It’s not the kind of babysitting job you would want your daughter taking on.
Imagine she arrives at the house, meets the mom, is left with the tween, and lets the grandparents drop in unexpected. Nothing to be suspicious about in that. Two kindly, elderly folks. The grandfather is in a new wheelchair, which is no problem. The sandwich he asks your daughter to make is a little unusual, especially when it was topped with popcorn. But she does it. She even tastes it when asked.
“I lost my taste buds in the war,” grandpa says, a little cranky-like. No biggy.
But it starts getting a little extreme when his wheelchair begins to act up. He can’t get the joystick on his wheelchair to work. So he asks your little girl to work the remote.
That’s when he and chair slingshot across the kitchen – right through the wall. Not a little bump into the wall; all the way through.
Of course she is mortified. And every hidden camera in the room captures the look of utter disbelief. They don’t keep her hanging long. Grandma lets her in on gag. She’s been pranked by the good people on Extreme Babysitting.
And the mastermind behind the YTV show? West Carleton’s own Andy Chapman.
“So now I’m pranking babysitters,” a laughing Chapman said over the phone from the set in Toronto. “It’s all in good fun. We wouldn’t let anyone get hurt.”
Along with the hidden cameras and professional actors armed with Chapman’s scripts, the West Carleton Secondary School graduate is staked out in a nearby room watching the three-pranks per episode unfold.
“I wouldn’t be much good out there,” he said. “I’d crack up every time.”
He does a good job as host, and as the comic relief between cartoons on the channel’s Saturday morning bloc CRUNCH. It’s a gig he’s held for a few years now, picking it up soon after landing the co-host role in another YTV show: SciQ, a science show for kids.
The twenty-something isn’t sure why he connects with kids, other than to say he enjoys watching cartoons himself and prides himself as a standup comedian who – refreshingly – likes to play it clean and cynical-free.
“I’m a big kid and don’t mind falling down,” said the Bill Cosby, Abbott and Costello, and Charlie Chaplin fan.
West teachers used to see him as a comedian, too; though they may have frowned on it a bit at the time. When he returned a couple of years ago to speak to the students, he was happy to see some of the same teachers proud of for making a go of it in a tough business.
He keeps getting work, though. Along with two steady gigs on TV, Chapman’s standup is gaining in popularity with shows booked from here to Toronto. His family-friendly comedy enables him to appear in almost any venue. That alone, the fact that he is getting gig after gig, is the kind of self-perpetuating path all entrepreneurs can appreciate.
“Work begets work,” Chapman said.