You may remember Pablo Velez, Jr. from the PBS Kids show, ZOOM. ZOOM has a rich history at WGBH, and earlier this month celebrated the 48th anniversary of the show's first broadcast. Velez pursued a career in entertainment following his stint with the show, initially in front of the camera, but mainly working behind the scenes in TV and film production. He is currently working in production finance right here at WGBH. The former Zoom cast member took center stage on the "Ask Me Anything" sub-Reddit, taking questions from fans, and even inspiring some former cast members to chime in for a little Zoom reunion. Here are some highlights of the lively discussion.

Pablo Velez

Q: ZOOM was our go-to after-school show (alongside Arthur) for years in elementary school! Do you ever catch yourself speaking Ubbi Dubbi at inappropriate times/places? - dreamdusk

A: I'm looking forward to teaching my daughter it! As soon as you can sound out "ub" - you should be ready to go. I don't take it out of the bag unless I'm asked.

Q: Pablo!!! Loved you on Zoom buddy. You were an integral part of my childhood. My question: How did you get started with Zoom? Was there an audition process? - HoldenFinn

A: Thank you! It's always nice to hear comments like that. At the time I didn't know how the show was going to be received and I'm always touched by a lot of the stories that I hear about how people were impacted by the show as kids. ZOOM was the biggest audition I had had at the time. We had a "cattle call," about 800 kids who showed up. There were only four call-backs. We knew we were close! I went in with zero expectations. I actually just sang a song and it worked. I guess I was on key.

Q: Any interesting stories from Fetch with Ruff Ruffman? I loved that show growing up - lilbud2000

A: Fetch came off of ZOOM. Animated-hybrid show. Fortunate enough to work on the production of that show and working with some of the very same people I worked with on ZOOM. Fetch we shot all over the country. ZOOM was a little more contained.

Pablo showing off his Zoom jacket.
The Zoom jacket still fits!

Q: How ‘famous’ were you when you were on the show? Would kids run up to you in public? - piefordays

A: Oh, kids absolutely ran up to me. At the mall, at the beach, at school. It was weird. I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel cool. But it could get weird. You're doing something normal like shopping. It was all love. But, you're like, really? You had to wind up the disposable camera for photos - that took time. I signed some different things. Body parts. I signed a potato chip once. That was difficult. I wasn't going to say "no" to them. I embraced it.

Q: Pablo! I had such a crush on you as a kid. If you could go back would you do Zoom again? Was it overall a positive experience or a negative experience? - Sunset Paradise

A: 100% would do it again. Changed my life. I didn't know what college was when I started the show, honestly. Hearing the dreams and ambitions of other cast members really opened my eyes. The show also opened my eyes to the world of production which I ended up pursuing as a career.

Q: What was your favorite segment to do on the show? Also do you keep in touch with any of the cast? - Softskeletonsx

Pablo during his Zoom days

A: Favorite segment was the ZOOM Playhouse. Opportunity for all the cast members to be in one segment together and take on different roles. And to turn into different characters. On staying in touch - yep! Mostly through social media and text. On occasion, we may catch up in-person.

  • ericfromzoom: And sometimes we crash each other’s AMA!! In person catch ups are a little harder now that he moved back to Boston.
  • Pablo: Nice to hear from you, Eric! Thanks for joining the ZOOM chat! Let's see how many more ZOOMers we can get in!
  • ericfromzoom: I think Kenny is checking in somewhere in the background and maybe he'll jump on too!
  • kaywhyjay: Sup! I'm here! :-)
  • mimi6214: Yaaaas!! Hey Eric ! That’s 3 Zoomers now ! Keep em coming ! Lol
  • ericfromzoom: We wanted to put together an updated show of sorts, but unfortunately scheduling did not not work out as we had hoped!
  • francesfromZoom: That was really sad because I know I was super excited to get to work
  • mimi6214: Omg Frances there you are !! Lol it’s Imia ! I was like where is she ? Lol Yeah I was bummed too . But we can’t give up ! We can still make it work somehow someday

Q: Pablo, I always thought you were the coolest one of the bunch. As a weird little kid who latched onto weird things, I want you to know that in order to emulate your coolness, I was constantly doing the little hand things that you did in your intro.

Has anyone else ever told you that they appreciated your hand gestures? Any other weird things people have told you about from your time on Zoom?

Also a third question, are you still the coolest? - Tis_A_Fine_Barn

A: That's awesome. I usually get "Can you do the rap?" and "Can you do the hand gesture?" I learned it from an audio guy on the show. I added a little spin and touch to it. I'm glad you found it cool. Shout-out to Kevin the audio guy! He was from LA and surfed. So it was a wave.

Bernadette from Zoom shows off the arm trick.

Q: Did you learn how to do the crazy arm twist thing like Bernadette? - everythingisopposite

A: Yes. It was iconic. I actually learned it from Bernadette years later on FETCH. We still stay in touch mostly through social media. She's amazing. A wonderful person. She's an OG. Have to respect it.

Read the full transcript of Pablo's AMA on the WGBH Reddit account.