The characters from Oobi have been featured in music videos, magazines, commercials, and other media outside of the TV show. This page is a list of pop culture appearances.
Books and cards
Mad is a humor magazine, known for its satire comics. The volume from May 2004 (Issue #441) includes a comic called "David Letterman's Baby", which features Oobi. It shows a baby version of David Letterman watching Oobi and introducing him to Elmo from Sesame Street. The full comic can be found here.
Topps Wacky Packages
Wacky Packages is a line of trading cards sold by the Topps Company. Each card features a parody of a brand. In the 2006 series, one of the cards parodied the Noggin website. It was called "Naggin" and included a parody version of Oobi named "Oozy." On the card, Oozy is shown to be an ugly hand puppet with warts all over him. The card has a page on the Wacky Packages catalog.
Alternadad is a 2007 autobiography by Neal Pollack, a comedy writer. The chapter "Endless Summer" describes his son watching Noggin. Neal calls Oobi and Oswald his favorite shows on the channel, then describes what sets them apart from the others. He calls Grampu the best character and says: "He made funny faces when he had to eat the awful food the kids cooked for him, and he also flirted with Oobi's piano teacher."
The chapter can be read online here.
Killer Thursday Crosswords
Killer Thursday Crosswords is a book of crosswords from the New York Sun. On page 50, one of the clues is "Oobi's little sister on the kids' show Oobi", and the answer is Uma. The book can be read online here.
TV and commercials
The Soup was a comedy talk show on the E! channel, hosted by Joel McHale. It had a recurring segment called "What Your Kids Are Watching", where Joel took scenes from kids' shows out of context and made sarcastic comments about them. In 2007, two episodes featured scenes from Oobi.
This episode featured a scene from "Showtime!" where Oobi and Kako's mouths are glued together. Joel McHale joked that Oobi and Kako were gay, and said it looked like they were having a "glue orgy" together.
An excerpt from the commentary was shared by The Gin Blog, which wrote:
"Oobi - You see glue… I see porn… now, to be honest I was cracking up when I saw this. Luckily my kids were in the other room and didn't really care what Dad was laughing so hard at. But as an adult, it's nearly impossible not to guess what ELSE this might look like. The Soup definitely had no problem making the association…" (source)
A clip from "Uma Bathroom!" was featured in another episode. The scene where Uma sits on the toilet after playing in the mud was taken out of context. Joel McHale joked that Uma was covered in "something other" than mud.
According to the indie rock band The Format, the music video for their song "Dog Problems" was inspired by Oobi. (source) It features Oobi hand puppets that mimic the show's style. The main puppet wears a hat, similar to Kako's, and represents the lead singer Nate Ruess. The video can be watched here.
In 2006, VideoStatic announced the music video and described the plot: "The video — which is actually inspired by the hand puppet television show Oobi — begins with the hands making simple shadows on the wall, but the set-ups get increasingly intricate and clever as things progress out into the real world and onto various parodies — the highlight being a spoof of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody." (source)
In 2014, Durex Turkey released a commercial that parodied Oobi. It featured a man breaking up with his girlfriend and dating his right hand, which was dressed up as a character from the show. (source) The Oobi puppet was named "Elizabeth". The full video can be watched here.
In an interview with La Republica, the commercial's director said: "The target audience has really responded to the video for the bizarre humor that characterizes it. This also brought new attention to the product. Elizabeth is a parody of the television character Oobi, who is also a funny talking hand." (source)
Right Hand Guy
Right Hand Guy was a pilot episode pitched to Disney Channel in 2016. It starred a boy whose right hand comes to life. According to the creator, Dan Lagana, the storyline was inspired by Oobi. (source) Lagana showed the episode "Babysitter!" to the actors so that they would be familiar with the hand movements. (source)
Ziraxia, an online store for shirts and decals, made a spoof of Oobi called "Cthoobi" in December 2008. It was a two-minute video about Uma finding a monster under her bed. The ending advertised an Oobi shirt design on Ziraxia's website. An archive can be found here.
John Green, an author best known for writing The Fault in Our Stars, runs a YouTube channel called Vlogbrothers. In May 2007, he made a short video for the channel called "How to Write a Book Proposal". It features Oobi and a sock puppet, both played by John, demonstrating how to write a proposal for a novel. It can be watched here.
John's Oobi puppet has a few memorable lines, like "I don't know what a proposal is! I'm just a little Oobi!" The video is often quoted by his fans in the comments of other videos. Coincidentally, in 2017, John's brother Hank Green tweeted a picture with Grampu at the bottom of it. (source)
Rhett & Link
In 2008, the comedy duo Rhett & Link featured and responded to a homemade Oobi video called "Choobie and Ooma" on their personal YouTube channel. It can be watched here (with an archived version here).
Shane Dawson, a longtime YouTuber and actor, talked about the show and mimicked Grampu in a November 2009 video. It was uploaded to his ShaneDawsonTV2 channel and can be watched here.
Cannes Young Lions
A runner-up for Cannes' 2009 advertising contest was a commercial based on Oobi. It featured spoofs of celebrities played by hand puppets and given "Oo"-themed names similar to Oobi and Uma. It can be watched here.