Dad Grades: Daniel Hillard – Mrs. Doubtfire

(20th Century Fox)

The 1994 blockbuster hit Mrs. Doubtfire is, at its core, a meditation on the difficulties of being a dad. More accurately, a meditation on the difficulties of rubber bodysuits.

The late, great Robin Williams stars Daniel Hillard, an out-of-work cartoon voice actor. Daniel is a father of three at the outset of a divorce with his workaholic wife, Miranda, portrayed by Sally Field. What, you ask, brought about this divorce? The best birthday party in the history of San Francisco, that’s what.

(20h Century Fox)

After the world’s lamest neighbor files a noise complaint, Miranda races home to find sparsely supervised anarchy grinding its dirty heels into her furniture. The logistics of this party, in retrospect, make little, if any sense. Daniel’s son, Chris, has just turned 12, yet every kid at this party appears to be in elementary school. Daniel also appears to be the only adult in attendance. It’s utter mayhem.

Miranda promptly files for divorce from Daniel, who then goes to stay with his brother. At their court hearing, a judge pledges to grant Daniel joint custody if he is able to secure a job and apartment. A fair ruling, given how notoriously inexpensive it is to live alone in San Francisco.

When Miranda tells Daniel she’s currently looking for a housekeeper, Daniel does what any of us would do in that situation: cloaks himself in makeup and prosthetics to assume the identity of an elderly Scottish nanny so he can see his kids. Sounds crazy, but, keep in mind, this was still some 17 years before the advent of FaceTime.

(20h Century Fox)

Daniel lands the housekeeping gig and keeps house to the pure oblivion of his inattentive ex-
wife and children. Miranda, meanwhile, falls head-over-heels for a pre-James Bond Pierce
Brosnan, much to the dismay of a quietly wistful Daniel.

(20h Century Fox)

His jealousy is understandable. Sure, Pierce Brosnan’s character has an impossibly alluring smile, chiseled, sultry facial features, a fiercely suave demeanor, and the keys to a Mercedes-Benz. But Daniel Hillard can do a Porky Pig impression. And, at the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters?

Daniel’s children eventually catch onto him after one of them catches Mrs. Doubtfire peeing while standing up. They panic and threaten her with a tennis racket, because it was 1993.

(20h Century Fox)

My, how far we’ve come!

Anyway, Daniel’s ruse comes to a head when one night at a five-star restaurant he attempts to alternate covertly between a TV pitch meeting, dressed as himself, and Miranda’s birthday dinner, dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire. The evening, as expected, goes horribly awry, since the Hillards appear to be damned with what I can only assume is some sort of Family Birthday Curse.

Seriously, why is this family virtually incapable of enjoying a birthday? First, Chris’s birthday serves as the catalyst for a divorce, and now this? What gives? What was his daughter Natalie’s last birthday party like? Did the magician have a massive, fatal stroke in the middle of a card trick? My guess: Probably.

(20h Century Fox)

The Good
Daniel has such a sweet, engaging relationship with his three children. They’re everything to him. He’s everything to them. His funny voices fuel them. They’re laughter fuels him. It’s an unconditional love of the highest mutuality. The sheer absurdity of the lengths to which he goes to ensure his kids maintain a prominent role in his day-to-day life should inspire every father who watches this.

The Bad
Sucks at cleaning.

(20h Century Fox)
(20h Century Fox)

It’s sweep THEN vacuum, dude.

Verdict
When it’s all said and done, Daniel Hillard goes above and beyond for his kids. His devotion is
truly remarkable. You’ll hear a lot of dads say self-congratulatory things like, “I would take a
bullet for my kid.” Yeah? Would you defy court orders by secretly leading a double life as their
vaguely-European babysitter? Oh, you would? Actually preferable to taking a bullet, you say?
Okay. Sorry. Carry on.

 

Daniel Hillard’s Final Dad Grade: A-

 

High School’s Harry Potter Dance Performance is Pure Wizardry [WATCH]

(YouTube/ThePac Walden Grove)

There isn’t a lot of dancing in the Harry Potter books, but that didn’t stop an amazing high school dance team from putting their own highly choreographed spin on JK Rowling’s fantasy epic.

Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona is already known for their dancing chops, thanks to a Wizard of Oz-themed Homecoming routine that went viral last September. The ridiculous routine, complete with Dorothy’s house, a tornado, and a yellow brick road, has gotten over 3 million views on YouTube and and got the squad an invite to compete on “America’s Got Talent.”

