie] That was truly the darkest time.
My priority was Christopher and...
That he was okay. He was only
ten-and-a-half months at the time.
[The Wiggles: "The Monkey Dance"]
I was like, "It's The Wiggles.
The Wiggles will play all day, every day."
The Wiggles brought us this...
[inhales] This light.
This light.
[faintly] Sorry.
As it turned out, it was the right time,
and people appreciated the fact
that we would go there,
that we would bring that joy
and positivity back to New York.
["Get Ready to Wiggle"
instrumental playing]
[Greg] Hello, everybody! Hello!
[Jackie] I mustered up the energy to go.
I remember seeing Chris's face
look at them,
wondering how these guys
got from our TV every day,
and now we were seeing them live.
We got to meet The Wiggles after the show,
and what sticks out to me most
is their compassion, their empathy.
I was crying with them.
I was hugging them.
And I remember talking about Brian,
and I think we sat there
for hours after the show.
[soft music playing]
That's one family.
And to meet one family
who had been affected by this tragedy,
it just impacted everybody
in such a profound way.
[marching band playing]
And that was the first year
we did the Thanksgiving Day parade,
which was also, like, pretty overwhelming.
[Paul] You know, I remember
being there and looking up,
there were snipers on the roof,
there were helicopters going over.
It was pretty serious vibe.
Ahoy there, me hearties!
From the Jolly Polly pirate ship. [laughs]
[Paddy] What was incredible was
the police that were walking alongside.
And they were like, "Yeah, Wiggles."
[on radio] Hot potato, hot potato
[officer] My son loves you guys.
My daughter loves you guys.
[singing] Lights, camera, action
Welcome to our TV show
[Murray] And they got us
on Disney Channel in America.
And we were like this
and we just went, pshhh...
Lights, camera, action
[Greg] It was a wild ride.
It was incredible.
...our TV show
To see your name up in lights
in front of Madison Square Garden.
It's a legendary venue.
We sold it out,
it's either 12 or 13 times,
so that's just phenomenal.
This event has created
such a stir in Hollywood.
Executives all over town
are calling in, saying,
"You've got to get me into the party."
[man] ...for my friends, The Wiggles!
[audience cheering]
[Jeff] People on the floor says,
"John Travolta wants to meet you."
He comes into the green room
going, "Hot potato, hot pot..."
[audience laughing]
And we put out our hand out to shake.
He said, "That won't do,"
and gave us all a big hug.
[audience laughing]
[host] You are the coolest guys
in the world.
[audience laughing]
Mashed potaytoes, mashed potahtos
Potaytoes, potaytoes, potahtos.
Then, you know,
you have coming to your gigs,
Robert De Niro.
He was just in the audience,
and he was eating the popcorn,
and it was straight out of Cape Fear.
- You know, when he goes to the movies?
- [all laughing]
Every time Jeff would walk by,
he's going, "Are you seeing this?"
[audience laughing]
[Greg] Many incredibly famous celebrities
come along
because of their child's connection
to The Wiggles.
They're precious memories.
It's a precious time of your life.
Wiggles rule!
[crowd cheering]
[man] Bye, Wiggles! Say goodbye!
BRW had you at $14 million
in 2001 on the Rich List.
Is that right?
- Oh, I don't know.
- Pretty good.
[Murray] I think the sort
of attention we got
about how successful
financially The Wiggles was,
I think it kind of rankled
a little bit just because,
for a while there,
that's what the story became.
There was an underlying suggestion
that there was something wrong
about making a lot of money
from performing for kids,
but I don't think they realized
how much work that we do.
It's not like we're selling drugs,
you know? [chuckles]
What we're selling people is
something positive that makes them happy.
The show was awesome.
He's crying because The Wiggles are gone.
There were fights for tickets,
[Meg Washington: "Do the Monkey"]
[man] The Wiggles have been named
Australian Entertainment's
Top Earners for 2005,
with gross earnings of $50 million.
They again topped the BRW list,
which includes the rock band AC/DC.
All of a sudden,
we were doing 10,000-seat arenas
and these massive ice hockey places.
[singing] Do the monkey
Do the monkey
That's all right
[Anthony] Touring America,
you know, we slept on the buses.
We were away for nine months a year,
three months at a time.
Sometimes we'd have 300,000 people
see us in that time, three times a year.
It was a real rock-and-roll lifestyle
without actually being
in the rock-and-roll business.
[singing] Jump to the back
Jump to the front
[Anthony] We had a great time.
Don't get me wrong, all of us together,
playing sold-out shows.
And we'd party, too.
We're young guys.
[song ends]
Do you ever get single mums
trying to make a move?
[audience chuckling]
[audience applauds]
[Lucia Field] When I was younger,
I couldn't really connect that
Anthony and my dad
were the same person,
so I used to get a little confused.
I was like, "What are they doing
with my dad on TV?
Like, what is going on?"
The kids have been
well looked after, good schools,
lovely house, all that stuff.
But, on the other side,
you know, they've had a dad
who hasn't been home for a lot of it.
As soon as he'd come home,
he'd be home for that time,
and we get to hang out with him.
We'd, you know, have some time together,
and then he'd be off again.
[indistinct conversation]
[Anthony] Miki had the three kids.
Antonio was a baby.
Hello, Daddy.
- [Maria] I say...
- [Anthony] Maria was probably two.
I... Dad. [indistinct]
Hey, Luci.
[Anthony] Lucia just
absolutely loved Dorothy.
What about Luci?
Have fun.
- Bye-bye, Daddy.
- Have you got a rose for Dorothy?
I do have a favorite Wiggles song,
and it's a Dorothy song.
I remember just wanting to play it
over and over and over again.
[gasps] "Sing With Me"!
"Sing With Me," Dorothy the Dinosaur.
[Dorothy singing]
Sing along with me everybody
Sing with me, sing with me
To this pretty little melody
Sing with me, sing with me
Sing along with Dorothy
I loved Dorothy because she did ballet.
Um, I only recently found out
that Dorothy started doing ballet
because I was doing ballet.
He saw how much I loved dance
and incorporated that into Dorothy.
[lively piano music playing]
[Anthony] The first tour I went to,
when she was just over six-weeks old,
probably, today, I would have stayed
and sent someone else.
I was away so much.
There was no balance in life.
[crowd cheering]
We're gonna do a song that Murray wrote.
[The Wiggles: "I Love It When It Rains"]
I love it when it rains
And I lie in bed at night
I listen to it patter
On the roof soft and light
But then a storm may...
[Murray] My wife and I were married
before The Wiggles.
I sometimes felt, you know,
she didn't really sign on for this.
...and I see the lightning flash
Going to America, we'd go
for about six weeks at a time,
and it was just, like, heart-wrenching
when you had to leave.
And I sink down in my bed
I close my eyes so tight
And pull the covers over my head
[Greg] My kids probably said
from time to time,
"Dad, I wish you could be there for this
or can you be there for that?"
And it's really hard when they ask you,
and the answer has to be,
"No, I'm sorry, I can't."
[Murray] Hamish used to dress
as Captain Feathersword
constantly for a while.
