The Shumperts are slated to appear on “America’s Funniest Home Videos” at 6 p.m. today on ABC stations.
Last holiday season, veterinarian Kirk Shumpert made a cellphone call to his house. He was in the same room when his daughter, Savannah, now 6, answered the phone.
“I pretended to be Santa Claus and she never knew it was me,” Shumpert, 43, said. “The funny part is her Southern drawl as she tells the whole room what Santa is saying, and I’m sitting right beside her.”
His wife, Courtney Shumpert, filmed the episode and submitted it to “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” The show decided to use the clip, and told her to take it down from YouTube.
Later, the Shumperts were told they were among the top three videos, so they were flown to Los Angeles in early November to appear in person.
“It was business class, but they did pay for everything down to parking and meals – everything,” Shumpert said.
In addition to the parents, Savannah and her twin sister, Sharlee, made the trip with their 2-year-old sister, Sheridan. The Shumperts know whether or not they won, but they’re not supposed to talk about the outcome until after the show airs.
“We all had to sign nondisclosure forms, even the children,” Shumpert said. “We’ve kept it quiet.”
Their competition is a cat video and a wedding video, and the prize is $10,000. The winners will compete for a $100,000 grand prize during a later episode.
“It was wonderful,” Shumpert said. “We were treated very well and we had a really good time.”