Blippi Debuted a 'New Look' and Parents Were Not Amused

Many fans of the wildly popular children's entertainer were upset after Blippi appeared looking quite different in a video on his YouTube channel. Here's why.

If your kids have been fans of Blippi, the children's entertainer for a while, they probably noticed when the channel (which boasts 16.3 million YouTube subscribers) debuted a new actor to play Blippi in 2021. When the change was made, some kids (and, ahem, their parents) were not happy. Like, at all.

Since the new Blippi actor's introduction in May 2021, both actors (Stevin John, the originator, and Clayton Grimm, originally from the live production of Blippi) have appeared as Blippi on the YouTube channel. There have been other changes to the YouTube channel—like the addition of a new character named Meekah—but none seem to have stirred up the audience quite as much as when Grimm was first featured as Blippi.

The fracas actually started back in 2019 when angry parents discovered that Blippi's live tour would not feature creator Stevin John, who originated and played Blippi on YouTube. Instead, an alternate actor, Clayton Grimm, would assume the role on the road. Fans were livid, with many seeking refunds—and that wasn't the last time the switch caused problems. Two years later, an Instagram post announced the return of Grimm (also known as "Blippi from The Live Show").

"Due to popular demand we are bringing more Blippi from The Live Show to you all!" the post read. "Don't miss the launch of 'Learn with Blippi' tomorrow on Blippi's YouTube channel. Who's ready!?"

The comments on that post? Well, let's just say people didn't hold back. "When you order from wish and he arrives," one Instagram user joked. "Oh noooo, just like when they replaced Steve in Blues Clues #childhoodtrauma," another lamented. A third commenter shared the reaction in their household: "My 4 year old: 'is that guy dressed up like Blippi for Halloween?'"

Others offered less playful responses. "I'm sorry but this is disappointing, so you're going to start uploading videos on your channel with someone else playing you?" one fan complained. "Wow this is insane! We love watching the original Blippi! This is not right." Someone else chimed in with, "Hard pass. We're either team OG Blippi or team no Blippi. We don't play the imposter game."

Of course, it ultimately wasn't the end of the world—or even the end of Blippi as everyone knew him. While kids and parents alike were left wondering "why is there a new Blippi?" and "why is Blippi different?", the reality was that the original Blippi wasn't being replaced.

"Stevin, the current Blippi, is not going anywhere! He will continue to play Blippi across a range of platforms and media. We are however adding a new Blippi to perform on the new YouTube show!" Team Blippi clarified in a comment below the original Instagram announcement.

In hindsight, the move made some sense: As Blippi's fan base grew, so did demands on the character's creator. It completely stands to reason that the original actor might need some help in creating all the new content fans continually begged for. Of course, it also makes sense why some parents and children were initially upset about the abrupt change.

First, there was the initial shock. While the change was teased on the brand's Instagram, the announcement was unexpected and the majority of YouTube viewers weren't aware it was going to happen before the first video with Grimm was uploaded. To suddenly be faced with a massive change to the host of the beloved channel was a bit of a shock to the system for some.

Next, some parents noted how strange it was that the introduction of a second Blippi actor seemed to assume that kids wouldn't notice (or perhaps not care about) the difference between the two actors portraying the same character. "My son noticed immediately and started crying," said one parent. "My 3-year-old hates this guy dressed up like Blippi," said another.

Especially unexpected was the choice to have both John and Grimm continue to play the character in new videos on the channel. "The back and forth is honestly not cool," one commenter said at the time. "I mean if you are going to bring out a completely new person, then give him a new character and name," said another, echoing the confusion about the two Blippis existing together.

Others had another take on the two Blippis: "Get a grip guys. He's not leaving [he's expanding] his brand! What happens when Stevin ages? Explain to your kids that he is Blippi's helper, [like] Santa in the mall. He can only do so many things for your children. I think this is cool that he is trying to branch out and expand his brand!"

In the end, as with most things on the internet, the clamor has died down. And in the time since the initial uproar, a whole new batch of kids have been introduced to Blippi—some of whom only know (and love) Grimm's Blippi, who continues to appear on the YouTube channel in addition to hosting the Netflix show, Blippi's Adventures, which was released in 2021. Perhaps there is a lesson in this for us all: All's well that ends well.

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