So What Do You Do, Todd Thicke, EP of America’s Funniest Home Videos?

Todd-Thicke-WP2

R&B crooner Robin Thicke may still be nursing his wounds following his divorce from actress Paula Patton, but not everyone in the family is having down days. Uncle Todd Thicke, who happens to be the executive producer of ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos, is riding high on his career success in the wake of the long-standing ratings juggernaut’s 25th season premiere on Oct. 12.

Since its debut in 1989, AFV has focused on wholesome, family-friendly programming that made viewers want to grab a friend and share the laugh-out-loud funny clips long before they ever knew what “viral” meant. It’s a perfect fit for the married father of two who maintains a happy home life even while admitting to a “relentless” work ethic. But while Thicke, whose famous family includes brother Alan Thicke, may not have all the answers on work-life balance (“You’re asking me a question the Dalai Lama is struggling with!”), he does have plenty of advice to help young professionals break into TV writing and blow past the competition.


Name: Todd Thicke
Position: Executive producer of America’s Funniest Home Videos
Resume: Moved to Los Angeles from Canada and began writing Candid Camera, Animal Crack-Ups, Growing Pains and others, while also earning an Emmy nomination for The Wil Shriner Show. He is also the composer of numerous theme songs for TV shows, including The All New Let’s Make a Deal and Split Second. In 1989, Thicke wrote the pilot episode for America’s Funniest Home Videos and is currently the show’s executive producer.
Birthday: July 8
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Education: Attended the University Ontario and earned an honors degree in English literature from York University
Media mentor: Gary Marshall (Happy Days, Mork & Mindy) and Lorne Michaels
Best career advice received: “Do you what you love and work harder than everyone else and surround yourself with good people. I’ve just watched that from everyone, whether it’s Steve Jobs or Lorne Michaels or President Obama.”
Guilty pleasure: “Doing interviews; we’ll leave it at that.”
Last book you read: Current list includes Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton; Decision Point, by George W. Bush; Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King; and Justice, by Michael Sandel
Twitter handle: @RealToddThicke


How did you get involved with America’s Funniest Home Videos?
I’d come from Toronto, Canada, and I thought that I was some hotshot writer. I was writing a bunch of different pilots that year, and I had a lot of things in development. I had a late night show on ABC that I was doing and I’d also been working with Vin Di Bona on a couple of projects. He showed me this reel of videos from Japan and said he wanted to turn it into a show. I looked at it, and it was spectacular. I’d never seen anything like it, and I said, ‘I have to do this show.’ Then, when we finally got to the studio… I was standing by the script table with Bob Saget during the pilot, and we were going over script notes and looking at changes, and we put on some of the reel just to show the audience while we were fixing some things in the corner. And the laughs were so gigantic and so spectacular; we just looked at each other and went, ‘Wow, lightning in a bottle.’

So what was it about the show that excited you the most?
It was so cutting edge and, in fact, it still is. But I’d never seen those kinds of real moments captured before. It was so spontaneous; it was fresh. It was real and honest and funny. I met with a bunch of friends and I’d show them my reel, and we’d write some jokes together and try to figure out what the tone of it was. And everywhere I’d go people would just respond to it immediately.