If you have a child then there’s a good chance you know the name Jimmy Giggle, or have at least seen his smiling face on your TV screen.
Children’s entertainer Jimmy ‘Giggle’ Rees plays the human face of the ABC’s hit children’s TV show ‘Giggle and Hoot’, where he stars alongside a host of characters with cute-as-pie names like Hoot, Hootabelle, Pirate Hootbeard and Gigglefangs.
It may seem a little odd for a 29-year-old to spend his days hanging out with puppets, but for Jimmy getting paid to be silly is the ideal job.
“I really love being able to make kids laugh,” he said
“The show is sweet and beautiful and nice at times as well, but it does also rely a lot on that slapstick comedy.”
The creative team are constantly coming up with new funny ideas.
“The guys at work say ‘we just need to give Jimmy a prop or a new costume and he’ll go to town’,” he laughed.
“Some of the magic comes from messing around on set and going ‘oh we have this new prop, what can we do with it’.”
For Jimmy, ‘Giggle and Hoot’ has also been the perfect training ground for his latest role – father to son, Lenny.
“I think I kind of understand what all those other parents were going through that I’ve met over the years,” he laughed.
But beyond sympathising with the sleepless nights, Jimmy has also picked up a few tricks when it comes to communicating with the little ones.
“On ‘Giggle and Hoot’ we don’t tend to speak down to kids, we just sort of get on with it,” he said.
“I think that’s something that’s influenced the way I speak to kids and Lenny too.
“You can’t dumb things down because they are smart, they’re really intelligent.
“He’s only 20 months old but he gets a lot, he understands everything. It’s amazing how quickly they pick things up.”
Along with his popularity with the kids, Jimmy has also become somewhat of a hit with mums who find him just as cute as his owl friends.
“In the early days there was this Facebook page that popped up called ‘I Could Teach Jimmy Giggle a Thing or Two’, which my wife and I found kind of funny,” he laughed.
“I thought sideburns went out in the 80s.”
Giggle and Hoot’s Magical Christmas will be on at The Joan on Friday, December 16 at 11am and 1pm. Tickets are $30.90-$34.90. Children 18 months and under are free on laps. For more information, visit www.thejoan.com.au or call 4723 7600.