You probably remember Fred Savage the best from swooning over his child sweetheart, Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years, or asking his grandfather if he’s being read a “kissing book” in The Princess Bride. At least that’s how I remember Fred Savage. After all, I grew up in the 1980s.
But now, you’ll know Fred Savage as the game show host for the new family friendly game show, Child Support.
In the show, Fred Savage asks contestants a series of 10 questions for a chance to win up to $200,000. If they answer a question incorrectly, they can get Child Support, ie they can get help from the group 5 of kids, who are asked the same question by Ricky Gervais. And the kids, they are hilarious and more often than you think, smarter than the adults.
I bet you’re wondering…. “Child Support?” Don’t worry, we all thought that. We knew that it’s not a phrase people necessarily associate positive things with. Right off the bat, Fred chatted with Ricky about it, and it came down to that it’s Disney and ABC and they have the kids best interests at heart.
It might surprise you to know Fred Savage and Ricky Gervais were not filming in the same studio during Child Support. In fact, they’ve only spoken on the phone. Fred shared that Ricky was great and he gave him words of encouragement to not censor himself while hosting the show but to be himself.
One of the most important things was to keep it kid friendly.
One of the most important things to Fred about this show is that he wanted to be able to watch it with his three kids. As parents, we all know kids know a lot of stuff. They even know things they don’t know. But they went at lengths to keep the show family friendly and appropriate.
As someone who works with kids, I don’t think it’s funny to take advantage of their innocence or naiveté to get comedy. I think that innuendo is still treading in kind of inappropriate water, so I wanted to just make sure going in that it wasn’t like that. I think as a parent, I wanted to make sure that we weren’t getting comedy out of entendres and suggestive things that kids shouldn’t be talking about. I can safely say that there was none of that and so this is definitely a family show and it’s something I want to watch with my kids.
The Contestants are like you and me.
Not all contestants are created equal. But “they were great variety of really interesting, enthusiastic, compelling people.” Fred rides all the rollercoaster of emotions right along with them. When they win, he was thrilled, and when they don’t he’s crushed. He even told us about one contestant who was in and out so fast he couldn’t even have a conversation with him. But then there are contestants that surprise you – we found ourselves yelling and screaming during a question about MIT.
So, Fred, do you always know the answers to the questions?
He’s seeing the questions for the first time just like us. He’s trying to figure it out with the contestants, without giving them the answers, especially as they get more difficult.
I’m trying to help them and encourage them or if they have a train of thought. I’m like, now talk that through. Go down that road. I can’t lead them, but it would me just thinking along with them.
The good news is, if they get the question wrong they always have the kids, with the help of Ricky Gervais, to fall back on.
The show is full of contemporary questions, so sadly, much to my dismay, there were no questions about Winnie Cooper or ROUS’s – because that’s not pop culture references kids these days would know. (A sign I’m getting old I suppose) but that won’t stop me from watching with my family. I suspect my own kids will do better than I will.
Fred and his kids in the business.
Speaking of family, Fred tells us his kids love The Wonder Years – they watch it with his mom. His daughter? A natural performer. She loves an audience. If they wanted to be on television or go on auditions, he’d be supportive because his own experience was so positive.
It was a pleasure to talk with Fred and meet him – childhood achievement unlocked! I’ll be tuning into tonight to watch the show, will you join me?