WEST ORANGE, NJ – A hidden camera episode of "What Would You Do?" – an ABC show that captures the responses of customers faced with difficult situations, not only featured South Orange’s The Dancing Blender, on Feb. 9—it did so on heels of another episode that aired on Jan. 26, which was filmed at Mark and Julie's Homemade Ice Cream store, in November. Editor’s Note: The episode starts at 17:14 in the video below.
The episode filmed at the well-known West Orange ice cream store, features a “father/coach” bullying his “son, Aidan,” for playing badly in a game, where the “dad” was punishing the “son” by not allowing him to have ice cream.
In the clip, the father tells two of his little league players that they played a tough game and says, “We’ll get them next time.” He then tells them to get some ice cream. When his “son” asks for some strawberry ice cream, he says, “Are you kidding me son? Your strike out cost us the game. You’re the coach’s kid. I can’t reward you for being the worst player on the team.”
The first unsuspecting “customer” overhears a similar exchange between the father and son and asks the dad to “Please buy him an ice cream…he’s a kid.” He then says, “We all make mistakes in life.”
His overall message to the dad is that a father is the most important person in a child’s life and that the child will learn important lessons later on in his life.
The next guest in the store tries to help Aidan by engaging him in conversation about the position he plays, so the bullying dad overhears. When Aidan says he plays shortstop and is told it is the best position on the field, Aidan says, “I want to be the best.” The customer says, “You did the best you could, that’s all that matters.”
Next, a woman makes a face when she hears what the dad says. When the dad leaves to go to the men’s room, she gives Aidan “an encouraging look.” He asks her to buy him a scoop, and at first she hesitates, but then buys him one. She exits quickly before the father comes back.
A mom and daughter are the next to encounter the father and son. When Aidan sits down without getting ice cream, the mom has some words with the dad. She says it isn’t right to let his son’s friends have the treat and not his son.
Her 11-year-old daughter sticks up for Aidan too and says, “It really is a team effort. Like everybody wins and everybody loses. Even if it is just one kid, you can’t blame him.”
John Quiñones, the host of the show, and narrator of the episode, shares that all day, customers are supporting Aidan.
Next, two Seton Hall University baseball pitchers, Matt Leon and Zach Schellenger, stop by for some ice cream and see a “fellow athlete in trouble.”
They overhear the dad berating his son by saying, “Ice cream is for winners and you’re a loser.”
When the dad steps away, leaving Aidan alone at the counter, the men approach him and ask if he is OK.
They say, “Listen, we both play baseball in college. It’s not that serious. You want ice cream? Can I get you something?”
Aiden shares that he is afraid his dad will get angry and the baseball players assure him not to worry.
When the dad returns and asks where he got the ice cream, Quiñones says, “And the boys take one for the team.”
“One says, “I got it for him.”
The dad says he was trying to teach his son a lesson and is told that it is not a good lesson.
When Quiñones shows his face and asks the baseball players what they were thinking. One shares that he knew what the boy was going through and the other says “you can’t control results, just effort.”
At the time the episode was filmed, Julie and Mark said they were thrilled that ABC chose to film the show at their store.
I loved it,” said Julie. “It was so exciting. It was so much fun.”
“I love the show,” she added. “It is one of my favorite shows because it’s not just Candid Camera—it’s not just goofy stuff. These are lessons learned types of scenarios.”
Now, after seeing the actual episode on TV, an excited Mark said, “Everyone on the West Orange 411 Facebook page was talking about it and was excited to see a local store on national television.”
“Seeing myself on TV was exciting, but if you blinked you missed me because I was in the background working the cash register,” said Julie with a laugh. She added, “I have watched it about 10 times and I tear up every time I see the first guy in the yellow shirt pleading with the ‘dad’ to ‘get his ‘son’ some ice cream’”
The Dancing Blender episode that aired on Feb. 9, and was also filmed in November, is about what people do when overhearing two teens encouraging their friend to take steroids. Like the customers in the ice cream store in West Orange who helped the bullied "son," in this episode, people also took direct initiative with the boy and his friends that were pushing steroid use. In addition, another guest used the moment as a “teaching moment” for his son, where he instructed him to leave, if event faced with a similar situation.
"What Would You Do?" airs on ABC Channel 7 on Tuesdays at 10 p.m., and it also has a Facebook page with clips from many episodes including the one filmed at Mark and Julie’s. Right now, at the top of that page, there is a poll for favorite episode with “Sore Loser Dad” as an option. Those who enjoyed this Mark and Julie’s segment are invited to cast a vote on behalf of “Sore Loser Dad,” or any segment they prefer.