There was a point where
he did say one time,
"I don't like music,"
and Meg said to him, "Why not?"
And, um, he said,
"Because that's what takes Daddy away."
And that was kind of a bit...
[chuckles sadly]
You know, pretty heart-wrenching.
[Greg] In my mind, it was always
a matter of, "Well, this is my job.
If I don't commit to The Wiggles,
I can't continue to support
the family in this way."
That was hard, and undoubtedly
had an effect on relationships.
And, in some people's minds,
perhaps making other people's
children happy
in preference to being there
for your own family.
I love it when it rains
As I lie in bed at night
[crowd cheering]
[indistinct chatter]
During the shows,
The Wiggles usually go out
to the audience to say hello
to as many people as they can.
Murray would always be the last Wiggle
to come back on stage
because you could see
he was trying to get every child
that he possibly could to say hello
and he'd go right to the top.
And we found that,
with a lot of the sick children, too,
that it was for the family
as much as for the child themselves.
You know, I can't imagine
what the parents were going through,
you know, knowing that
they're going to lose this child.
Little Jakey is terminally ill,
and, ever since he's been born
and able to follow The Wiggles, he has,
and we've supported him a lot,
and we've been converted, too,
by all The Wiggles stuff.
Bernadette was Paul's daughter,
and Pauline's.
Uh, Bernadette passed away
at ten months from SIDS.
The Cockroaches were on tour at the time.
I remember hearing this scream
from a room that I haven't heard before.
It was a guttural scream.
Uh, and I thought, "What's happened?"
Paul had run home,
found out that Bernadette had passed away.
[Paul] And my world kind of
came to an end, in some ways.
I'm now 61, you know?
It happened in 1988. It's that far.
[shudders] And, um...
So, you know, we sought help.
[Anthony] Paul was never
the same, of course,
and the fun went out
of three-chord rock and roll.
That's when I went to Early Childhood,
and The Wiggles came from that.
[Paul] You know, it's one of the factors
as to why The Wiggles existed,
so I love that fact.
There's a real connection
with her and life, children, joy.
There are times
when I'd go to a hospital
as a sign of respect
to the parents that are there.
[Anthony] It's great to see you all.
We're The Wiggles.
Having lost a child,
it means the world to them.
How you going there? Hello.
- [Anthony] We'd like to sing a song...
- [Greg] Yeah.
If you can bring any sort of happy memory
for that sort of dark time,
I think that's...
You know, we're really privileged
to be able to do that.
[Greg] We're on our way to the hotel.
Tomorrow morning, though,
we're on our way out
to the Great Wall of China,
which should be very, very interesting.
[indistinct conversation]
[Greg] The Wiggles have been touring
every single year.
And that tour, I'm talking week
after week after week after week
after week after week
after month after month,
relentlessly touring.
[cameraman] Okay, we're rolling.
In the early days,
when we did 21 days in a row,
obviously we would
get on each other's nerves.
Uh, we have a soundcheck at 1:00.
[Anthony, chuckling]
One time, before a show,
I was on the drums and I was playing
tin whistle behind a curtain.
Greg came up to me and said,
"You can hear your drums
and your whistle in the audience."
"Right, okay.
Greg, do you want to see a drum roll?"
And I picked up the drum kit
and I threw it.
[Greg] Anthony and I have an issue
going back with water.
We were literally about to go on stage.
I had to put on my yellow shirt.
Somebody had spilled water on it.
[Anthony] This is before going on
in front of 80,000 people in the audience
and worldwide audience.
And I thought, "Must be Anthony."
And Greg really had a go at me.
"Damn, my shirt. I can't go on stage
with a wet shirt now.
Anthony, you've done this."
"No, no, no, I didn't do it."
"Must have been you.
Who else would have done it?"
And then the curtains open
and now we go on stage singing...
[both singing] Christmas memories
Christmas memories
Special moments that we're thinking of
If you see Greg, will you tell him
I didn't do the water?
[indistinct chatter]
[Paul] No one's as close as a band member
when you're touring
hundreds of shows a year.
Everyone has their moments.
But, you know, Anthony
might get upset about something.
Thinking, "Jeez, that's more than normally
that would result in."
[man] Um, favorite children's performer
and why?
Do I have to do it now?
- [man] Oh, no.
- [Anthony laughs]
- Sorry...
- I've only got 20 minutes...
I remember the first time
when I was on the road in England,
and I just was bursting
into tears backstage.
[Murray] I just said to him,
"What's wrong?"
and he said "Nothing."
People didn't really talk
about mental health much in the '90s.
I knew people had depression
and stuff like that,
but I didn't really know
what it looked like
because people tended to hide it.
[music playing]
[music stops]
[man] Cut. Perfect.
All right.
[Anthony] I remember
talking to my brother,
one of my brothers, and I told him,
"I just feel sad all the time."
He said, "What do you got
to be sad about?
If you're successful and, you know,
you've got all the comforts,
what's wrong with you?"
You know? But I said to him,
"Mate, it's not like that. It's like...
I know I've got it... I understand,
I'm grateful for my life,
but it's just, I'm not feeling this."
[Jeff] I really didn't know what to do.
It made me feel very churned up inside.
It was very confronting.
[Anthony] I didn't want to talk about it,
but Paul, my brother,
said it might help people
if you come out and talk about it.
[Paul] I just thought
it was actually good for him
to be open about it
and say, "I've got a problem,"
because then you understand.
[man] Well, you may not know this,
but that guy right there,
Blue Wiggle Anthony Field,
has been fighting a few personal demons.
[woman] Anthony has
overcome clinical depression,
a life threatening illness
and chronic pain.
But I never wanted to be the spokesperson
for mental health
because it's real personal.
[Anthony] I thought
I was such a burden on everyone.
I got my own dressing room,
put in this bar, put music on it,
and I would go in there,
so I wasn't bothering anybody.
So, really, on the road,
I made myself even lonelier
because I'd just stick to myself.
I thought, "No one wants to talk
to me anyway."
When Anthony came out,
making it publicly known
that he has these issues
with mental health,
that gave me a much better understanding
of what he'd been going through.
Is this every day?
It's every day. The thoughts aren't,
"I'm just feeling down."
This is thoughts of, you know,
"I want to harm myself.
- I'm not worthy of living in this world."
- Okay.
"I don't fit anywhere.
Uh, you know, nobody likes me.
I don't like myself."
[Anthony] My dad helped me.
He got me to see someone who
I've been seeing for 35 years now.
[Greg] Understanding Anthony a lot more,
I look back now and I think, "My God,
without Anto's creative genius
and his desire to try things
that were a little bit out there,
a little bit different,
The Wiggles would not have
tried many, many things."
[bagpipes playing]
Well, the bagpipes...
When I was in the army,
uh, I was a rifleman
and a piper because we played at
all the funerals and ceremonial parades.
[playing bagpipes]
I got tattoos. [chuckles]
This one here is
the Royal Australian Regiment.
I think my tattoos tell the story of me.
I've got a jester on my chest
because I do feel like that sometimes.
I feel for jesters.
I think, what a job,
jesters being paid to be funny
when you don't feel like it.
When I'm on stage, it's my happy place.
