Welcome to the club.

Father Figures: Not For Riches

“Recently, Disney movies have been getting under my skin. Partially because I have a daughter that just turned four years of age and she’s always looking to emulate them.

She loves to play dress-up and put on her princess dresses, and she tells me that she wants to be a princess. She then proceeds to do her nails and put on make up and pretend that she is a princess waiting for her prince. Granted, not all of the stories form Disney are antiquated, more recent movies like Mulan and Brave show how a woman is capable of more than just sitting back and waiting for a prince to rescue her and provide her with riches.

This past week we celebrated her birthday and over the weekend we had a party with all of her family and friends. But on Monday night, I decided to take her out on a date (just she and I) and show her how a gentleman ought to act. I picked up flowers before coming home and I put on a suit and tie (like she always asks me to do). As we were walking out of the car and I go to open her door and sit her in her car seat, she told me, “Daddy, I want to get married!”

I was shocked to hear those words out of my little princess. I was caught off guard and my first response was to say, “Ok, baby.” I fastened her into her seat and walked around the car, but before I got in I took a moment to take a deep breath and think about how I wanted to respond. I got in the car and told her that she would make a beautiful bride – when she turns 45. I figured that would buy me time to address the bigger issue!

When we arrived at the restaurant (her favorite Italian place), she wanted to bring her flowers inside with her. We ordered her favorite meal (spaghetti with meatballs) and at the end of our dinner I surprised her with a dessert, complete with a candle and another rendition of ‘Happy Birthday!’ (Thanks to the waiter at Maggiano’s!)

It was then that I realized that if I do my job as her daddy – love, protect, encourage, and challenge her when appropriate – she would know what a gentleman should do. She would grow to be a strong and educated woman and when she does fall for her ‘Prince Charming’ it will be for love and not for the riches.”

– Manuel Carrera

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Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Marvel’s Animated Comedy M.O.D.O.K. Coming to Hulu With Hilarious Cast

M.O.D.O.K. Coming to Hulu

Over the next few years, there will be a ton of Marvel content coming to screens both big and small.

Most of it will be an explicit part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in the form of countless sequels to existing superhero franchises (Dr. Strange, Thor, Captain Marvel, etc.), origin stories for characters yet to have their own film (Black Widow), new franchises being launched (The Eternals, Shang-Chi). Much of it will be related to the MCU, via movie characters getting their own shows on Disney+ (Loki, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision), and some of it will be one-off stuff, like, Disney+’s What If series and M.O.D.O.K., a newly-announced show to air on Hulu.

News of M.O.D.O.K (which stands for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing) came fast and furious the other day when the cast began tweeting about their involvement. Their voice-only involvement, as M.O.D.O.K will be an animated series. And what a cast it is, full of comedic stars of various renown.

The cast includes stand-up comic Patton Oswalt, Parks and Rec star Ben Schwartz, Brooklyn 99 star Melissa Fumero, Veep star Sam Richardson, Wendi McLendon-Covery of The Goldbergs and Bridesmaids, Beck Bennett from SNL, and more. Oswalt leads the series as M.O.D.O.K, a Marvel supervillain hellbent on taking over the world but suddenly beset by familiar and career-based challenges, i.e., a midlife crisis.

Certainly, a different style of Marvel property than we’re used to seeing on screen, but one that sounds like it has a lot of fun potential, especially with that cast of comedy vets. Showrunner Jordan Blum is excited for the show, saying, “I’m blown away by our insanely talented and hilarious voice cast, who have all brought their specific kind of magic to this weird and wonderful corner of the Marvel Universe.”

Jean-Ralphio himself, Ben Schwartz, is equally amped about his role as M.O.D.O.K’s son who will be, hopefully, flush with cash.

The show is slated to air later this year on Hulu.

6-Yr-Old Raises $250k for Australian Bushfires Making Clay Koalas

Owen Colley raising money for Australian Bushfires

While fires continue to burn in Australia, stories of those around the world trying to find ways to help have become commonplace on the evening news. After hearing the number of homes and lives impacted by the tragedy, Six-year-old Owen Colley was ready to help.

