Anyone with a toddler could be forgiven for thinking they have a future in comedy.
Anyone with a toddler could be forgiven for thinking that they have a bright future in the world of comedy.
In reality, I respectfully suggest, it seems to be the receptive audience rather than the material that explains the success parents and others have when trying to amuse someone aged three or under.
Pretend to sneeze in front of a toddler and you’re sure to induce hysterics. An over-the-top style is recommended for maximum laughs and repetition only seems to heighten the hysteria, in our household anyway.
If you can create a big build-up, so much the better. Try this with a more mature audience and it’s unlikely you’ll get more than a quizzical look or perhaps even a “bless you”, if you’re not hamming it up enough.
Or how about selecting a song from the radio and singing it back to your toddler, putting your own unique stamp on it in the process? I’ve found elongating vowel sounds works well as does accompanying the song with an energetic dance.
Your toddler is bound to have a good giggle at this and may even join in. Granted, this particular piece of comedy is one that might also produce a smile or laugh from a more cynical audience, but they’ll be laughing at you rather than with you. On second thoughts, perhaps that’s no different from the toddler’s reaction.
Just a look can be enough though - a sudden, steady stare in their direction coupled with a slightly manic smile and you can sit back and bask in their amusement. Once again, this is unlikely to go down too well with an audience more advanced in years, especially if you don’t already know them.
Of course, as any good toddlers’ comedian knows, if it’s easy to make them laugh, it’s regrettably even easier to make them cry!