It's where I want to be.
Playing music, that's it.
[stops playing]
Just prior to your holiday break,
there was rumors that "Greg the Wiggle,
Yellow Wiggle collapses
during a performance."
What happened?
Oh, nothing really
that dramatic at all, Ryan,
I'm sorry to spoil the story
but no, no, no.
Um, I, it was, you know, having a bit
short of breath and dizziness, and...
[Jeff] He collapsed.
[all laughing]
When SARS had hit Hong Kong,
Greg collapsed.
The Chinese officials
thought that he had SARS,
and then they carted him off.
And we were left there,
about to go on stage,
and we went, "Will we ever see him again?"
[Greg] I remember doing a stress test
and being on the treadmill.
And they said, "Yep, no problems at all."
Unfortunately, everyone,
Greg's not with us.
He's had to stay at home with his family.
But we've got a great friend here
who's been filling in.
This is Sam, everyone.
And Sam's been doing a great job.
Let's give him a big clap.
Hi, everybody.
Now play your guitar with Murray
Play your guitar with him
[Greg] It kind of happened again,
and it got to a point
where it was happening
and was a concern because
nobody could tell me why it was happening.
They're testing for epilepsy,
they're testing for diabetes,
they're testing for neurological problems,
you name it.
- Welcome back.
- Thank you.
- He might have an accident.
- Yeah.
[all laughing]
So I'd always try and do the shows
when I could, because I loved them.
[song playing] Yummy, yummy
[mouthing along]
Yummy, yummy fruit salad!
[Anthony] Jump up.
Made it, it's time to eat it.
Uh, huh, huh!
It tastes so good
That you just can't beat it
Uh, huh, huh!
[Murray] Say hello to Peggy.
- [groaning] Hello.
- [Murray] Hello.
[Paddy] And then it got to the point
where it got more frequent
and it would last a bit longer.
But he was such a trooper, you know.
He'd just come out and do the next show.
Three more tomorrow.
We'll get there.
[Anthony] At the time, we had Sam
or we had Brett Clarke, Ryan De Saulnier.
They were all Greg's understudies.
So one of them would go on stage
at, honestly, 30 seconds' notice.
[Sam Moran] I remember Greg being
at the front of the stage
and me being in the back of the stage,
and Greg looking over
and just catching my eye
and nodding to me,
and him leaving the stage.
And so I would just slot into wherever
he was and continue the song,
[Greg] I was going through
personal struggles as well.
That's when I separated
from my first wife,
and that was compounding
the health issues, unfortunately.
[Sam] We did meet-and-greets.
And there was one moment that I caught him
as he fainted,
I mean, in front of the children.
Yellow Wiggle Greg Page
is suffering a mystery illness
that's kept him from touring
with the children's supergroup.
[Kelly Ripa]
Here's The Wiggles performing...
- [Regis Philbin] The Wiggles are here!
- [audience cheering]
Greg's a little bit sick,
so he's at home recuperating.
- [Kelly] Oh, you're gonna fill in for him.
- I am indeed.
Oh, terrific.
Well, it's great to see you.
Thank you. It's great to be here.
Wiggles are appearing at the Garden,
- Madison Square Garden, this weekend.
- I know all about it.
Two weeks into that tour,
they had gotten word
that Greg had gotten an actual diagnosis.
The condition that I had, or still have,
a condition called
orthostatic intolerance,
which is a function of dysautonomia.
He couldn't perform.
He really couldn't, right?
And we knew what it was.
And as for what the prognosis was,
we didn't know.
And I didn't want to hold the guys back.
There were deals that needed to be signed
and I had to make a decision
one way or the other.
And, at that time,
that's what needed to happen.
[somber music playing]
[woman] Well, sad news today,
with Greg Page quitting The Wiggles
because of poor health.
Best known as the Yellow Wiggle,
Greg says he can no longer sing
and dance like he used to.
The announcement, a blow to his millions
of young fans around the world.
Get well soon, Greg.
Get well, Greg.
Get well, Greg.
- Do you think he's going to be okay?
- Yep.
When Greg resigned, we were discussing
whether or not we were going to go on.
So, um, yeah, the decision was
to continue on
with different personnel, so...
[Sam] Anthony came knocking on the door
and he said, "We'd love if you would
think about taking over."
And ultimately gave them the word
that I would love to take the opportunity.
[man] Okay, Sam,
so it's a hard phase ahead, but it's...
- I understand what you're saying.
- We're not...
- Okay.
- [all chuckling]
[man] It's a nice gentle there
Yeah, look, I think that was
one of those things that was hard to do.
And basically it means
that when I stand up,
my body doesn't pump enough blood or...
Oh... Not my body, my heart.
- Jesus.
- [man] Still rolling?
In the times that I have been unwell
and unable to perform
because of this condition,
Sam's been doing a great job
filling in for me
wearing the yellow skivvy.
So, Sam, right now, I'm going to
officially hand over the yellow skivvy
to the new Yellow Wiggle, Sam Moran.
Thanks, Greg.
[man] And cut. Well done.
It was a bit clumsy there with the hand.
- Is that all right?
- [man 2] No, it was good.
[Paul] That was surfing the zeitgeist.
It was as big in pop culture
as it could be.
It was on the front page
of The New York Times.
And, I'm not joking, and with all respect
to Australian Prime Ministers,
I don't know many that get on
the front page, right?
In America, you gotta be eaten
by a shark or disappear.
That shows how mammoth they were.
The change was big on every level.
[camera shutters clicking]
It's very emotional.
Been very surreal, too, that Greg's
not going to be with us after this.
Very sad.
He sort of left the business side as well,
and we bought him out
and, um, he went on the journey
to get well.
Hi, everybody. It's Sam Wiggle here.
We're in New York.
Good day, USA.
We just came from LA,
and now we're in New York,
and it's really cold. [laughs]
Please welcome Anthony Murray, Jeff
and the newest member of the group, Sam.
- Wow.
- You've been touring around America,
- I understand?
- Yep.
To sold-out crowds everywhere.
It's been wonderful.
I guess it felt like my three mates
that we started this thing together with
were going off now without me.
It was like another separation, I guess.
And it was... That was tough.
How bad she knows your name?
[Sam] You wanna take a picture?
[all chuckling]
- Mommy, I just saw The Wiggles!
- [girls laughing]
- Jeff and Murray!
- Anthony,
I saw The Wiggles and Jeff.
Ooo ooo doo doo doo
[Sam] Greg's voice was always
a little bit lower than mine.
The first song that I really
felt like was my own,
that really hit with the audience,
was probably "The Shimmie Shake!"
The shimmie shake
Shake it all way...
And it wasn't me copying the way
somebody else had sung another song.
Shimmie, shimmie, shimmie
Shimmie, shimmie, shimmie
To me, I feel like it's a very
intuitive process, being a Wiggle.
Certainly, the group always
shunned talks of market research.
We have our own focus group
of thousands of kids every day.
Ooo ooo doo doo doo
And the other guys realized
that they needed the larger world
that incorporates all those
extra characters,
like The Dorothy the Dinosaur Show.
Oh, gosh.