Well, they’re back, and for this year’s homecoming celebration, they decided to tackle Harry Potter. They were ready to outdo their L. Frank Baum opus with a detailed, delirious performance that included the cupboard under the stairs, the train, the sorting ceremony, and more. They even went so far as to feature a showdown He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Out-Danced.

These kids showcased everything from arrival at Hogwarts to the first flying lessons – including broomsticks and Harry riding atop a group of fellow dancers – set to dance hits, including a bumping remix of “Expecto Patronum” as the budding wizards practiced with their wands.

And then Voldermort arrives, with a blast of smoke, a convincing mask, and a crew of evildoers to help battle Hogwarts and Harry in the final dance showdown.

This video has racked up over 4 millions views from a public that can’t seem to get enough Potter – or enough amazing dancing from this ridiculously talented group of high school students.

Oh yeah, the beats in the routine are pretty faithful to Rowling’s stories, so spoiler alert?

Here’s the Wizard of Oz routine:

The Moment Nike Signs Their First Athlete With Cerebral Palsy [WATCH]

(YouTube/Elevation 0m)

Getting an endorsement deal is huge for any athlete, from winning quarterbacks to backup catchers. Getting an endorsement deal for running cross-country is noteworthy. Getting an endorsement deal for running track when you have cerebral palsy is downright unheard of.

At least, it was.

Enter Justin Gallegos, a junior at the University of Oregon.

Justin joined the cross-country team his freshman year of high school, didn’t start running to try to win. He just wanted the exercise, and appreciated the benefits the activity provided to his body. But now, thanks to Nike surprising him with a contract, he’ll see some financial benefits too.

“I saw that it was improving my quality of life. It was making me stronger. It really didn’t matter that I was finishing last in most of the races,” Justin told “I saw that it was improving my quality of life. It was making me stronger. It really didn’t matter that I was finishing last in most of the races,” Gallegos told FOX 12.”

When Gallegos started running in high school, he fell down a lot. His cerebral palsy makes running a lot more difficult. But he persevered, and slowly improved. In April, he finished his first half-marathon.

Still, when he showed up to race on October 6th and saw the cameras, he had no idea they were for him. But when he crossed the finish line, a Nike representative was there waiting for him with a contract, making Justin the first athlete with cerebral palsy to sign such a deal with the famous sneaker company.

“I just wanted to share something with you guys,” said insights director to the runners gathered at the finish line. “One of your teammates has been working pretty hard the last couple years, and Nike has recognized that. So today I am giving him the Nike contract [to be an] official Nike athlete.”

The heartwarming moment was capture on video:


Justin was stunned, but happy. “I’m so grateful to have been apart of this story where so many people put their names in history books, and make records, and break records,” Gallegos said. “It’s a been a dream come true.”

He’s working with Nike on developing sneakers for people with disabilities.

Congrats Justin!

Father Figures: From Preemie to M.D.

“I remember when our little Kirsten was born early.

She was right around 5 pounds and her little lungs weren’t quite up to the task of being called into service ahead of schedule. I remember the absolute joy of seeing her for the first time, quickly followed by the anguish of having her whisked away from us. I had no idea what the next few months would bring: victories that brought tears of joy followed by setbacks that made me scream “why?”

Emergency flights to Vancouver.
The unbearable heartache of being sent home for Christmas without being able to bring her with us.
The helpless feeling knowing that I had to put all of my hopes and dreams in the doctors hands.

I remember the pain of watching her in a little oxygen chamber, unable to hold her, unable to make it all better.

As a parent it feels like your only job is to make your baby safe, and here I stood on the very first day, the very first shift of my new task and I couldn’t do it. I was helpless. I was failing at the only job that mattered at that point.

But it turns out I wasn’t failing. Just staying strong and believing that everything would be alright was its own victory.

The job description had temporarily changed for a while is all. And when that little ray of sunshine does break free of the clouds she will shine brighter than you ever imagined possible.

My daughter, who was born 8 weeks premature, is now in her 4th year of med school and will be a doctor in six months.”

– Marty Anderson

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Sean Lennon Shares Photo of His Dad on Their Birthday

Sharing a birthday with someone else in your family isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. But sharing a birthday with your dad can be pretty cool, especially when he was one of the most famous musicians of all time.

