Whilst every parent knows him as Jimmy Giggle, after headlining this brilliant kids’ show for over 10 years, today Jimmy Rees is garnering a completely different audience. Everyday Aussies. Especially ones trying to decide between the ‘Pfiiiiiiiizer’ or the ‘AZ’! And people are certainly taking notice. He now has a combined following across Insta, Facebook and TikTok of 1.3 million people.

When the pandemic hit and Jimmy’s post-TV event plans were cancelled, he turned to social media videos as a creative outlet. Jimmy has gone on to become one of the most-viewed Australian TikTok personalities, with 10 million likes on that platform alone, and video views across his social media channels in any given week outnumbering Australians watching television.

His hilarious video parodies like ‘The guy who decides packaging’, ‘Meanwhile in Australia’ and the even funnier ‘Meanwhile in Brighton’, have kept Aussies laughing throughout lockdown, while his three young boys have inspired his spot-on impersonations of the outlandish things kids say and do.

But he certainly hasn’t forgotten about entertaining kids and has just released his first children’s book; Bedtime Sorted!. Bedtime Sorted! riffs off one of Jimmy’s most popular parenting videos (over 2 million views) about the myriad bedtime excuses that families everywhere know all too well.

‘Parenting is hard, and making silly TikTok videos about its challenges is my own way of coping, so it’s just a bonus that other parents can have a laugh along with me. Bedtime Sorted! is an extension of that, cleverly disguised as a picture book for kids – but I hope that mums and dads will get a kick out of it too.’

We chat to Jimmy about his new book, surviving lockdown with three young boys, and just where his comic genius is going… 

What was the inspiration for Bedtime Sorted!?

I made a TikTok video about all the excuses I hear from my eldest son Lenny (he’s six) at bedtime, and the video was well-received by my audience online. There were plenty of funny comments about all the random things parents had heard over the years. That’s where it started, but in a general sense it’s about the funny moments and challenges you have as a parent raising kids. They are always throwing you curveballs and some of those just happen to be hilarious. 

With Father’s Day approaching, what’s your favourite thing about being a dad?

Seeing the world through my kids’ eyes and having an excuse to be a big kid myself. Being a parent is one of the world’s greatest experiences and challenges – one which my wife and I embrace, and we endeavour to give our kids the best upbringing we can.

How did you cope with three young kids during lockdown? 

Umm, it was a little crazy. We discovered quickly that we needed a routine in our day. We planned our day around the twins’ sleep, and around when we were going to go out and do our exercise. We would also plan some quiet time; time for me to get some work done; and, of course, there was some homeschooling in there too. It’s not easy! Let’s hope the term ‘lockdown’ is forgotten forever very soon.

Any tips or hard-earned lessons when it comes to bedtime with kids? 

Well, the book is based on my family and features Dad, who thinks he has it all sorted but then completely does not! So maybe I’m not the best for advice. If I had to give a tip though – and this goes for parenting in general too – don’t stress. We can get so wound up as parents about sleeping and eating and playtime – the list goes on. Take it week by week, and don’t sweat the little things because one day the kids will be gone, moved out of home, off to start their own life. It’s our job to nurture them to that point. 

Did you think you would get so much success with your social videos?

Not at all. I was astounded when I started posting my videos. The first couple reached a million people and I thought “Wow, I’m gonna keep doing this”, so while we were in lockdown last year I set myself a challenge to think of an idea and post it that same day. It’s just taken off from there.

What’s been your favourite video or series of videos to date?

I think the ‘Guy who decides …’ videos are among the favourites – there are so many stupid things we humans do when you look at them from the perspective of a guy making decisions about it all. More recently, the ‘Meanwhile In Brighton’ series is so silly and fun to write and record. 

Have you thought about a career in stand-up comedy?

Yes I have. I’ve always been interested in comedy, and I watch a lot of stand-up. My dad is from Portsmouth in the UK and although he came to Australia in his teens, what stayed with him was his British sense of humour. We watched so many brilliant British comics and shows when I was younger. I think if I were to put on a show it would be a hybrid of stand-up and character-based comedy. 

Have you had the Pfiiiiizer yet?

Oh darling, if only I could get the Pfiiiiiiiiiizer!! I’m not a day over 34, darling!

You check out Jimmy’s videos on his Instagram account here.

Or his TikTok account here

Bedtime Sorted! by Jimmy Rees and Briony Stewart (Affirm Press) is available now from Booktopia.

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