Owen’s father, Simon Colley, is Australian. While that was likely a strong motivation for Owen to want to lend a hand, his mother Caitlin says it was the animals that finally flipped the switch for her young son.

Upon finding out just how many different animals were impacted, Owen immediately wanted to join the fight. But how could a young boy living in Massachusetts help those still suffering halfway around the world?

Undeterred, Owen began crafting tiny koalas out of clay, offering family members their very own for making a donation to Wildlife Rescue South Coast, an organization on the ground in Australia. Word spread quickly, and soon Owen was offering anyone who made a $50 donation one of his tiny clay creations.


News outlets picked up the story, and during an interview, his mother confessed they were blown away by the outpouring of support after raising over $1200. With the newly received publicity, the family raised his goal to $5,000. After seeing Owen and his koalas on affiliates across the nation in the video below, you can probably guess what happened next.

As of today, Owen’s GoFundMe page has raised a whopping $264,848. That’s quite a few koalas, but fortunately many donated just to help with the cause. His parents posting an update:

“Thank you ALL for helping a little boy do a BIG thing – Owen wishes he could send a clay koala to everyone in the world! We are so proud of this little boy and his kind heart.”

Owen reminding us all that one person can truly make a difference, and that people absolutely love tiny koalas.

Dad’s Post on Work-Life Balance a Reminder to All Parents

Daniel Maloney's post on work-life balance
(LinkedIn/Daniel Maloney)

As a parent, finding the perfect work-life balance can often seem impossible. Worse, it’s typically only after we miss out on one of our kid’s special moments that this truly hits home.

This was the case for father Daniel Maloney who recently shared a post on LinkedIn that has since made its way around the web. In it, the marketing professional shares a lesson you’d typically expect to find on Facebook and not a site focused on business. However, it’s business that almost made the successful CEO overlook a simple but important meeting that would forever change his perspective.

Maloney has held positions at top tech companies like Google and AOL, but a recent epiphany has proven much more valuable than many of the things he learned along the way. It’s about that work-life balance and how as dads, we can often overlook simple opportunities to truly connect with our kids. Something as simple as reading a book.

“My daughter’s pre-K class has ‘Chapter time’ where parents can read to the class for 20-30 minutes as they settle in for their nap. My wife went a couple times already this school year, but I never thought to sign-up,” Maloney shared. It’s a common occurrence for many dads who still see themselves in the roles their own fathers occupied — often putting work before all else.

It wasn’t until his daughter entered an “I don’t want to go to school” phase that Maloney decided to take action. “I signed up to see if I could help turn that ship around.” When the day arrived, Maloney was shocked by the reaction — both from his daughter as well as the entire class. “When I walked in, the teacher who introduced me made a point of emphasizing: ‘Kate’s DAD is here to read to us.’ The kids looked stunned,” adding “My daughter put her mat right up front and had a huge smile on her face the whole time.”

Turns out not many dads come in for storytime. “I just looked at the signup sheet for the month. 17 moms so far; no other dads,” Maloney shared. “I’m sad/ashamed that I didn’t get involved sooner, but will definitely sign up again. It was a great experience.”

Several other parents, many CEOs themselves, chimed in with their own experiences, applauding Maloney and anyone else who’s able to find ways to be as present as possible.


Maloney ending his post with an important mantra for all parents to remember:
“Work will be there when I get back to the office.”

Fans Excited at News of National Treasure 3

National Treasure 3

There are a lot of sequels coming down the pike.

The Skywalker Saga may have ended, but we still have all the Marvel flicks (Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, Dr. Strange 2, Thor 4, Guardians 3, etc., etc.), another Fast and Furious coming along, the next Wonder Woman, Venom 2, the new Bond comes out in April. The list never ends. Even Bad Boys is rumored to be getting a fourth entry after the third movie’s recent success.