Legendary Beatle John Lennon was born on October 9, 1940. His son Sean was born on the same day 35 years later. Sean was only five years old when his father was tragically murdered outside the Dakota Hotel in Manhattan.

Sean celebrated his 43rd birthday and what would have been his dad’s 78th birthday, by posting a picture of the two of them on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Happy Bday To Us…

A post shared by Sean Ono Lennon (@sean_ono_lennon) on

The photo shows John holding his young son while he blows out the candles on a birthday cake. Sean, a musician himself, captioned the photo, “Happy birthday to us…” and it has received over 42,000 likes and more than 2,000 comments on Instagram.

Sean is no stranger to Instagram sensations. A few months ago he posted a picture of himself and another Beatle’s progeny, James McCartney, son of Paul. Is there a better way to pay homage to the Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo than this?

View this post on Instagram

Peekaboo…

A post shared by Sean Ono Lennon (@sean_ono_lennon) on

That selfie, featuring the two Beatles’ sons looking very much like their dads (and James holding a guitar) got more than 50,000 likes from Beatles fans all over the world. Hopefully next time Sean posts with his friend James, it’s a video of them playing together.

Might I suggest something from Sgt. Pepper’s?

Dad Finds Mold in Capri Sun Drink Pouch

(Facebook/Cameron Hardwick)

Everyone knows the worst part about Capri Suns is the years of medical school you have to endure just to have the training required to correctly insert the straw without destroying it or destroying the pouch.

But it turns out there’s a bigger concern, and thanks to one vigilant dad, parents everywhere now know to look out for it.

Cameron Hardwick, a dad in Indiana, was preparing a pouch of Capri Sun for one of his kids, as a treat for eating a good dinner. But as he was opening the juice, he noticed something strange. He posted a video showcasing what he found, on his Facebook page.

The caption to the video reads:

*Public Service Announcement!** Friends & family please read & share! So tonight after dinner our oldest asked for some “juice” (Capri Sun) as a treat for eating good, I grabbed one out of the refrigerator and notice something odd about it… it seems low in content, I take a closer look at the packaging and don’t notice a hole or anything. So I shake it up some, only to find an unknown substance floating around in the package. To say we are irate would be an understatement… we don’t give these to our children often but will NEVER again! #SERIOUSLY #CapriSun

To their credit, Capri Sun responded quickly to Cameron’s concerns, posting a response on Facebook.

“Thanks again, Cameron, for bringing this to our attention and sharing more information with others. Although it’s rare, it is possible for mold to grow inside containers of preservative-free juice drinks if the pouch is punctured in any way on its journey from our facilities to your home. We understand it’s unpleasant, but the mold is naturally-occurring, just like if you left an apple on your counter for too long and mold begins to grow.”

They even sent someone to his house to investigate the pouch.

Capri Sun has long been aware of the possibility of mold in their drink, and they address the issue on their website via a FAQ:

“Will the mold make my child sick?”
“The mold is naturally-occurring, and we understand your concerns. That’s why we created our clear bottom pouches so you can check for mold before enjoying your Capri Sun, while still remaining committed to keeping our drinks free of artificial preservatives.”

Dad Invents Genius Way to Make Gamer Kids Exercise

(YouTube/Jeremy Fielding)

Every parent struggles with getting their kids to turn off the TV or put down the iPad and get some exercise. As technology becomes more and more accessible, and more and more essential, it’s not easy to make that happen.

One ingenious dad found a brilliant way to force his video game loving kids to get the exercise.

Jeremy Fielding is a talented dad of three who shares videos of the engineering projects on his YouTube channel.

His about section describes it this way: “I am fascinated with all things mechanical. Thus many of my projects and videos have a mechanical engineering theme.”

One of those videos features five different things you can make with treadmill parts, including a generator he made from a rowing machine. He got the machine of Craigslist and whatever he paid for it was more than worth it. Because he turned it into a powerful parenting hack.

What does the generator do? It powers his sons’ video games.

The batteries run down in less than a minute, so he and his kids trade-off to ensure there’s enough juice to make their games go. The bottom line? They can’t play unless they pedal and pull. Genius!

Now if they want to play their precious video games, they can, but they can’t do it without getting the exercise they need.

Game over! Dad win!

Before and After Photos of Dad as Son Attempts Game Winning Field Goal

(Twitter/jmhellman1395)

When you’re a sports fan, it can sometimes be hard to watch the big moments, for fear that something will go wrong. And few situations are as fraught as a game-winning field goal kick.

