Meet Jimmy Rees: An intergenerational content creation sensation


How Jimmy Rees turned covid lockdown into a career success.

Key Takeaways
  • Jimmy Rees was the star of ABC kids’ show Giggle and Hoot, before going viral on TikTok and Instagram during lockdown
  • His success has earned him 415,000 followers on Instagram alone.
Jimmy Rees is posing on a blue velvet chair. He is wearing a navy suit with a white t-shirt underneath. His hands are making a finger-gun gesture and he is pulling a funny face.
Jimmy Rees. | Image source: Damian Bennett

“As a kid, I always liked pulling stupid faces and making people laugh,” Jimmy Rees says.Now, that’s translated to a career for Rees, who boasts 1 million followers across his social media platforms.

At the back-end of high school, Rees got into performing arts and some amateur musical theatre, but his first full-time gig was actually in a pub. And that pub turned out to be the site of a few massive moments in Rees’ life.

It’s where he met his now wife, Tori, and where he did his audition for the role of Jimmy Giggle in Giggle and Hoot which, spoiler alert, he got.

Giggle and Hoot was an Australian children’s TV show that aired on ABC Kids between 2009 and 2020. For Rees, it was one of the biggest learning curves of his life – as well as some of the most fun he’s ever had.

“I was provided with a lot of experiences, which in my twenties, was just absolutely amazing. Having a good income, it was a fantastic job, and it was a beautiful show to be part of.”

When the show ended, Rees remembers it feeling a little bittersweet. He was excited for the new experiences that would be coming his way, but was also sad to say goodbye to his castmates and crew. And of course, there was the looming global pandemic.

“Every single thing that I had booked in was a live event – hosting something, doing a Giggle and Hoot tour… I was pretty much unemployed,” he says.

But he quickly realised that through TikTok and Instagram, he could express himself and break the mould of being a kids’ entertainer.

“I was locked down in Victoria, so what the hell was I supposed to do? I put up some stupid videos and some of them just went completely ridiculous – one video reached like 1 million accounts. I saw the power of it and thought, ‘I need to do this full time’.”

So, Tori looked after the kids for a few hours a day while Rees created his famous POV and ‘Meanwhile, in Australia’ videos, which he said may become live shows in the future. Next year, he plans to switch gears out of the COVID-lockdown-inspired content and into something new and refreshing. You’ll notice though, Rees still carries a slice of Giggle and Hoot with him.

“I still keep my content quite clean. If I do swear, I bleep it out. Even in live shows, I try not to swear.”

The most interesting evolution for Rees is that, kids who watched Giggle and Hoot are now fans of his content as teenagers – and so are their parents. He’s an intergenerational content creation sensation.

But it isn’t all PG-13: “I sell coffee cups with wanker on them”. Of course, Rees is referencing his other gig – e-commerce. Or, ‘official merchandise’, as it appears on his site.

For those interested in breaking into the acting and media industry, Rees advised not to overlook the power of Instagram and TikTok.

“Make your own luck, make your own way.”