Written by Youseph Rasheed Saturday, 03 May 2014 00:00
Tim Kubart, 29, is no stranger to the bright lights of television stardom. He has built up an impressive resume appearing on shows like As The World Turns, and Law & Order, and playing guitar for the house band on NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent. These days he is utilizing his gifted singing and acting chops for the betterment of children.
Kubart was born on Long Island and raised in Farmingdale. He explained how he discovered the acting bug while still a teenager at Farmingdale High School.
“I was in an acting group called The Playcrafters and that was the time when I really started finding myself,” he said. “I was the director of the Farmingdale Marching Band as well. Theater and music were a really big part of my life.”
After high school, Kubart attended Fordham College at Lincoln Center. He reflected on his time at the Jesuit School which helped him to realize that he wanted to make children’s music.
“In order to graduate we had to put a certain amount of time towards community service. I chose to volunteer at a homeless shelter where I worked with children,” he said. “One day I showed up with a guitar on my back and the director of the shelter asked me to play a song for the kids. I learned ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and I wrote the ‘Octopus Song.’ The first time I ever performed for children I told myself that this is what I should be doing.”
As fast as Kubart knew that working in children’s media was his goal, he made up his mind to be a puppeteer.
His talents landed him a job as one of the stars on The Sunny Side Up Show which he co-hosts with a 4-year-old chicken puppet named Chica. It is the only live daily morning show for preschoolers. The three hour hosted block is dedicated to helping parents prepare preschoolers for the day ahead. The show airs on Sprout, a 24-hour network aimed at preschoolers.
Kubart lists Jim Henson and the Muppets as his inspiration, and even has a portrait of Henson hanging over his fireplace.
When asked if he finds it difficult to stay upbeat on live television, Kubart said, “the pressure kind of fades away after a while and now it’s just lots of fun. Chica sort of brings that excitement out. She really mirrors the energy that preschoolers have.”
At the moment, Kubart hosts the show on weekends which broadcasts from the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, Penn.
“Right now there are four of us that host the show,” he said. “Every couple of months we switch our schedules up.”
The show will move from Philadelphia to its new address at 30 Rockafeller Plaza in New York City. “It is really exciting for me because I get to do a live show out of the same building that Saturday Night Live is broadcast from.”
“What’s so special about this job is we are building our own content. All of us are actors and we all have experience working with kids. We come up with our own songs and sketches and pitch them to the producers. Sometimes we sing each other’s songs. It really is a collaborative effort,” he explained.
Kubart looks to his own youth when thinking up creative ways to educate and entertain kids on the show.
“I had the perfect suburban childhood growing up in Farmingdale. I have great memories with the kids I grew up with. My block had a great energy,” Kubart explained. “I try to bring that same energy to the show. I was lucky to grow up in Farmingdale because we had Adventureland, The Old Bethpage Village Restoration was nearby, and just growing up close to the beach was something I loved as a kid.”
He believes that The Sunny Side Up Show is more special than other children’s shows for a number of reasons.
“I think the live aspect of the show is really great. We are connecting directly with preschoolers. The kids send us emails and videos and we show them on the program. It really sets us apart,” said Kubart. “My favorite part is working with Chica. She has real feelings.
Sometimes we are playing a game and struggling with it. She can get upset about that. She is always excited about trying new things and I think preschoolers can really see themselves in Chica.”
Kubart’s personal message to children and their families is to make the best of their time together and to make every moment a special one.
Catch Kubart's show on Sprout, which can be seen on Cablevision channel 127, Verizon FIOS channel 263, and Direct TV channel 295.