I'm getting ready to use my Axtell Big Baby for the first time next Saturday (April 3). I've seen videos and such on the Internet with people having huge success using it with adults as the babies--Laughs galore! However, I'm wondering what experience you all have had using it with a kid as the baby. I'll be doing an Easter show for a church egg hunt, and the audience will be mixed (adults and kids) but will be mostly kids, meaning it is most likely that a kid will be picked as the volunteer. I'm afraid that some of the "baby" gags might just prove to embarrass the kid instead of being funny.
Has anybody had any experience with this or am I just worried for nothing?
I use the big baby at schools. I don't go below the third grade for a volunteer, and that is a bit iffy. The older the child the better, and I always pick a boy myself.
However, what I would recommend is that you pick a child who's present with their dad. Then the child can take care of the dad baby for a change. Go to party store and pick up an oversized baby bottle and rattle.
April 3 2010, 9:11 PM
Thanks, Tony, for the advice. I did the show today with my Big Baby for the first time. It absolutely killed!!! It truly is a home run prop. I ended up using a boy volunteer around 4th or 5th grade, and he was absolutely perfect. However, in hindsight, it might have been even funnier to use an adult--the kids, I'm sure, would certainly get a kick out of seeing an adult become a baby. But, at this venue, I didn't have any adults who I knew well enough to call out (since adults never volunteer). It all worked, though!
This prop is so versatile. In fact, I found myself using the audience's reactions a whole lot to add lines to the routine. I don't know why, but anything a "baby" does is just flat funny! I'll definitely be using this item every chance I get. Can't wait to use it on an adult sometime!
This message has been edited by rtullock from IP address 18.104.22.168 on May 10, 2010 5:36 PM This message has been edited by rtullock from IP address 22.214.171.124 on Apr 3, 2010 9:12 PM
April 6 2010, 6:35 AM
I'm going to try the Big Baby for a "Do your best on the tests" assembly on Thursday. The tests are designed to see how well we are doing at whatever age we are. So we will test a "baby". At the end I can give the volunteer a 99% (the highest they give) because they answered all the questions right. It will be things like "What sound does a dog make?" If you have a bottle of milk in this hand, and a baby rattle in this hand, and you are hungry, which one would you use first? (If they miss the question on purpose it will also be funny for the audience)
I'll try to come up with questions from different categories or use giant flashcards for the "baby" to point at or nod yes to.
May 10 2010, 3:12 PM
I thought I'd write an update. I used the Big Baby, but really had little opportunity to do much talking with it because the laughter was so high! I learned three things:
1. It will ALWAYS get the biggest laugh of the night and needs to be little more than a visual gag.
2. I will never use anyone younger than 10. (I tried a 3rd grade boy and he was so embarrassed that I'll probably be getting a call from his mother.)
3. Autistic children (and possibly preschoolers) think I'm actually changing the person. I had two autistic children freak out at the back of the cafeteria. I didn't know what was going on. I found out later that they were autistic. The person working with them actually had to take them out.
Having said the two areas to watch out for (young volunteers and super young or autistic audience) I think the Big Baby prop looks wonderful. I dressed up an 89 year old man the other day and told about the story of Benjamin Button who was born "with a mature body" and grew younger as the years went by.
For "Big Kids"
May 10 2010, 5:39 PM
Yeah, Tony. It seems to me that the Big Baby prop is really best used on an adult in most situations: smaller room for error or embarrassment.
Use an adult
June 9 2010, 8:41 PM
Just completed a very successful show tonight where I used the church's pastor as the baby. It went perfectly! Of course, I had previously met the pastor and knew he had a great sense of humor about him. After tonight, I am now convinced that the baby is best used on an adult. And, if you can get an "authority figure" up there, the laughs will be even greater!
carry the baby
July 7 2012, 10:45 AM
Question? How do some of you carry your Big Baby prop to the show? I just use a large black plastic bag for now, but it doesn't look good bringing it into a birthday party. I may get a super large cloth bag made, but wonder if there is anything you've found to hold the Big Baby.
In a tote
July 7 2012, 11:39 AM
I take mine in a big plastic tote I got at Lowes. (shown below)
This container is big enough for the Big Baby to sit in at an angle. Plus, it has room for the stool that I use for the person to sit on and other props that I normally have to carry loose (like my vent stand and wireless mic, etc). I use a card table to hold my vent truck, and there is enough room under the table for this tote to tuck underneath, opened and ready to go.
July 7 2012, 7:13 PM
Thanks, Robbie! I won't even need the stool as there is almost always an available chair or stool. Thanks for the input! The Big Baby was the biggest hit at the Baby Shower today. I couldn't say anything for the first 60 seconds or so because everyone was laughing so hard.
Re: Big Babies with kids
August 5 2012, 7:10 AM
I recently used my 'Big Baby' at a 72 year old's birthday party.
He was a little more than inebriated, so you can imagine the hilarity !
August 5 2012, 7:36 AM
Last year I did a show in a suite at a casino hotel. The birthday boy was only 2 years old! NO other kids were there but the room was filled with adults. This year I've been asked to come back again. At least he will be 3 and perhaps understand a few jokes or song. But I think I'll add the Big Baby to the mix. ( very crowded corner to perform in).