Six-year-old Callaghan McLaughlin has a new routine. Every day, he wakes up early, eats breakfast, gets his schoolwork done — and then sets up his joke stand outside.
His goal: To spread joy and laughter to his neighbors, without violating any social distancing rules.
“I know about 13 or 14 jokes,” Callaghan, who is from Saanich, British Columbia, told CNN
Usually, Callaghan operates a lemonade stand around this time of year — but because of the pandemic, his mom chose a safer alternative.
“I had to think of something that was going to be contactless and cashless, but also had the same sort of community spirit and social aspect that a lemonade stand has,” Kelsea McLaughlin, Callaghan’s mom, told CNN.
The young comedian is at his joke stand by 9:30 a.m. each morning, and stays put for about 45 minutes.
He goes back to do a matinee show in the afternoon,” Kelsea McLaughlin said with a laugh.
The young McLaughlin gets most of his witticisms from a kid’s joke book, called “Laugh Out Loud Jokes For Kids” by Rob Elliott.
“What do you call a bear without any teeth?” Callaghan quipped. “A gummy bear!”
But, he’s picked up even more jokes from the people who stop by.
“He usually has a pretty high success rate of a joke returned,” Kelsea McLaughlin said. “He has learned a whole new repertoire.”
The family’s home on Vancouver Island is close to Canada’s Pacific shore, so there are plenty of beachgoers walking around — while practicing social distancing — to stop and hear a joke.
“People can usually see him before they get to the driveway,” Kelsea McLaughlin explained.
Most of the people in Mclaughlin’s neighborhood are elderly.
“I think it helps them to feel a little more connected, because they’re one of our more isolated community groups,” Kelsea McLaughlin added.
And even though Callaghan’s jokes are a hit, he said he thinks the funniest person in the neighborhood is his dad.
Still, it’s the junior McLaughlin who is headlining in the driveway.
“It does bring a smile to people’s face,” Kelsea McLaughlin said. “It kind of reminds them of pre-pandemic times and kind of doing something fun.”