Plus, there are surely movies out there that many of us wish would have sequels but never will, like Back to the Future 4 (sorry, Christopher Lloyd) and Goonies (let it go, people).

And then there are the sequels no one asked for. Like National Treasure 3.

Look, I’m not bashing the National Treasure movies, which are like Indiana Jones crossed with Dan Brown, only somehow more stupid and with Nicholas Cage. My 9-year-old loves those movies. And who isn’t a sucker for a treasure hunt, complete with booby traps and puzzles and Jon Voight? But you can’t tell me you aren’t surprised to hear that a third movie is in the works.

Well, surprised or not, it’s coming, at least according to The Hollywood Reporter, which was actually breaking the news of the aforementioned Bad Boys 4 when they also let slip that Chris Bremner, the writer of Bad Boys for Life and it’s just announced sequel is also under contract to write the next National Treasure flick for Disney.

Benjamin Gates will be back, despite director Jon Turtletaub’s previous lamentations that Disney wasn’t willing to pony up the $80 million needed to get a third movie off the ground, despite everyone’s desire to do it.

“It’s a no,” Turteltaub had told ComicBook.com. “I would love there to be. Nic is like, in wardrobe right now. Jerry Bruckheimer is ready to go. We would love to.”

Apparently, Disney+ is raking in the bucks, because Disney changed their tune. There are literally no details about the movie beyond Bremner’s involvement, and it’s eventual appearance at a multiplex – or a streaming service – near you is far from assured. But that didn’t stop fans from losing their minds with excitement online.

Where do you stand?

Mr. Peanut Dies, Gets Roasted on Twitter

RIP Mr. Peanut
(YouTube/The Estate of Mr. Peanut)

Planters announced tragic news this week when they revealed Mr. Peanut has passed away. It’s the end of everyone’s favorite peanut-based mascot, at least when considering those who wear a top hat and monocle.

The company revealed Mr. Peanut died in an attempt to save his friends Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh in the aftermath of a terrible car accident. This is all part of an upcoming Super Bowl commercial, so just go along with it, OK?

“It’s with heavy hearts that we confirm Mr. Peanut has passed away at 104 years old,” a Planters brand manager at Kraft Heinz said in a statement. “He will be remembered as the legume who always brought people together for nutty adventures and a good time.”

We can all choose how we want to remember him. For those with terrifying peanut allergies, they probably remember him as a harbinger of danger, a sign of their mortality and the fleeting nature of life. They are probably celebrating this day with an abundance of joy. Others may be confused, and I’m sure someone somewhere will be sad about the loss of this icon (?).

If you need time to mourn, Planters has a third-quarter Super Bowl commercial featuring his funeral. The company says this will all make more sense after we have a chance to process it.

The internet is not a place that waits to withhold judgment.

No everyone was quick to crack jokes – a few other brands paid their respects.

I guess we should stay tuned, but one thing I think we can all agree on: Mr. Peanut should’ve been the one to sacrifice himself if anyone had to go. This entire car accident was his fault. Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh were enjoying a fun trip when the driver just freaked out and plunged them over the cliff.

Was Mr. Peanut under the influence? Let’s hope a full investigation is conducted and justice is served for all affected.

Was the Original ‘Duel of the Fates’ Script For Star Was IX Better Than ROS?

Star Was IX Duel of the Fates

It’s probably safe to say that if you haven’t seen The Rise of Skywalker by now, you’re not exactly clamoring to. Maybe you don’t care about spoilers, maybe you’re not a big Star Wars fan, maybe you just heard it stinks and would rather wait for it to it Disney+.

Regardless of your reasons, if you do care about spoilers, turn back now. Because while we’re here to talk about a version of TROS that doesn’t exist, we can’t do that without talking about the one that does. And yes, to many people, that one sort of stinks.

The controversy surrounding the production of a Star Wars film isn’t exactly new. Rogue One was largely reshot, Solo ditched directors midway through, etc. Similarly, the divisiveness of Star Wars movies isn’t new. For every person who loves the Ewoks and hates midichlorians, there are two that feel the opposite way. For all the people that love The Last Jedi, there’s a petition asking it to be stricken from the record.

