Risky Rat (numerous aliases) is a large, anthropomorphic rat, who displays mainly human traits and dress- styles. He features in several “Kids Praise!” movies, with varying relevance to the overall plot, but always as the antagonist and seeming arch-enemy of Psalty the Singing Songbook.
Like Psalty himself, little is known about Risky’s background or life outside of the films, but his motivation always stems from a deep dislike of Christian praise and worship, and a desire to prevent believers from sharing the Gospel with others.
He is portrayed by Rob Rigg.
In "Psalty's Salvation Celebration the Movie", Risky boards the train on which Psalty and his friends are travelling to evangelise in Alberceque. Risky poses as a talent agent under the alias of Ricky Razmusson, looking for stars for an alternative show. Risky tries to distract the kids from Psalty's show with promises of money and fame, and in particular, plays on the fact that Shelly Barnes, a talented singer, feels shy about talking to others about her faith. Shelly is initially tempted to join the show (which is entirely made up), leaving Psalty's group. However, when it transpires that Psalty's master tapes have vanished, along with "Mr Razmusson", the gang are quick to reailse that the talent scout is not what he seemed. At the destination,Shelly takes a leading role in singing about God, sharing her faith and exposing Risky for the liar and fraud that he is. Risky runs away to Africa, hiding the tapes.
In "Psalty's Funtastic Praise Party", Risky is seen at the beginning of the film, walking down a busy street. He notices that Psalty and his friends are due to perform at a local theatre/auditorium. Determined to stop this, and believing himself cleverer than Psalty, he phones the cast and tells them the show is cancelled. Risky attends the show, hoping to gloat at Psalty's failure. As it transpires, Psalty is only mildly discouraged and manages to improvise by increased interaction with the audience, as well as the spontaneous arrival of three large, colourful anthropomorphic boxes, which contain their puppet friends. This infuriates Risky, as he states that he has also bribed the stage hands to keep any props or material out of the auditorium. As the party becomes progressively more lively and successful, Risky becomes increasingly irritated, and in a last-ditch attempt, he sends Psalty a telegram, pretending to be the theatre's owner "Riscaldo Ratmo". This ploy is noticed by Charity Churchmouse, who informs Psalty that all the problems have been in fact caused by Risky. Psalty, knowing that Risky will hate it, encourages the audience to simply praise all the more. Risky eventually admits that he cannot take any more, and flees the theatre.
Risky makes a small appearance in "Kids Praise 4". A large element of the film is the emphasis that worshipful singing is worthless without sincere meaning. Charity Churchmouse is considering pursuing a career in Gospel music, and Risky appears in a nightmare, and tricks her into signing a "con-trap" (contract), prompting her to rethink her plans.
Risky Rat's ultimate fate is unknown, but he is portrayed as being easily defeated simply by genuine, meaningful worship and praise of Christ, as he cannot stand this. His plans to thwart it always end up failing sooner or later. Whether he targets groups or individuals from other denominations, or events and celebrations which they might purvey, is left to one's own speculation, but given his hostility towards the faith, it seems very possible.
Risky is tall, with obvious rat-like features but exaggeratedly big ears, and short, curly black hair on his head. His facial make-up effects vary between portrayals, as does his clothing, which generally pertain to various disguises and aliases, however he is always well-dressed, favouring a suit and top-hat in "Salvation" and a chequered tank-jumper with a bow tie in "Funtastic Praise Party". In his short role in "Kids Praise 4" he wears a very ostentatious, glittery gold suit and hat. One constant feature are his large, clown-like white gloves.
Risky has a motif tune, "Big Bad Risky", with lyrics actually sung by the cast in "Salvation" whilst he introduces himself proudly and boasts of his cleverness at disguise and deception to the audience. The tune of the song is repeated (without lyrics) each time Risky appears in "Funtastic Praise Party".
Hailing himself as "master of disguises", Risky is a scheming, manipulative and deceitful character, whose seemingly only motivation is to ruin or stop events where others will sing Christian music or tell others about the Gospel. He goes to long and complex lengths to achieve this, though always fails. Earnest and determined though he is, Risky does not directly antagonise or confront others, preferring to manipulate, charm and persuade them. Additionally, despite being the closest thing Psalty has to a nemesis, he spends very little time in direct company with him. Risky is, in fact, something of a coward, and will run away when he is beaten and his deceptions will no longer work.
Although a very creepy and somewhat unsettling character to watch, his highly exaggerated mannerisms and voice can provide some slight comic relief.
Another notable trait is Risky's tendency to break the "fourth wall", addressing the home audience directly. This is in contrast with Psalty who usually only speaks to those viewers whom are on-screen, i.e. theatre audience (N.B "Funtastic Praise Party" is in essence a film of a theatre production, with its audience filmed themselves).
Exactly whom, or what, Risky is meant to represent is ambiguous. Some have suggested that he may represent modern liberalism, political correctness (which reputedly is affronted by religions of most types), or outright atheism, in contrast to Psalty's Evangelical Christianity. However, the fact that he does not deny belief in Christ in "Salvation" suggest that he may even represent The Devil.