“Recess Therapy,” created by actor and comedian Julian Shapiro-Barnum, helped Tariq, also known as “Corn Kid” become a viral sensation with an impromptu interview about corn-on-the-cob. The YouTube show, which can also be found on Instagram and TikTok, has made a name for itself by talking to children about anything and everything. The show began in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has grown to 284,000 subscribers on YouTube, 2.4 million followers on Instagram, and 235,400 on TikTok.
The show launched in April 2021 and is released in partnership with the digital media company, “Doing Things Media.” “The reason it’s called ‘Recess Therapy’ is that the original idea was that I was going to bring things that I was struggling with to children and, like, get advice from them,” Shapiro-Barnum told The New York Times earlier this year. Many of the kids Shapiro-Barnum has interviewed have become viral internet sensations, such as Tariq.
Their TikTok Bio Reads, “The Best Advice On The Internet!”
Shapiro-Barnum recently told ABC News that it all started with him wanting to explore a variety of topics with children. “The idea was that someone can learn a great deal from listening to people that young and that the process of listening, learning and questioning is constant,” he said. “I would bring kids subjects like happiness, anger, climate change – things that I thought, ‘how do I navigate this as an adult in the world; how do I grapple with these things?’ Let me see if I can get any advice from kids.”
The Interview With “Recess Therapy” Made “Corn Kid” A Household Name
“Corn Kid” is still going strong online. After the first interview went viral, Shapiro-Barnum posted a second interview with 7-year-old Tariq so he could further discuss his love of corn. The two made up a “corn dance” and things just took off from there. A song was created from the first interview and has flooded everyone’s eardrums on TikTok since. Tariq was named “Corn-Bassador” of the state of South Dakota, visited the famous Corn Palace, created some Cameo videos, met MrBeast Burger and filmed a video with him, was a guest on “The Drew Barrymore Show” and was on the red carpet for the premiere of “Pinocchio.” And it all happened because of his “Recess Therapy” video. Shapiro-Barnum and Tariq recently reunited for a fun day at the Empire State Building in New York City.
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Tariq’s fame is just one example of “Recess Therapy” giving kids a voice. “I meet so many kids who describe themselves as shy. But then, you know, once they get comfortable, they can be so goofy,” Shapiro-Barnum said. “What makes Recess Therapy work as a show is that I’m giving a lot of attention to each individual kid, which is really exciting for them. I find a lot of kids don’t get the space to really work through their ideas.”
Shapiro-Barnum talked magic with a child in a park in his most recently posted video on TikTok captioned, “Do you know how he did that??”
@recesstherapy Do you know how he did that?? #magic #recesstherapy #viraltok ♬ original sound – Recess Therapy
In a video posted a few days prior, Shapiro-Barnum interviews a young girl who talks about how the world needs to listen to women more. When he asked her if she thinks she will ever get married to a person someday, she replies, “No, I’ll probably get married to bacon.”
@recesstherapyLife Goals : Marry Bacon♬ original sound – Recess Therapy
“Recess Therapy” Is All About Giving Children A Voice And Spreading Positivity
The comedian has produced many episodes of the hit show this year and went on their first national tour hosting meetups in Austin, Atlanta, Toronto and other cities. “I think it is really important and really powerful and really necessary to give children a voice. And to hear what they have to say,” he said. “Especially, because so often the responses are laced with such positivity.”