Now imagine you’re watching your team line up for such a kick, only your son is the kicker. Would you be able to watch?

One dad was faced with just that scenario, and a pair of photos posted on Twitter make it clear that his nerves got the best of him!

Last weekend, college football featured an exciting match-up between the Missouri Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks. The game was beset by all sorts of issues, from a downpour that made things a lot more difficult for both teams, to lightning strikes that caused two separate delays.

Eventually, the game came down to some last second heroics. South Carolina was down by one, 35-34, when kicker Parker White came out to attempt a game-winning 33-yard field goal. The fans were tense, but they had nothing on Parker’s Dad, who was in the stands in his #43 P. White South Carolina game jersey.

Fellow Gamecock fan and twitter user @jmhellman1395 happened to be seated next to Mr. White, and captured the nervous dad’s pre- and post-kick emotions.

In the before photo, Mr. White is past the point of being on the edge of his seat. He’s down on his knees, perhaps praying, maybe he’s biting his nails? Definitely not quite looking as his son’s team snapped the ball.

(Twitter/jmhellman1395)

And when you see the after photo, you don’t need to be told what happened, because Parker’s dad’s happiness, and the high-five he exchanges with another fan makes it clear that Parker game through and gave South Carolina a 37-35 victory.

(Twitter/jmhellman1395)

And you think you have a hard time watching your team play a close game. You’ve got nothing on the father of a field goal kicker!

The Best Comments of the Week 10/14

(Getty/ljubaphoto)

Every week we pan for comedy gold in the the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s this week’s roundup of the Best Comments of the Week:

1. Fender Bender

2. Checks and Balances

3. Pushing All Your Buttons

4. The Ants Go Marching

5. Don’t Blink

6. Inked & Irked

7. Another Slice Please!

8. Protect Your Boys

9. The Name Game

9. Great White Betty

10. Let’s Stop Talking About It

Check out the previous edition of our The Best Comments of the Week here.

Metallica Drummer Reveals How Cool His Dad Is for 90th Birthday

(Instagram/larsulrich)

“Happy Birthday Dad. Happy Birthday Molly [Torben’s longtime partner]! And congrats on the big week with the release of not one, but two books, the opening of the Art exhibition and the completion of the latest movie… so fuckin’ inspiring on every level possible!

“And what may be the biggest accomplishment of all, the whole gang being in Copenhagen for four days without a single ‘Hurra, hurra etc’ song per your request!

Make sure to scroll through his second post because it includes 10 awesome photos of Lars and his dad through the ages.

“Since we are Danish and the Danes take their ’round’ birthdays very fuckin’ next-level serious, here is some additional shouting out to my beyond inspirational Dad on his 90th for your viewing pleasure!! Far forhelvede, you’re the coolest of the cool.. do NOT delete that!”

I’m not crying… you’re crying.

Torben has always been a supporter of his son and his music career, but many don’t realize his own amazing story.

Born on October 4, 1928 in Copenhagen, Torben Ulrich was the son of professional tennis player Einer Ulrich.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Torben became a tennis pro himself. He played more than 100 Davis Cup matches for Denmark and, in 1977, right before turning 49, he became the oldest Davis Cup player in history.

Danish tennis player Torben Ulrich at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, London, 24th June 1970. (Photo by William Lovelace/Daily Express/Getty Images)

He wasn’t just an athlete, however. During his years playing professional tennis, Torben also worked as a writer, musician, filmmaker, painter, actor, and director.

The “do NOT delete that” message at the end of Lars’ post is in reference to a line Torben is known for saying in the Metallica documentary, “Some Kind of Monster.” Lars mentions about that moment:

“Metallica fans know that he’s been a fairly large presence in and out of Metallica’s history for 35 years. There’s a famous clip in ‘Some Kind of Monster’ – a scene where he comes to listen to some of the stuff we were working on [for 2003’s ‘St. Anger’] – he’s standing over the mixing desk and he doesn’t look too pleased.

“And I ask him, ‘What do you think of this music?’ There’s a long, long, long pause, and he goes, ‘I would delete that.’ [Laughs] A lot of Metallica fans know him by association, so it’s very cool.”

Such camaraderie between a famous father-son duo is something rarely seen these days, but it’s like a breath of fresh air when it is.

Happy Birthday, Torben!