[man speaking indistinctly]
- [man] Yes, hello.
- Hello.
- [man] Say your name.
- Hi, my name is Emma Watkins.
[chuckles softly]
[man] Good. Here we go.
Oh, John the Cook, don't worry.
I told Dorothy you were arriving
with her special case.
- [chuckling]
- She will be here any second now.
- [man] Beautiful.
- [crew clapping]
[Emma] I was auditioning
for a ballet dancing fairy
on The Dorothy the Dinosaur Show,
which was a sister show
to The Wiggle show at the time.
Four months later, I got called to join
The Wiggle show as a Wiggle dancer.
And, at that point, I thought,
"This is the highlight of my entire life."
Because I grew up
with the original Wiggles,
they were like mythical celebrities
from my childhood
that were remaining in my brain
as my childhood memory.
In '92, '93, and '94,
it wasn't that extravagant then,
and so I was really shocked
that a children's show
could be so spectacular.
[audience cheering]
[Simon Pryce] The Wiggle show
at the time was very circus-y
and they asked if I'd come on
and be the ringmaster of the circus.
I came from a theater world
or opera world,
and, for about the next year,
I ended up touring with them.
[singing] We will sing along with Dorothy
This dinosaur melody
Let's have a dance.
Dance with me, dance...
[Caterina Mete] Anthony's the brainchild
behind all the developments in the show.
We got into circus training.
Right here,
when she dives and then we'll...
We're going over here.
That is brilliant.
[Caterina] So we were learning
all these circus tricks.
Like I learned how to do trapeze
and others were doing
flips and trampolining.
And, at the time, The Wiggles were getting
involved in the circus training.
[all cheering]
[Sam] Because I was scared of heights,
standing on the trapeze
was well and truly enough
of a circus skill for me to have overcome.
Anthony, to his credit, is entirely
focused on improving the live show.
[Anthony] I think the psychology
of The Wiggles
has been like a football team.
[all] Hey!
And what I mean by the team,
not just the four,
it really takes everybody.
[Anthony] So if you're up there,
don't look to each other.
[indistinct] So work it out
before you get up there.
[Anthony] We are adults,
and adults can have different ways
of looking at things.
The rainbows, they are fantastic.
Murray, when you go through the tunnel,
don't go backwards into it.
Sometimes you've got a team
that's not pulling in the same direction
and the creativity dries up a little bit.
Well, the original Yellow Wiggle is back.
Greg Page has reunited with his mates
five years after he left the group
due to illness.
[man] That created
a rather wiggly situation for Sam,
who, it appears, was simply dumped.
That was a really rough time. Yep.
Uh, that changeover period.
Because I was coming back
because Sam wasn't gonna be continuing on,
and it wasn't portrayed that way
in the media.
But with Greg in, that means
his replacement, Sam Moran, is out.
I've had five years to come to terms
with the diagnosis,
and what it means for me, and manage it,
and I'm back on top of it.
Was this always part of the plan?
To return?
No, no, it wasn't always
part of the plan at all.
It ended up becoming that
Greg wanted back in and pushed Sam out,
and that just wasn't the case.
Then there was
the whole thing with Anthony
having said something
that, again, was taken the wrong way.
Okay, so you're back.
I guess the $64,000 question, Anthony,
what about Sam?
What about Sam?
Sam was, uh...
What do you mean? [chuckles]
- Well, Sam, until yesterday, was a Wiggle.
- Was... Yeah, yeah.
His contract is coming to an end.
I was under the impression
that everything had been sorted out.
I hadn't even seen the paper
when I get on the Today show.
The newspapers today
are full of speculation about things.
You sure know
how to pull a headline, by the way.
That opened the doors up for accusing,
I guess, Anthony
of being the person responsible
when essentially it was a group decision.
I certainly feel a sense of sadness
around how it all ended for me.
Yeah, that's kind of all
it needs to be, I guess.
That says it all, right?
[man] It's quite surprising how badly
- The Wiggles organization handled this.
- [woman] Yes.
I know, because they're so good.
- Yeah.
- Aren't they? Usually.
That was the first time
that we'd experienced
a sense of backlash
and a sense of public discontent
about The Wiggles,
and that was very hard to navigate that.
When Greg came back,
I distinctly remember hearing him sing,
I think it was "Fruit Salad,"
and his voice is just...
It... There's something special.
You go into a place which is like
a nostalgic childhood moment.
[crowd cheering]
[singing] Fruit salad
Yummy, yummy
Fruit salad
Yummy, yummy
Fruit salad
Yummy, yummy
Yummy, yummy
Yummy, yummy fruit salad!
Let's make some fruit salad today
Uh, huh, huh!
It's fun to do
It's the healthy way
Uh, huh, huh!
Take all the fruit that you want to eat
It's gonna be a fruit salad treat!
The first step
Peel your bananas
The second step
Toss in some grapes
The third step
Chop up some apples
Chop up some melons
and put them on your plate
Fruit salad
Yummy, yummy
You got it.
Fruit salad
Yummy, yummy
Fruit salad
Yummy, yummy
Yummy, yummy
Yummy, yummy fruit salad!
[Greg] Yeah.
[crowd cheering]
[Jeff] Just so I don't doze off again,
can we do an action song
to get the blood pumping
and the old pacemaker a-tickin'?
[Greg laughs] Of course we can, Jeff.
And you can join in, too.
[Jeff] My heart incident all came about
when I had a blackout
whilst I was driving,
and ran into a tree.
But not with any great velocity.
And it turned out that
my heart had stopped momentarily.
And so it was recommended
that I have a pacemaker implant.
[Jeff] I will certainly hang in there
for as long as possible.
[man] The Wiggles will go on forever.
It may be the The Bionic Wiggles.
[singing] Up jumped the swagman
And sprang into the billabong
"You'll never catch me alive," said he
And back then, you're looking at that
and you think,
"This is never gonna end,"
but things do end.
[Murray] The kids were
pretty much grown up.
My son was doing his HSC,
or coming up to that.
I just kind of felt like
I needed to be there.
I hadn't been there enough.
[singing] Waltzing Matilda
Some of that precipitated
my decision to stop doing it.
[Jeff] When the time arrived for Murray
and myself to leave The Wiggles,
it sort of felt right for us.
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
[Greg] In that moment that I found out
that Murray and Jeff were going to retire,
I don't know,
I guess it was something
I hadn't contemplated
and kind of struck me as, not odd,
but just out of the blue.
But I wasn't involved in a conversation
with Murray or Jeff
about them leaving,
uh, so I turned up
to the board meeting and, uh...
they all handed their resignation in,
and I was sitting there and...
"What's going on, guys?"
[man 1] In the world of showbiz,
today's bombshell from The Wiggles
is as big as they get.
[woman] Parents around the country
are facing the difficult task
of telling their children
that the Wiggles are breaking up.
[man 2] That's right.
I firmly believe
Anthony's first thought was,
"Well, I'm going to keep going."
I don't think Anthony, for a second,
ever thought that that was time for him
to hang up the blue skivvy.
I feel so alive
and so part of The Wiggles.
It's part of me and I can't give it up.
I want to do it.
