Kid who set up booth to tell jokes becomes Internet celebrity

THE WASHINGTON POST – After six months of practicing one-liners on his parents and two younger siblings, six-year-old Callaghan McLaughlin was ready for prime time.

The British Columbia first-grader set up a joke booth at the end of his driveway last month and waited for his targets — friends and their parents — to amble by.

“What does a rain cloud wear under its coat?” he asked one of the first people to drop by at a safe six-foot distance. “Thunderwear!”

“What kind of bug is bad at football?” he called out to another. “A fumblebee!”

And on it went, until Callaghan had exhausted all of the 16 jokes he’d memorised from the book his mom gave him last fall, Laugh out Loud Jokes for Kids. Then he started from the beginning again. And again. And again.

After a local television station showed up to interview him and was followed by the Canadian Broadcast Corp, the walk-by/drive-by comic from the District of Saanich on Vancouver Island became a bit of an Internet celebrity.

Five weeks later, he’s still at it. Even if the jokes are groaners, people are happy to be entertained by a giggling six-year-old during these stressful days, said Callaghan’s mom, Kelsea McLaughlin, 36, a training administrator for a Canadian aircraft manufacturer.

With hours to fill while school is online during the pandemic, Callaghan figured a joke booth would be better than his other idea, a lemonade stand. “Even when you are scared or sad, a good joke makes you feel a little bit better,” he said.

Callaghan McLaughlin, six, at his joke booth with his little sister, Cayde, at the family home in British Columbia.
PHOTO: KELSEA MCLAUGHLIN