Earlier today, I announced the new Netflix show, Making Fun. The premise of the show is that kids come up with kooky design ideas that makers Jimmy DiResta, John Graziano, Paul Jackman, Derek Forestier, and Pat Lap try to bring to life.
A number of people across social media were quick to point out that there already is a YouTube channel with a very similar premise. It’s called Kids Invent Stuff.
Jimmy and John told me in messaging that they had not heard about the show until after they’d wrapped on Making Fun. Paul Jackman commented on YouTube: “Unfortunately just a textbook case of parallel thinking. We started working on this concept over 3 years ago, long before I had ever heard of their channel. I just hope that our audience and theirs can feed off of each other!” Certainly the idea of asking kids on TV to share their thoughts and ideas so that hilarity can ensue goes all the way back to Art Linkletter and Kids Say the Darnedest Things.
Amazingly, I’d never heard of Kids Invent Stuff before, either. It’s definitely a lot of fun and worth having on your radar. Here are some episodes.
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I found it surprising they hadn’t seen the channel before – the giant jelly bean pooping unicorn was at a show a few of them were at back in 2019. It was not hard to miss!
Add the giant dinosaur in the trailer, the shows entire premise very coincidental.
Jimmy and the others do seem like genuinely nice chaps so I don’t think there was any malice or intent to copy at all but Netflix have teams of researchers and not one person thought to do some actual research and even contact kids invent stuff is very very disappointing. Then again Netflix do have form stealing ideas.
They could have had some genuinely talented makers like Shawn and Ruth help out and maybe throw a female roll model into an otherwise very stereotypical bunch of weird bearded middle aged white male woodworkers. (Side note, exactly like myself!)
On the plus side it does look like an amazing show and will no doubt inspire lots of kids to start inventing and making stuff!
I agree with Chris. It’s a shocking oversight – given the things they’ve done with Colin Furze, who even my pensioner parents know, I’d expect anybody creating a show like this to have come across them through him. They set up the YouTube makers’ Secret Santa which has had them in the same roster as Furze, Look Mum No Computer, Hacksmith and so many others. For a researcher to have failed to find and get in contact with them is negligent and I hope Netflix consider some sponsorship or something.
I like Jimmy, and I’ll be watching the show, but I’ll be grumbling about it all along…