Because they're directors, I also said,
"Look, I think I can make us successful
as we were."
I think I kept The Wiggles going
at that meeting.
Because I think they were going to sell.
I never got it explained to me.
I could be wrong there.
But, uh... Yeah, it wasn't great.
[woman 1]
Three of the group's original members
have announced their retirement
after 21 years
of "Cold spaghetti" and "Hot potatoes."
[woman 2] With Jeff, Murray and Greg
jumping out of the Big Red Car.
[melancholy music playing]
Anthony pulled me aside and said,
"I have to tell you something.
It's really important.
We're actually going to be retiring
at the end of the year."
And this was April, so I thought,
"Wow, this is big."
But within five minutes, he's like,
"But we've got a new lineup,
and we were just wondering
if you'd like to join it."
Shivers, and I said,
"You know I don't sing."
And he's like, "No, it's not about that.
It's about, you know, the personality
and connecting with children,
and we can see that."
[Lachlan Gillespie] Emma came to get me
in my dressing room
and just said,
"Anthony wants to speak to you."
I'm like, "Okay."
Oh, no, I could see in Emma's face
there was something exciting.
And Anthony was like,
"Look, I'm going to keep going on.
We'd love to give you the purple and..."
I said, "Yeah." The rest was like...
Oh, just every emotion.
[Simon] I always joke
because Murray and I are the same size,
so I just fit the skivvy.
"Who have we got
who could fit Murray's pants?
Of course, I just jumped to the idea
and said yes. [laughs]
The superstar group has revealed
three of its members will be replaced,
and there's a twist.
[woman] Meet the new Wiggles,
with a woman to wear
one of the famous skivvies.
[Lachlan] We were so excited,
but also wondering,
"What are people going to think?"
The shock announcement has many wondering
if Wiggle shuffle will work,
or if the wheels are falling off
the Big Red Car.
[Anthony] We went out on the road
to half-filled audiences,
like quarter people, 50 people.
And all those children didn't know
who The Wiggles were.
"This is how it is, guys.
We've got to start again."
So let's ready, steady, Wiggle!
[Anthony] When we got on television,
we did everything, honestly,
on the smell of an oily rag.
[singing] Ready, steady, wiggle
Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony, too
[Anthony] Emma as cameraperson
for a while, editing the videos.
I had the guys pretty well improvise
as we went on.
He knew that this was going
to revolutionize The Wiggles,
and also take The Wiggles
into that next generation,
so that enthusiasm was infectious.
[in Spanish] Hi, everyone!
We're The Wiggles!
[Anthony] We had had female Wiggles before
with the Spanish and Mandarin Wiggles.
[in Mandarin] Hi, hello everyone,
we're The Wiggles.
[Anthony] But for people in
English-speaking countries,
we'd never done that.
Everyone was worried.
Oh, no! Dolly!
[Emma] And being the first female
at that time, it was taboo.
And for me to wear a skirt
and a bow and be dancy,
people felt that that was being
forced upon me in a way that wasn't,
you know, that was out of my control.
But when Anthony had asked me
what I wanted to wear, I was like,
"Oh, it's got to be a skirt.
It's got to be a bow." [laughing]
So it felt natural to me.
But people would say things like
"Wiggles can't be girls."
That was really interesting.
"Why are you wearing a bow in your hair?
Why are you acting like a child?"
That's me!
I think initially I thought that
they were attacking me personally,
but, you know,
as time grew on, I realized,
"Oh, no, they're just wanting
to protect that dream in their head."
[man] Let's starting dancing
with Wagsy.
[Simon] We didn't want to dwell
on the negative comments
and we didn't want to ignore them either.
And there were times that all of us
were a bit upset about certain comments,
and we would talk about it.
We wanted to support the Wiggles
so that they could continue.
We didn't want it to stop for children.
[all] One, two, three.
Wake up, Lachy!
Thanks, everybody.
Give yourselves a big clap.
[Jeff] When Emma and Lachy joined,
it was always that thing about,
what do we do with
the "Wake Up Jeff!" song? [laughs]
Wake up, Lachy!
Everybody's wiggling
Children responded to that.
I'd like to think that not as well
as the "Wake Up Jeff!"
[laughing] But you're doing
a good job, Lachy.
Wake up, Lachy, before the day is through!
Would you keep that noise down?
I'm trying to sleep!
As soon as we started creating new content
and people started getting to know us,
it was just a shift
that started happening.
[singing] Simon says
Put your hands on your cheeks
Simon says
Put your hands on your chin
[Murray] One of the things
that we really were conscious of,
we didn't want Simon
to come in and be Murray number two.
Like, we wanted him to be himself.
...say "Simon says"
- Simon says give yourselves a big clap.
- Yeah.
[Murray] But to leave something
like that behind is really hard.
When you're on tour,
you're living it 24/7. Um...
Play your guitar with Murray
[Murray] And to go from that
to kinda nothing, bit of a shock.
Play your guitar with Murray
It took a while
to settle into my new life.
Because so much of my identity
for the 20 years before was,
"Yeah, you're the guy from the Wiggles."
And I think the whole thing did affect
my mental health quite a bit at the time.
Uh, it was a bad time. Yeah.
Hi, I'm Dr. Shaw.
[all] Are you sure?
Sure, I'm Shaw.
[Anthony] After that first series
went on the air,
I'd seen it before, it was just, pshhh...
[singing] We're going up, up, up, up
up, up, up, up, up
And then we stop
But I knew we had to come up
with the best song we can.
[singing] Do the propeller
Do the propeller
I remember Anthony running in
from the studio
and he's like, "Guys, we've got it."
Do the propeller
Do the propeller
Don't remember
where the actions came from.
The actions are just this.
In Jesus Christ Superstar,
there's a dancer
who does this move like this
and reminded me of a propeller.
So that's where...
[The Wiggles: "Do the Propeller!"]
Do the propeller
Do the propeller
Do the propeller around and around
We're going up, and up, and up, and up
We're down down da-down down
da-down down down
We're going up, up, up, up
up, up, up, up, up
And then we stop
Everybody dance now
Do the propeller
Do the propeller
Do the propeller around and around
Do the propeller
Do the propeller
Do the propeller around and around
[song ends]
You know, I don't think the four of them
took a day off in probably two years
in that 2013 to 2014 period.
They put in the hard yards.
They were writing great music.
[woman] And the ARIA goes to...
- The Wiggles.
- [all cheering]
[Luke Field] So I knew
it was going to work.
Big jump there.
Whoo, wiggy, wiggy, wiggy
Whoo, wiggy, wiggy, wiggy
Gimme that, gimme that
[Paddy] Our audience regenerates
every three years.
Three years after they left,
there was people going,
"Who's the old Wiggles? I don't get it."
[Murray] I went to one
of the Wiggles' shows,
and I walked through the audience,
and all the parents were going
to the kids, "Look, it's Murray!"
And the kids were like,
"What? Who?" [laughs]
[Emma] Children had always
dressed up at the shows,
but it became very different
where children wanted to
emulate their favorite Wiggle,
and that's what was really special
about these little ones.
So cute.
You would see a sea of yellow out there.
