The Wiggles, the four-man band of children’s entertainers that drives most alt-rock-loving yuppie-parents crazy, are Australia’s highest-grossing entertainment act: They’ve sold more than 17 million DVDs and five million albums worldwide, they’ve lent their name to theme parks, and they’ve begun franchising their act into other languages, including Mandarin and Tamil (this way, they’ll finally be able to talk to Sting).
So when the news got out that Greg Page, the group’s yellow-shirted lead singer, will be leaving the group because of an unidentified ailment that causes dizziness (he’ll be replaced by an understudy), we couldn’t help but wonder how the kids–in this case, actual kids–will react to the new line-up. Are the members of the Wiggles’ pre-school audience old enough to notice the difference? Or will there be hard-fought, “Goo-goo! No, Gaa-gaa!” debates between fans of the new frontman and fans of the old? The international versions of the band lead us to believe that they’ll eventually become a Menudo-like franchise of interchangeable musicians—because even though the timeframe for aging out of The Wiggles’ fanbase is short, there’s a thumb-sucker born every minute.