The Rise of Skywalker has been plagued by both issues. The original writer/director, Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow, was dumped before filming began and replaced with JJ Abrams, and the movie hasn’t been met with the same acclaim, or booming box office, the studio surely anticipated for the final film in the Skywalker Saga.

But it turns out things could have been different. At least, according to an early version of the script, a review of which originally appeared on YouTube and was soon followed by a breakdown on Reddit. Shortly thereafter, the AV Club verified that the script was indeed Trevorrow’s draft that was jettisoned when he was booted off the flick. (The script was written before Carrie Fisher’s death, so there’s no telling how much that would have impacted its storylines.)

Robert Meyer Burnett reviews an early draft of Star Wars’ 9th episode entitled DUEL OF THE FATES from r/StarWarsLeaks

There are many significant changes, starting with the title, Duel of the Fates (fans may remember that this is the name of the song that scores the Darth Maul fight at the end of Phantom Menace). Rose, The Last Jedi’s most polarizing character, has a bigger role, again teaming up with Finn, this time to light a beacon to restore communications the First Order has cut off to stunt the Resistance’s… resistance. Poe and Chewy accompany Rey on a mission to a distant planet, where she wrestles with her, and the Jedi’s, future, while Kylo Ren is tortured by Luke’s force ghost while on the hunt for an evil Holocron.

As for the Emperor? In what is perhaps the biggest difference between the two movies, the original Big Bad does show up, but only as a hologram who tells Kylo to seek out his old master, an enormous “Lovecraftian” monster who trains Kylo and further seals his fate as a Sith, despite Luke, Leia’s and Rey’s attempts to redeem him.

There are a lot more differences – from other Jedis actually appearing as force ghosts rather than just in voice-over, the reveal that Kylo had killed Rey’s parents on Snope’s orders, etc. – and whether they’re better than the movie they made is in the eye of the beholder.

At the very least, the Reddit breakdown makes for an interesting read – at the very least, the opening crawl is better – and adds fuel to the fire to any fans who want to start another petition.

A Non-Verbal Boy With Autism Found His Voice Thanks to Iron Man Mask

Boy With Autism Helped by Iron Man Mask

Autism isn’t one thing, instead, it’s a spectrum with many different characteristics found in those impacted. Often impeding communication and social skills, it can make otherwise simple interactions nearly impossible. For some, being completely non-verbal is a reality they and their loved ones deal with every day.

So was the case for 6-year-old Vincent Arambula and his family. That is until an unexpected miracle came into their lives in the form of a real-life Marvel superhero. His parents purchased an official Iron Man helmet as a present, but they never imaged that they’d all be receiving a much greater gift in the end. That’s because after not speaking a word, after putting on the helmet, Vincent’s dad Andy said his son “was a different child.”

The family shared their story on a special Episode of Ellen in which Robert Downey Jr. was guest hosting. “The mask grounded him and allowed him to feel confident,” his dad told Downey. Vincent, now 10-years-old, said of not being able to express himself “it was painful.” But everything changed with that simple gift. “I got an Iron Man helmet and it helped me talk and imagination play,” Vincent proudly shared. “It helped me talk and it helped me hide my identity from the world.”

Downey was moved by the story, telling viewers the thing he’ll miss most about playing Iron Man is “being able to talk to moms and dads and young folks and see how this had a positive impact,” adding “it just makes all these last years of working on it worthwhile.”

Stories like Vincent’s are an inspiration as well as a reminder that real-life superheroes are all around us in the form of doctors and researchers working each and every day to understand more about Autism, hopefully allowing more kids to find their voice in the years to come.

Watch the full clip below:

Move Over Pineapple, Kiwi Is Here to Polarize Pizza Lovers

Kiwi on Pizza

I’m not here to cast aspersions on anyone or to throw stones or to question your judgment. That said: if you put pineapple on your pizza yes you deserve to die and I hope you burn in hell!

