Who’s He Kidding?

The Great Holtzie leaves Main Line youngsters in stitches—and parents, too.

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“Coming up with this idea was like finally giving in to the dark side,” he says. “There are so few people who absolutely love what they do. I’ve never done a show where I’ve felt like it was work. I feel like I dodged a bullet.”

Holtz knew that marketing himself in the right way was crucial. His target audience wasn’t kids, but adults—mainly the mothers who plan the parties. Specifically, he was looking for hip parents in search of something new and different.

Holtz invested in aggressive Internet marketing initiatives, so when you Google “Philadelphia kids’ birthday entertainer” or “kids’ comedian,” his site tops the search results. He has a Facebook page, ads on Craigslist and videos on YouTube. He even has his own e-newsletter.

“I’m constantly on the phone calling potential venues or introducing myself to moms’ groups,” he says. “This venture was an impulse that came out of nowhere, but I think a lot of great ideas come out of nowhere. It definitely isn’t a fluke that, two years later, my business is still going strong. I’m always out there promoting myself.”

In the end, Holtz wasn’t afraid to go after something unproven—and he’s been successful at it. It’s an inspiring lesson for adults and kids alike. And the future appears limitless.

“I’ve talked to some people about possibly making DVDs out of my act, and there’s a lot of different possibilities,” says Holtz. “But, for right now, it’s all about making kids laugh. Everything is validated when I get laughs.”

And the Great Holtzie should never be at a loss for an audience. Growing families like the Wolfsons—with their 3-year-old son, Dallas—have his fan base all locked up. “I see plenty of years of Great Holtzie shows in our future,” says Paul Wolfson.

To learn more about the Great Holtzie, visit thegreatholtzie.com.

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