A living meme, Brett Ambler became an internet personality in 2016, when the commercials of Kazoo toy, filmed in 1989, were uploaded onto YouTube. Brett was the leading actor in those advertising videos, and his unique manner of acting opened a lot of doors in his career.
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- 1 Early life and family
- 2 Educational background
- 3 Career
- 4 The life after becoming an internet meme. Where is Kazoo Kid now?
- 5 Personal life, wife Amanda
- 6 Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
- 7 Appearance, clothing style
- 8 Net worth and salary
Early life and family
Brett Ambler was born on 8 December 1984, in Redding, Connecticut USA, so his zodiac sign is Sagittarius, and he holds American nationality. Brett has three siblings; he was born a younger middle child. He moved with his family to Boulder, Colorado, when he was only five years old, but otherwise hasn’t shared much about his family, except to mentionthat he got a lot of support from his parents when he decided to go for acting.
Brett matriculated from his local high school in Boulder in 2002, then enrolled at the University of Richmond where he studied rhetoric and communication. He also became a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, and joined the a Capella choir entitled “Choeur Du Roi”. After his successful participation in various commercials, Brett decided to pursue his dream to become an actor, so took Michael Duran’s classes “Jazz and Tap”, and also studied in Diana Canova’s training courses “Acting and Vocal Training”.
Starring in Kazoo Special Friends commercials
In 1989 Brett passed the casting to join the crew of other kids to advertise a toy called “Kazoo”. The toy is in fact a musical instrument which changes the voice of the person who plays it, making it buzzing and vibrating. Brett became the leading child actor of the commercials, and soon became recognized as “The Kazoo Kid”.
The set of the commercials was produced by Melissa & Doug, LLC, which is now a large manufacturer of toys of all kinds: plush, wooden, musical, etc. Brett was also noticed among other kids during the casting, as Doug Bernstein, the co-founder of “Lights, Camera, Interaction! Inc” (which was later renamed to Melissa & Doug, LLC) was the son of Brett’s elementary school principal, Bob Bernstein. As the audition took place at Brett’s school first, he soon joined the short list of child actors for the videos. Brett later shared in one of his interview that Melissa and Doug were very kind to him, and he really enjoyed the way his audition went, as they played various games, asked him to pretend to be various animals, to sing his favorite songs, etc. In the end, Brett and six other kids were signed to appear in the videos.
The first promotional video, advertising the Kazoo penny-trumpet, was launched on VHS cassettes in 1989, and was entitled “You On Kazoo”. Another video, promoting a microphone toy, was out in 1990, and was entitled “Let’s Sing-Along!”. In 1991 Melissa and Doug filmed another musical video, “Ring-Along, Sing-Along”, and the fourth video starring Brett, entitled “If I Ran the Zoo”, came out in 1992. The whole set of commercials from the series “Special Friends” was ended with “Best Silly Stories and Songs Video Ever!”; Brett didn’t appear in the video, though he did the voicing over of the narrator.
Reviving the videos in 2016 and making them internet memes
Until 2016 Brett had quite a successful career as a stage actor, working in the National Repertory Orchestra.
He has also become a member of Actors Equity Association. Brett teaches acting at the base of STAGES St. Louis, a musical theatre located in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2014 he appeared in the Nebraska Lottery printed commercial, and the following year starred in the winter commercial campaign for Kroger Grocery Shop.
In 2016 the videos from the series “Special Friends” somehow were found and uploaded to the internet, and became viral in a matter or a few days. A lot of people remembered the videos, but they couldn’t accept the fact that the star of those videos was now 42. This made the whole situation even more comic, as people started addressing Brett as “Kazoo Kid”, while he insisted that he was not a kid anymore, and asked to be called “Kazoo Kid-Man”.
Brett became the star of memes and various discussions on Twitter, Reddit, etc. He also explained the weird fact of him voicing over all the boys in the videos, while all the girls were voiced over by Melissa Bernstein, which made the girls sound very strange, as they talked as an adult woman. Brett shared that the videos were filmed at the Pond Farm, where there was a lot of wind, and trucks were going by making a loud noise, so they had to overcome those problems, and so dubbed all the videos in the sound studio.
The life after becoming an internet meme. Where is Kazoo Kid now?
Brett admitted that he felt pleased by people reaching him because of his work in the “Special Friends” series, as he understood that it still looked funny and weird, making all people wonder about the details of the filming. However, he still works as a stage and voicing over actor.
He starred in the production of “The Buddy Holly Story” in Colorado, landing the title role. As of 2020, he is assigned to Talent and Entertainment Agency entitled Talent Plus, making commercial and narration audios.
Brett has worked in many theatres, such as Denver Center Theatre Co., BDT Stage, Theatre IV’s Empire Theatre, etc. He could be seen as Fidele in the production “Death Takes A Holiday”, performed on the stage of Arvada Center for the Arts. Brett also landed the role of Miles in Barkesdale Theatre’s production “The Drawer Boy”, and Stage 1 Theatre Company invited Brett to play the role of Johnny in their production of “tick…tick…BOOM!”. Brett mentioned that he really enjoyed portraying the character of Emmett Forrest in the production of Arvada Center for the Arts “Legally Blonde”, playing the successful lawyer, who became the inspiring boyfriend of the main character of the play, Elle Woods, an aspiring law student.
Personal life, wife Amanda
Brett started dating his now-wife in 2010. They both work in STAGES musical theatre in St. Louis. Amanda holds the position of a creative director there; she also acts as theater educator. Brett and Amanda like cutting pumpkins for Halloween, making a competition of their hobby. They also like watching various TV series together. Brett and Amanda became engaged on 17 September 2018, and Brett shared the photo on his Twitter profile of the engagement ring he presented to Amanda,. The couple married on 5 February 2019.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
Brett did some Tae Kwon Do and can juggle. He can speak numerous accents and dialects, including Canadian, Scottish, New York and Boston. As he had Spanish as his minor at university, he can speak Spanish and Mexican dialects too.
Even though Brett is strongly associated with Kazoo, he can play many other musical instruments. He started from playing the guitar, ukulele and mandolin, then later learnt how to play the drums, hand percussion, upright bass, and even flute. Brett once wanted to obtain another specialization and studied to work as a massage therapist. He has a driver’s license, but doesn’t like driving, as traffic makes him very nervous.
Appearance, clothing style
Brett has salt and pepper hair and blue eyes. He is 5ft 10ins (1.78m) tall and weighs around 180lbs (81kgs). As to his clothing style, he likes wearing T-shirts with prints from the “Special Friends” commercials, however, when at work, he prefers classic suits and shirts. His favorite color in clothes is light blue.
Net worth and salary
As of 2020, Brett is reported to have a net worth of over $500,000