Source: Nickelodeon

Baby Shark’s Big Show! is finally premiering this week and the new Nickelodeon series has big surprises in store for preschool Baby Shark fans!

The series will follow Baby Shark (voiced by Kimiko Glenn) and his best friend William (voiced by Luke Youngblood) as they adventure through Carnivore Cove, making new friends, having fun, and singing original tunes along the way. The series consists of 26 half-hour episodes that will air regularly on Fridays at 12:30 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon, starting on March 26. Baby Shark enthusiasts can also expect plenty of new toys based on the show launching this summer.

In the first episode, “Baby Tooth/Slobber Slug,” Baby Shark gets his first loose tooth and William helps him trade it in for a sand dollar. In the next segment, Hank’s pet rock, Rocky, gets accidentally thrown into the lair of the menacing Slobber Slug, and Baby Shark and the gang stage an epic rescue mission to save him. The episode will be available on Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. On Demand, Noggin, the Nick Jr. app, and nickjr.com.

The Toy Insider chatted with Youngblood about what it’s like to play William, the process of creating an episode of the show during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what kids will love about this televised Baby Shark spinoff.

Actor Luke Youngblood voices William in the show. | Source: Nickelodeon/the Toy Insider

The Toy Insider: What are some things kids will love about Baby Shark’s Big Show!?
Luke Youngblood: Kids are going to love the underwater adventures, the incredibly compelling characters, the fun-filled storylines, the outrageous comedy, and the absolutely out-of-this-world music! If you thought the Baby Shark theme was catchy, you haven’t heard anything yet.

TI: How does it feel to be one of the new fish in town, and how would you describe your character?
LY: The Baby Shark universe is so big, and it’s been awesome getting to dive into this incredible world and bring William’s hilarious personality to life. He is so funny and gets to go on all of the most wonderful adventures with his best bud, Baby Shark!

TI: How do you bring William to life?
LY: The fun storylines really help underpin who our characters are, but I add my own little Luke spin on William in all of the comedic moments. He sounds completely different from how I sound in real life, too, so it is incredibly enjoyable to become somebody different.

TI: Walk us through the process of recording an episode of Baby Shark’s Big Show!
LY: Due to the pandemic, I (as well as the rest of my castmates) record from my home studio — meaning a closet that I have turned into a studio. I’ll roll out of bed, eat some breakfast, make some throat-coat tea for my session and then sign onto Zoom. Once there, I might be the only actor working with our brilliant voice director, Sirena Irwin, or we may be in an ensemble record, where there are a number of us in the session together. We run our recording software; coordinate with our astounding engineer, Ryan Greene; and then get to work voicing these amazing characters. It’s just so much fun.

TI: What do you enjoy about working on family-friendly shows like Baby Shark’s Big Show!? How is the experience different from your other acting experiences?
LY: I absolutely love working on Baby Shark’s Big Show!. Each episode has a social-emotional lesson woven into the storyline, whether it’s about patience, facing problems directly, or staying true to your unique self. So not only are we getting to teach so many kids important life lessons, but we are also reminded of them ourselves each time we are in the booth. It also has a massive musical component that spans different genres. So it truly encompasses almost everything that I love about performing and that’s where it differs from most other projects.

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TI: Why do you think that the Baby Shark brand, and this show specifically, resonate so strongly with kids?
LY: Kids and adults alike loved the original “Baby Shark” song. It was so cute and catchy. Well, this is a warning to anyone watching Baby Shark’s Big Show! – the music is even more cute and catchy. We have taken an already amazing brand and have expanded on that in such wonderful ways through action, adventure, comedy, and did I already mention music? You thought the theme tune was a hit — just wait for our new songs each and every episode. Kids will be singing along as Baby Shark and his host of underwater family and friends explore and play under the sea together. It’s a really beautiful show with a lot of heart and so many funny moments (for both kids and adults) that will keep audiences coming back again and again.

TI: Are the songs as catchy as the original “Baby Shark” tune?
LY: In short, yes! Catchier, actually.

TI: What does it feel like to have toys based on your character? Do you own any of them?
LY: I am beyond pumped to have toys based on my character. Anytime I see them, I feel like a kid again. It’s quite unbelievable, actually. I have a little William statuette that was bought for me as a surprise. It moves around my apartment and always reminds me of what an amazing privilege it is to be a part of such an epic universe.

TI: What is your favorite memory from working on the show?
LY: Oh, that’s a difficult one. But if I had to pick one, it’d be our first ensemble record. Getting to see all of the other actors in action blew my mind. Everybody is so talented and I found myself getting completely lost in the storyline as everyone was doing their thing. They are all so funny, too. I’ll never forget that moment.

TI: Is the “Baby Shark” song forever stuck in your head?
LY: I thought it would be, but the new songs are the ones that’ll now live in my mind rent-free, forever.