Meet the 22-year-old comedian behind ‘Recess Therapy,’ a new must-see show for parents and kids
Meet the 22-year-old comedian behind ‘Recess Therapy,’ a new must-see show for parents and kids …
Like many other people, the COVID-19 pandemic had Julian Shapiro-Barnum feeling low.
The 22-year-old comedian and actor had spent his senior year at Boston University entirely online, and after moving back home to New York, he felt constricted to his apartment.
“Being stuck in that place was really challenging,” Shapiro-Barnum said — but instead of basking in his sorrow, he decided to take his problems to the streets to get feedback from the experts. In this case, kids.
“I called my creative partner and said ‘Let’s interview kids on the playground. They look so happy and like they’re really having so much fun. … Let’s see how they do it,'” he said. “I’m genuinely interested in seeing how they stay so joyful and resilient.”
What he found was a little more complicated.
Though the children were enthusiastic and hilarious with their answers, it wasn’t all happy. Shapiro-Barnum said he found that many children were, too, struggling with the “new normal” and not being able to see their friends. They grappled with the concept or confines of gender identity and tackled the uncertainty and excitement of the future. Their insight on such topics, however, was much simpler (and funnier) in delivery than the typical adult. It was cathartic.
“Walking back from the playground, I just felt fresh from having that perspective,” Shapiro-Barnum said.
The actor soon after launched Recess Therapy. In the online show — what feels like a new-age spin on “Kids Say the Darndest Things” — Shapiro-Barnum sets out to ask kids general questions in man-on-the-street style videos. And as the saying goes, the truth comes “out of the mouth of babes.”
There have been heartwarming thoughts about Pride month, stream-of-conscious mumblings, suspicions about aliens, and suggested solutions to climate change. Children have also weighed in on crucial subjects like the key to happiness (hint: ice cream), favorite foods (also: ice cream), why vacation is crucial (this, too, somehow involves ice cream), and what adults could do better (to summarize: A LOT).