Bows everywhere, all that.
It was really fun
and it was very successful.
I would never have imagined
anything like that when Anthony asked me.
Well, everybody wave to Emma
as she walks past.
She's going out into the crowd right now,
[singing] Emma
She's the girl with the bow in her hair
[Emma] The only time
there was ever a unified cheer
was when I brought us a sign onto stage
from a child in the audience
that said, " Boys can be Emma, too."
It's Emma's yellow bow
Bow, bow
Come on, let's try it!
Emma bow
Bow, bow
Bow, bow
[Emma] Have a bow-tiful day.
[The Wiggles: "Moonshine Pearl]
On the moon, lives a girl
Her name is Moonshine Pearl
[woman] For two years,
Yellow Wiggle and Purple Wiggle
kept their love affair a secret.
[Lachlan] You know,
we were traveling the world.
We were together.
But things do change
and life changes.
[Emma] Romantically, it just wasn't going
the way that our friendship was going.
[man] And the entertainment world
delivered some more sad news today,
with the Purple and Yellow Wiggles
announcing their separation.
They say breaking up is a very positive
change in their relationship.
It was very much just
a personal Emma and I thing.
Life does move on.
[man] They plan to continue
to perform together.
[Emma] To be in that role
is a lot of responsibility,
but also it was really
all about the children.
[Lachlan] The Wiggles has
always been so professional.
Everything they do is for children.
I am absolutely proud of myself
on doing that at all times.
[Emma] It's connecting with a child
in a very important stage of their life,
and we might be responsible
for their first show,
their first experience of music.
I've got a beautiful poster
and I actually got it framed
from a beautiful little Down Syndrome boy
that says,
"Not all superheroes wear capes.
Mine wears purple."
[siren wailing]
[woman 1]
The country is burning.
It's been labeled
the worst fire season ever recorded.
[man] Thousands of people
take refuge wherever they could.
[woman 2] This is the view
of the fires from space. You can see...
[Luke] I think this says a lot
about the person that Anthony is.
He called me instantly and was like,
"What can we do?
We need to do something to help people."
Lachy and Simon were away at the time,
so we kind of went
"Well, let's put on the OGs."
[Stephen Colbert]
The original lineup of The Wiggles...
- [audience cheering]
- ...have announced that they will reunite
for bushfire benefit shows.
You heard me right. The original lineup.
About damn time.
[Anthony] We came together
at a smaller venue.
Said it was over-18s.
[Murray] Greg was feeling he could do it.
He didn't really know
what was going to happen.
There was no reason why he shouldn't.
[crowd cheering]
[announcer] ...and certainly more
deserving than the original Wiggles.
[crowd cheering]
Hello, friends.
Hello, everyone.
[Anthony] The night
was going unbelievably.
Greg was on fire.
[singing] Do the monkey
[Anthony] The crowd were loving it.
Greg was dancing around
like he was still 20.
And then we played "Get Ready to Wiggle,"
which is so energetic.
Wiggle your hair and wiggle your nose
Ready to wiggle
[Emma] Being there on stage,
I could see Greg
and he was signaling to me
to come and stand in.
It's almost like he knows
that something's about to happen.
We had a fantastic time,
right up to the very end.
[crowd cheering]
Thank you, everybody.
Thank for coming to support
all those wonderful people.
Greg came over to the side of stage,
and was just behind me.
He kind of fell down.
He didn't look well,
and I thought,
"Oh, he's just overdone it."
So I jetted over to him
on the other side of the stage.
Now I was aware that Greg
used to pass out quite often.
And he's lying on the ground.
His eyes started rolling
back in his head.
My first thought was
he's having some sort of fit.
[crowd chanting] "Hot Potato"!
"Hot Potato"! "Hot Potato"!
[speaking indistinctly]
[crowd cheering]
[Murray] Guys, I think we're going
to end it there.
Greg's not feeling real well.
Uh, Greggy?
So thanks everyone for coming tonight.
Then a couple of staff people came over
and they were kind of looking after him,
so I went, you know,
"Okay, it's all right.
You can go back on."
Do... Do...
- We could... We'll do "Hot Potato"...
- While he's taking...
I radioed a colleague of mine, Kim.
First-aid trained.
And by the time she'd gotten to Greg,
he'd stopped breathing.
I remember the color from his face going,
and I thought he was dead.
It's horrible to see one of your mates
get affected like that.
Yeah, it's...
You really don't know what to do
in those circumstances.
The only time I've been around
someone, you know,
I care so much about
where something like that happened,
and so it was, yeah, pretty distressing.
I could see Anthony
starting to have a panic attack.
So I was on the ground.
It was as bad as it could be. Really.
The Castle Hill venue manager,
she came up on stage.
She straight away went,
"I'm going to go get the defibrillator."
She knew where it was.
There was a nurse in the audience.
She came up on stage.
She took charge.
[faint applause]
And then I woke up in hospital,
and Vanessa was there
at the side of the bed,
and she said to me, "You're having
a massive heart attack." [chuckles]
And I remember at that time thinking,
"What do you mean 'having'?"
Because even though
they'd resuscitated me,
I still had a blockage
and my heart was under attack.
It is frightening, uh,
to see, uh, a friend, uh...
really in a bad way like that,
and, uh, uh, I was just glad
the guys could bring him back.
[Greg] After the procedure,
the nurse who was there said,
"You're a very lucky man
because only 10% of people
survive what you've just been through."
Greg kind of said, gave us his blessing.
He really wanted us to proceed
with the show on Saturday night, you know.
Your original Wiggles!
[crowd cheering]
You're all right, man. You're okay.
The audience was so loud
that you could hardly hear
whoever was singing. [laughing]
Which was pretty moving, so...
You can see I'm tearing up a bit
because, yeah, it was...
I mean, obviously incredibly
harrowing for him and his family,
but was harrowing for us,
his other family, too.
[Emma] And from that point,
you could see the love outpouring,
not just to Greg, but to the group.
And I think that's actually played
a really special part
in all of our hearts.
[woman] From his hospital bed,
a soft smile and a thumbs up.
Worldwide, fans sending well wishes
to the Yellow Wiggle.
I think the only word
I could use is "impact."
To see, you know, however many people here
have left messages about that one event
and the way it's impacted
people we don't know.
So, yeah, this is quite, um...
Yeah, quite emotional to think about
the whole cycle of
The Wiggles and the relationship
with our audience.
The World Health Organization
has now officially declared
the outbreak a pandemic.
[man] The way in which it can be spread
more rapidly is in very large events.
You might only have one or two people
at a very large event
who might be carrying the virus
and the chances...
[Luke] We weren't touring.
Triple J, which is a great
Australian radio station,
reached out to The Wiggles and said,
"We'd love you to do a thing
called Like a Version,"
which is bands covering other bands
and genres of music.
[woman] The Second Coming is upon us.
[whispering] It's back.
[Luke] And it was in the middle of COVID.
We'd all had a pretty rotten time,
and I think, you know,
a bit of fun was on the cards. [chuckles]
Triple J, such a contemporary station
of really cool 20-year-olds, you know.
We had to come up
with a song that we liked.