I kid, I kid. I’ve actually done the Hawaiian pizza thing once or twice, not by choice, obviously – I’m not a monster! – and it was surprisingly okay. I would never do it again in a million years but I suppose I can see the appeal. But that’s as far as I’m willing to go. Truth be told, I don’t like to mix fruit and meat, so take your Hawaiian pizza and your prosciutto-wrapped melon and get out of my face!

Clearly, not everyone agrees, as not only does pineapple on pizza have its supporters, there’s a new game in town, one that laughs in the face of your pineapple and ups the ante in ways most normal people couldn’t even imagine.

A user took to Reddit to share the pizza he’d ordered from a Danish restaurant, and if you thought pineapple pizza is an abomination, wait til you get a load of this bright green disaster.

Kiwi pizza from a Danish pizzeria, an unholy abomination from r/shittyfoodporn

That’s right, it’s a Kiwi pizza! And it looks exactly the way your vomit will look after you eat it!

There’s something incongruous about a Scandinavian country like Denmark, a region of white snow and blonde hair, concocting a pizza pie so bizarre and bright and, presumably, disgusting! It’s like someone googled “pizza” and only got as far as “round,” “cheesy,” and “toppings” and decided to throw caution to the wind and throw whatever TF they wanted on there.

In fact, according to LadBible, Scandinavia has a reputation for going way off the beaten path with their pizza toppings. Click this link at your own risk.

They were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

The comments underneath the Reddit post are a mixture of, “eh, I’ll try it,” and “WHAT IS LIFE!?!” At least one brave user is wide-open to the idea of a Kiwi-topped pizza, having explored many fruity pizzas before.

“A pizzaria in my hometown had some really unique toppings including apples and oranges. It sounds really gross, but apples, oranges, and pepperoni was straight up one of the best pizzas I ever had. I’d give this weird fruit pizza a go.”

To which a less insane Redditor replied: “So, you’re a monster.”

So the debate over fruit-topped pizza rages on, and suddenly pineapple has some competition. Where do you stand?

Dad Takes Down Rabid Coyote That Attacked His 2-Yr-Old Son

Dad Takes Down Coyote
(Facebook/Kensington PD YouTube/CBS Boston)

You never really know what you’re capable of until push comes to shove. Will you buckle under the pressure? Or will you find reserves of courage and strength that allow you to fight your way out? For better or worse, most of us are never faced with the kind of situation that demands such a reckoning, so we might go through life underestimating ourselves.

One dad found out that he has what it takes when his young son was suddenly in mortal danger. Nothing activates your killer instinct like one of your kids being in peril.

Ian O’Reilly of Kensington, New Hampshire was out walking a trail with his wife and three kids when a coyote jumped out of the woods and clamped his jaws onto O’Reilly’s 2-year-old son’s jacket. Dad immediately kicked the coyote to free his son from its grasp. But the coyote was not done.

“There was no interest in it going away. [I] ultimately had to make the decision to become the aggressor and jumped on it, attacked it and [got] it to the ground,” O’Reilly told Boston 25 News.

O’Reilly was bitten in the chest and arm by the coyote as he struggled to keep it away from his family. Ultimately, he was forced to hold the animal down and suffocate it.

“When I was able to get on top of it, I put my hand on its snout so it wasn’t able to attack me. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground, so I shoved the face into the snow and then eventually was able [to] put my hand on its snout and expire it through suffocation. Ultimately one hand on its windpipe and one hand on its snout did the trick.”

He told Boston 25 that he wasn’t happy about killing the coyote, but he had to do what he had to do. Police have since confirmed that the animal was rabid, and O’Reilly is undergoing a series of shots to protect himself from the disease.

The New Hampshire police are warning people, after this and another incident of coyotes being aggressive, to be careful and avoid the woods.

“I now have two different animals, two different sequences and two different people,” said Colonel Kevin Jordan, Chief of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division. “I would suggest don’t walk with us in the woods.”

Watch O’Reilly recount his harrowing tale: