Nickelodeon Cartoon Draws Unusual Fans

Forget Dr. McDreamy and the fashionable gals of "Sex and The City." The stars of a hit television show aimed at preschoolers, "Yo Gabba Gabba!" are now the ones capturing the often coveted eyes of twenty-somethings nationwide.

The Nickelodeon series, a mix of animated shorts and live action, aims to teach kids important life lessons, such as why it's good to eat vegetables and how to make their beds.

But it's not just a hit among the crayon-wielding, sticky-fingered crowd that the producers originally intended the show for.

An older demographic — college students and many parents of preschoolers — has become just as, if not more, obsessed with "Yo Gabba Gabba!" as the toddlers who the show is aimed at.

Georgia Southern University sophomore James Kicklighter told ABCNews.com that he and his friends meet to watch "Yo Gabba Gabba!" three times a week.

"It's become a tradition," said Kicklighter, 19. "After my 9 o'clock class, we go back to my apartment and watch it."

Hip Music, Humorous Characters Draw Older Crowd

Kicklighter likened "Yo Gabba Gabba!" to a modern-day version of "The Muppets" because of the celebrity guests the show features. Actor Elijah Wood has appeared on one episode, and popular band "The Shins" is set to perform on an episode to air May 23.

Several of the show's older fans told ABCNews.com that the indie-musicians featured on the show make it that much more attractive.

These unique qualities led Brown Johnson, creative director for Nickelodeon, to pick up the show, and they are why co-creators Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz explain the older fan base.

"It makes sense that college-age kids would take interest in watching because there is a strong pop culture element to this show, and because we have popular bands that college-age students like on the show," said Jacobs in an e-mail to ABCNews.com.

Matthew Ingraham, a 21-year-old student at Washington's Everett Community College, told ABCNews.com that he loves "Yo Gabba Gabba!" for its "randomness."

"When I first saw it I thought it was the funniest thing — I almost started crying," said Ingraham. "If I had to describe [the show] to people, I'd have to say it's a mix of "Bonanza" meets "Sesame Street."

Jacobs and Schultz explained how shows, such as "Sesame Street," gave them their inspiration.

"PBS was the place!" said Schultz. "We were looking to our own experiences as preschoolers with preschool television ... It was all about the variety shows."

Kid's Cartoon or New Stoner Classic?

And while many older fans of the show said they like it just for the music and quirky characters, others said the show was even better when combined with another popular pastime of some 20-somethings: Smoking marijuana.

"It's a good stoner television show, because it's not difficult to understand since it's made for children and there are lots of bright colors and good music," said Tracie Egan, an editor for popular women's gossip blog Jezebel.com, adding that she has watched the show after getting high.

"It caters to a child's mind, and when you're stoned, you're sort of, well, slower," said Egan, 29, who writes a column for Jezebel, "Pot Psychology," that depends on her getting high prior to writing.

Both show co-creators said they're happy the show has attracted older audience members — Schultz thinks it's "awesome" — but they didn't comment specifically on those who get high to watch.

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PHOTO: Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison attend the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Inaugural Gala presented by Salvatore Ferragamo at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 17, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
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