And I had a list of about 15 songs,
none of which I knew. [laughing]
[Lucia] "Elephant" by Tame Impala
was one of them.
Well, he feels like an elephant
Shaking his big grey trunk
for the hell of it
I was like, "I'm the biggest
Tame Impala fan.
You have to do 'Elephant.'
Like, this is such a good song."
Without hearing the song,
and I saw "Elephant,"
I thought, "Oh, great,
it's about an animal."
Too bad your chances are slim
"'Elephant'? Children like elephants.
We can do 'Elephant.'"
[playing "Elephant"]
We spent probably four days
working that out, and Emma's
learned from a drummer how to play it,
which was incredible
because it's not an easy part.
Well, he feels like an elephant
[Anthony] We sent Triple J
the most faithful rendition of it.
It was like we were a cover band.
They said,
"It's got to still say The Wiggles."
So then, I thought...
Fruit salad
[Murray] We wanted
to keep it faithful to the original,
so the best way to keep it Wiggly
is just stick in "Fruit Salad."
[both laughing]
Which then Wiggle-fied it.
Fruit salad
Fruit salad
Yummy, yummy
[Anthony] We brought Murray in
to play the guitar.
Greg wasn't allowed because of COVID.
Fruit salad
Yummy, yummy
Now this is the synth lead.
That's the sound I played on "Elephant."
[plays synth]
But you get to play with Murray.
It's pretty cool.
- Rock god.
- [laughing]
So, for us, it's a real pleasure
to be able to play it with you.
We played it,
and the reaction was incredible.
After it went to air,
just so many people in this...
Like, I just got stopped way more.
"Oh, I loved 'Elephant.'"
We really needed, yeah, some fun.
One of the magazines said, "Oh,
this is the collaboration
we didn't realize we needed."
[song ends]
[Bryce Valley]
Thank you for all of your votes,
and all these texts are
absolutely flooding through.
A lot of people very excited
as we head towards number one
Every year, they have
the Triple J Hottest 100.
Listeners vote
for their favorite song of the year.
[Bryce] Plenty of big hits.
That could take out this number-one slot.
People have barbecues,
have parties around it.
It's unbelievably big.
So, of course, we thought,
"Well, if we make
the Hottest 100, that's great.
Ninety-nine, who cares?"
The voting opened.
My brother called me up and said,
"There's a lot of money
being put on The Wiggles
that they'll be in the Top 20."
We were listening to it all day.
Like, I had my phone by my ear.
As that day went on,
it just kept going up.
It was down to number five.
This one's three.
- Eh? So we're...
- We're three?
No. This song now is three.
Top two.
- [Ebony Boadu] Number two!
- [Bryce] In Triple J's Hottest 100.
And then they played "Stay,"
Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber.
[Murray] When we got to number two,
we all just started hugging
because we knew we were number one.
[all laughing]
Biggest song, as voted by you, of 2021.
[Bryce] 2.5 million votes.
And they played the first, like...
[humming "Elephant"]
I'm like, "Oh, my gosh, they won!
They got number one!"
[all cheering]
The confetti cannon's going off.
This was so special to so many people
because our listeners grew up
listening to you, also to Tame Impala.
I mean, what is it? What...
How does it feel to take this out?
This is massive.
I think this is one of the biggest things
that's ever happened to us.
So, thank you, everyone.
Thanks, Bryce and Ebony...
Bigger than Madison Square Garden?
- It's up there, yeah.
- [all laugh]
- It is. It really is.
- Yeah.
If I knew The Wiggles was going to be
going for as long as it has,
I would have made us... gender balanced,
And I got a chance to do that.
Come 2021, and we've,
you know, the pandemic,
we're locked in our world.
I got Emma, Lachy,
Simon together and I said,
"I honestly believe
that we need to diversify
because we're four people
with blue eyes and pale skin."
Hi, my name's Anthony.
[TV static]
Fruit Salad TV
Fruit Salad TV
[woman] Earlier this week,
The Wiggles announced
that they're welcoming
four new gender balanced
and diverse cast members
to their YouTube series.
Fruit Salad TV!
What do you think about all that?
[man] You know, it's a bit box ticking.
[woman] Just think
it's absolutely an insult
and I find the whole thing
an absolute shame.
This is the only thing I've ever felt
that had to happen.
But what about this?
We got the non-binary unicorn.
"The Wiggles decide to visit their friend,
Shirley Shawn the Unicorn."
[Peterson] If somebody can enlighten me,
if somebody can tell me why,
we have to have a non-binary unicorn?
[panelist] I presume the unicorn would
prefer to be addressed as "they."
What do you think?
Yeah, Shirley Shawn the Unicorn. [laughs]
They are terrific.
[stammering] I just think
it's all woke madness.
Not everyone's happy, Anthony.
That troublesome and boring senator said,
"If you go woke, you go broke."
How do you respond to that sort of thing?
I didn't even know what it meant. And...
[all laughing]
We've been celebrating
sleeping for years, you know?
So I don't mind.
I've been woken up.
[all laughing]
I know Anthony and Dad inspired me
that I could do something more.
Seeing a gender-balanced
and a diverse Wiggles
should be inspiring
for little boys and little girls
to, you know, you can be a Wiggle,
you can be a Prime Minister.
You can be anything you want to be.
Emma, a PhD?
Blimey, what are you doing a PhD in?
My PhD is about creative integration
of dance, sign language and film editing,
- so it's really visual harmony on screen.
- [Koch] Wow!
[woman] Emma Watkins
has made the tough decision
to move on after eight years
as the Yellow Wiggle.
[Emma] I feel like I really need to focus
to finish the research now.
[Simon] I didn't see it coming.
And it was sad because it was, you know,
the three of us came in at the same time,
so we'd gone through a lot together.
It's one of those days where you go,
"It's very sad to see Emma go.
We're going to miss her."
But Tsehay coming along
has made that easier to cope with.
[singing] Hey, Tsehay
[man] A five-time
World Latin Dance Champion
who has been a part of The Wiggles'
latest TV series, Fruit Salad.
[singing] You can jump as high as the sky
She's very, very smart, an amazing dancer,
and all-around performer.
Our friend, Tsehay
[Tsehay Hawkins] I was born in Ethiopia.
And my beautiful parents adopted me
when I was about six-months old.
[Wiggles singing] Everybody clap
Everybody sing
La la la la la
[woman giggling]
[Tsehay] My mom was actually
a childcare teacher,
so she played Wiggles on repeat,
stuck in my head.
Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
Bear's now asleep
[Tsehay] It's really exciting just seeing,
like, a brown-skinned girl
as a kid's doll was beautiful.
[woman] Who is it?
Aw, you love Tsehay?
It's really cool that I'm part
of that next step.
[indistinct chatter]
[Murray] It's always better
if the audience
can see themselves in the performers,
and we've had the feedback
from African-Australian people
of how much it means to them.
And we all say, "Wake up, Lachy!"
[Greg] When we started it, in 1991,
there was definitely a conscious awareness
of making sure that we included
music from other cultures.
Taba naba naba norem
Tugi penai siri
Dinghy e naba we
[Greg] As much as Anthony could see
what he wanted to do,
I don't even think he saw
what was going to happen.
