It was time for Peet Montzingo to face the music.
The Los Angeles musician had been playing random pranks on his mom, Vicki, and uploading the videos to his TikTok account for a while when he began to notice that she was becoming “desensitized” to them.
He knew it was time to change his tune.
“So one day I woke up and opened my closet door to find my trombone, which had been collecting dust for so long,” Montzingo, who began playing the instrument in fifth grade, told HuffPost via Twitter. “And I thought ... THIS IS IT!”
Montzingo began following his mom around with his trombone and soundtracking her life.
He plays “womp-womp” noises when she drops things. He uses the military’s wake-up bugle call, “Reveille,” to shock her out of her slumber. He blasts “When You Wish Upon a Star” when Vicki’s out in the yard trying to pet a squirrel like a Disney princess.
“My mom gets so annoyed when she wakes up and sees me hovering over her with a trombone,” Montzingo said. “But low key, I know she loves it and she’s excited to see what I do with it.”
His videos, which Montzingo describes as “whimsical,” became so popular that last week a montage of his greatest hits went viral on Twitter.
Montzingo said these videos tend to “go viral again every couple of months.” And he has a theory about why they’re so popular.
“It’s a sweet little mom being harassed by her 6-foot-1 redhead son with a trombone,” Montzingo said. “I think the bond that me and my mom have where we both laugh about it together makes the dynamic really entertaining.”
Although most enjoy the good wholesome fun that the videos provide, there are plenty of comments on social media criticizing Montzingo for not helping his mom out with chores, which is what she’s doing in the majority of the sound-effect TikToks. This disapproval is sometimes amplified by those who think Montzingo should be helping out more due to Vicki’s dwarfism.
Montzingo told HuffPost that those “haters” who say he just harasses her “don’t understand the videos.”
“They are lighthearted prank videos, which my mom even laughs at,” Montzingo said. “My mom and I have a great relationship, and I know that comes through in all my videos.”
Montzingo added that because he’s the only average-height person in his immediate family (his brother, sister and dad also have dwarfism), he always did “the hard chores” around the house growing up.
“I’ve paid my dues!” he told HuffPost. He added that ever since he was 8 and became the tallest in his family he’s been “stuck changing every lightbulb and was responsible for pretty much everything over 5 feet high in the house.”
But Montzingo said that feeling like a “misfit” in his own family has shaped who he is and the content he puts online — which includes humanizing dwarfism for the masses.
“I have an ongoing series about dwarfism awareness no matter where my content drifts to,” Montzingo said. “My whole life I’ve met so many people who just don’t understand how to interact with a little person or have the wrong idea about dwarfism. I’ve even met someone who tried to convince me that little people aren’t real (I was like ... ‘Um ... excuse me?!’).”
He emphasized that little people are not “cute pets” or “funny.”
“They are just like everyone else. They live normal lives and don’t want to be treated like some sort of gimmick. I hope people can watch my videos and understand that me and my family are just another family. Yes, we look a little different, but we aren’t different ... except for the fact that we prank each other and I follow my mom around with a trombone.”