Mar 20, 2022
We're honored to speak to Gerbert himself!! Andy Holmes is the man behind everyone’s favorite angelic orange Christian puppet, Gerbert, whose unrelenting earnestness and hilariously cute voice have granted him a second wave of internet fandom decades after the show originally aired. The Gerbert franchise began as a pitch for a Christian kids music album, but soon took on a life of its own as a show that was broadcast on CBN (a spinoff of Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network) from 1988-91. This late-80s era was pivotal for Christian media history. The youth ministry movement of the 1970s inspired many attempts at Christian kids’ entertainment, and then the rise of the VHS format during the 80s led to a robust system for producing and selling media directly to Christian audiences. It’s fascinating to hear Andy’s story of how his idea to create wholesome entertainment for kids snowballed into a relatively high budget production and worldwide phenomenon. But it was the archival work of VHS collectors and found footage filmmakers Everything Is Terrible that brought the once successful Gerbert franchise out of the margins of forgotten media history, securing its well-deserved semi-ironic online cult following. They fell in love with the Gerbert VHS tapes they collected in the group’s infancy, and through their recontextualization of the source material, turned Gerbert into an iconic figure whose wholesome vibes are a welcome contrast to the frequently demented subject matter covered in the EIT films. Our dear friend Dimitri Simakis introduced us to Andy Holmes, and Dimitri joins us to moderate this interview. We are all so grateful to Andy, a genuine and kind man with fascinating insights into the Christian media industry. He tells us that his goal with Gerbert was never to evangelize to kids nor use fear to inspire them, but to simply create a comfortable environment where kids could learn and develop a caring conscience. He has real heart and it comes through in his work. We hope you enjoy this special interview!
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