You know, looking at what is there today
with the current Wiggles.
Taba naba...
[Evie Ferries] I am a First Nations woman.
As a child, with other First Nations
and Torres Strait Islanders
and Aboriginal kids,
we would play that and do the actions.
It was just so special.
Taba naba norem
Evie wears yellow with a red,
yellow and black colors
of the Aboriginal Flag of Australia.
She speaks to a lot of people out there.
Taba naba naba norem
[Evie] I've had some beautiful messages.
Kids can't wait to copy that skirt
and be wearing those colors as well.
Taba naba norem
And that's the beauty
and magic of The Wiggles.
That there is different groups
and the people can engage with.
[Anthony] Caterina's been with us
for 20-something years.
- Our choreographer.
- [laughing]
[Caterina] I'm still the choreographer,
but it sort of evolved even more.
Anthony's a bit like that.
He wants to give everyone an opportunity,
give everyone a chance.
[Anthony] People ask me,
"How did you get Johnny?"
Well, I saw him at the local pizza shop.
Every time I saw him,
he was with a man with Down Syndrome.
He was so lovely to this man,
and I thought,
"The universe is talking to me."
He's not hard on the eye,
and he's, you know, Mr. Muscleman.
[John Pierce] Anthony asked everybody
what their favorite hobbies were.
"I love to exercise."
"Okay, we'll turn it into a character."
Big Strong John was born.
["Fruit Salad" playing]
[woman] The Wiggles' purple member
has become an overnight sensation
in the US,
winning over the hearts
of users on TikTok,
many calling him
a heartthrob, a thirst trap.
[man] Causing quite the stir
with parents.
[woman] Yes, John Pierce
is making international headlines.
[John] I'm all about fitness, and health,
and exercise, and, you know, resilience.
And I think that's the main focus
for my character
and keeping it all Wiggly
at the same time.
I like it. [chuckles]
The more out there, the better.
We need bigger. We need bigger.
Bigger. Bigger!
My dad asked me to be a Wiggle. [chuckles]
I was touring so much, been away so much.
Making up for lost time,
getting to know Lucia on the road.
Been performing for a lot of my life
and also been on set with him
quite a bit as well.
Lucia did find a bit weird
having to call her dad, "Anthony."
- Yeah.
- [all laughing]
[Anthony] Lucia is her own person.
She always has been.
She went down to the
Australian Ballet School for three years.
And I think she's incredibly talented.
[Lucia] Now we have four female Wiggles.
I think that's just exciting, as a woman,
but also the reaction towards it
by everyone was just incredible.
[Anthony] The story just keeps
getting better, if you ask me,
and the music's still wonderful.
It's still great creating.
Hopefully, parents will keep trusting us
because they have trusted us
with entertainment of their children.
So, as long as we do the right thing,
I think we can keep going.
Sooner or later, I'm gonna take
a back seat, obviously,
in, you know,
a retirement village with Jeff.
[Adalita singing]
Get ready
To wiggle
We've been ready for so long
[Luke] Greg was healthy again,
but when Anthony and I took a moment
to sit down and reflect on
seeing Greg live on stage, collapsing,
we both instantly went,
"That can't be the last OG show
that people remembered."
[Anthony] Well, to me,
the reunion shows were a celebration
of Greg being alive.
Murray's also had open-heart surgery.
Jeff, also.
[Anthony] So, to me,
this was a celebration of life.
The Wiggles rock!
We're Wiggles supporters
since we were, like, two.
What crossed my mind was,
"This is so cool.
We're going to be able to swear."
And then Anthony goes, "No, no, no.
It's just going to be the exact same show
that we've always done."
[all cheering]
[Jeff] Wiggles!
Wake up, Wiggles!
Wake up!
[Jeff] I'm not sure what OG means.
"Original Gangster"?
They're the least gangsters
you'll ever meet. [chuckles]
I mean, personally,
I'd call it Old Guy Wiggles [chuckles]
[Greg] It's kind of out there.
You've got these
four old blokes up on stage
trying to recreate
what they did 30 years ago.
[Murray] Yeah, we know
it's weird. [laughs]
And they know it's weird, too.
They love it.
It just means for like an hour and a half,
they can be kids again.
We're gonna do the monkey
Ooh-ooh-ah-ah, ooh-ooh-ah-ah!
Do the monkey
Ooh-ooh-ah-ah, ooh-ooh-ah-ah!
Monkey, monkey
That's all right
Here comes an elephant.
We're going to do the elephant
Do the elephant
Do the elephant
That's all right
Get ready to jump, everyone.
We're going to jump to the front and back
Ooh ooh ha
We're going to jump to the front
and the back
Ooh ooh ha
Yeah, we're going to jump
to the front and the back
Ooh ooh ha ha
'Cause that's all right
We're going to do the monkey
Ooh-ooh-ah-ah, ooh-ooh-ah-ah!
Do the elephant
The tiger, tiger
Give yourselves a big clap, everybody!
[crowd cheering]
I gotta say, this is amazing
seeing a huge mosh pit.
[crowd cheering]
[Murray] Doing this OG tour,
we've actually met a few people
who had pretty rotten childhoods,
and for them it was kind of beacon.
[Anthony] They've brought along
a photo with us,
and we've recreated
some of those photos for people.
[Murray] I saw them.
She posted them on Instagram.
It's kind of their story, in a way.
- Love it. This is my childhood come true.
- [friend giggling]
[soft music playing]
[muffled] Murray!
[Murray] When people say,
"You were my childhood,"
I find that sometimes
a little bit hard to fathom,
but I think they just mean, "You were
such an important part of my childhood,"
and, um, I'm really proud of that.
[indistinct chatter]
[Anthony] Murray, will you be able
to get up again?
[all laughing]
I mean, I've been going to the gym, man.
Yeah, you do.
[crowd] Yeah! [clapping, cheering]
- [Anthony] Oh, no.
- [Greg] He's fallen asleep.
[all] Wake up, Jeff!
[Jeff] It's something that I've been
blessed with in my life.
That's something that,
yeah, I'll always cherish.
[Greg] You know, the fact that
we've been able to create this thing
that we have had this amazing
journey with, and many people
have had an amazing journey with us.
That's it.
[crowd cheering]
[Anthony] What I've learned
from the last couple of years
is it doesn't matter
who's wearing the skivvy,
as long as we reflect our audience,
as long as they're
communicating with children.
I think everyone does have
a child inside 'em,
but sometimes people get away from that.
[crowd cheering]
We've all got to be in touch
with the child in us.
We're very lucky to be doing
what we're doing.
[crowd cheering]
Let's see what I've got in here.
Everybody clap
[camera shutter clicking]
Everybody sing
[camera shutter clicking]
Bow to your partner
[camera shutter clicks]
Then you turn around
Where'd you get all this? [laughing]
Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
Bear's now asleep
[camera shutter clicking]
Hands in the air, rock-a-bye your bear
Bear's now asleep
[camera shutter clicking]
Bear's now asleep
[camera shutter clicking]
Bear's now asleep
[camera shutter clicking]
[closing instrumental music playing]