Dan Fowlks: The Musical Dad Behind That Viral Video

(image via Dan Fowlks)

Have you seen this video? It’s very cute. I’m not going to steer you wrong when it comes to precious moments, I promise.

 

What’d I tell you? Cute, right?!

We here at The Dad like it, too. Executive Editor, Joel Willis, explains the appeal.

“I love this video so much because it shows an involved, cool dad bonding with his kid. This is what modern fatherhood is all about.”

At The Dad, we have quite a bit of absurd and ridiculous humor, along with some snark, but we also spotlight authentic dad moments. This video shows the genuine joy that comes along with all of that and makes it all worth it.

We wanted to learn more about Dan Fowlks, the man who charmed the pants off the world singing “Dream Lover” to his young daughter, Novie. I contacted him to find out what it’s like to be an involved, cool dad with a massively viral video.

The Dad: Hi Dan, we love the video! Where did the idea come from?

Dan: Over the years I have sung to my kids around the house. This particular song, “Dream Lover,” was one I was working on last year. One night, I decided to record myself so I could hear how I sounded. While my wife was taking the babysitter home from a date we were on, I started singing to my daughter, Novie. Her reaction to it caught me by surprise, so I kept singing and feeding off her energy. She was clearly enjoying it.

The Dad: It’s extremely cute. I’m usually pretty reserved but I was basically giggling and squealing the entire time. Tell me a little about how the video picked up steam on the Internet.

Dan: I shared it on my personal page in December and received some fun reactions to it on my friends list. In January, I came across the The Dad Online and figured it would probably be something they’d enjoy, so I tagged them. [The Dad Executive Editor] Joel reached out to me about posting it and I said “surely.”

Dan in the backyard with his son, Cope.

The Dad: We knew right away it was a special video. We were surprised it hadn’t gone viral already! You gave us permission to feature the video and it took off immediately. Since upload 3 weeks ago (on January 17), it has reached over 37 million people across the world, with over 2 million reactions and 17 million views on Facebook alone. Amazing.

Dan: I thought it was really nice to see so many people reacting positively to it. Then, the next day, seeing it had over 1 million views on The Dad, and then finding it on some European pages climbing over 10 million views! It started getting a little nerve-racking because it was one of those things that is out on the internet and there is no getting it back.

The Dad: What kind of responses are you getting?

Dan: The responses have been quite overwhelming. So many people watched it many times over and found joy from it, which has been quite rewarding. Some people commented that they turned off the Grammy’s to watch the video–that has the most humbling comment.

The Dad: A few people were worried that your daughter might fall off the bed. What do you have to say to ease their fears?

Dan: I knew she wasn’t going to fall off because I was literally right in front of her. Also, if she did fall off, the song would have ended and it would have been a moment that I would not have shared. It’s funny how people watching it think she is going to fall off and no matter how many times you watch the video something amazing always happens… she never falls off.

Halloween night, 2017.

The Dad: What do you think makes the video so special?

Dan: Seeing somebody so young react to good music is revitalizing and makes you wonder, where did she learn that? She was 10 months old at the time. Clearly, music is a special gift we have. Personally, I believe that we exist well before this life. Whatever other life that is, something remarkable happens when music touches our hearts and souls.

The Dad: Any celebrity feedback? Has Beyoncé seen it?

Dan: I was waiting to go in for an audition and looked at my phone and saw that Orlando Bloom shared the video to his social media. I had to take a double take at that.

The Dad: Have you learned any lessons about being a parent? Do you have any advice for your fellow dads out there?

Dan: From my experience with parenthood, I still just see myself as a “kid” who has kids (that might sound weird). Kids are not dumb; they are pretty smart and very observant. It is okay to get down to their level and simply talk with them. For instance, there have been moments when I needed to express that I have never been a parent before, so everything is as new to me as it is to them. I believe your kids will see you differently and that it is okay to make mistakes, correct them the best you can, but then move on.  

Music and being creative in the home has worked very well for our family, there was a time when I was doing a film that took me away for many days out of a month. Before I left, I sat down and drew a little sketch picture of me with my son and me with my oldest daughter. It was nothing of artistic merit to be hung in a museum, but they cherished it enough to hang it on their wall above their bed. Simple things like that, I feel, go a long way as a parent.

The Dad: What’s next for you, Dan?

Dan: Well, the sporadic world stage was an interesting experience, to say the least. For me, it is back to auditions, writing, and looking for opportunities to create. It has opened an opportunity to share more of my music, that I never thought would happen because I never thought so many people would ever hear me sing and play. It has been nice feedback, so I will be recording and getting some music out there, and hopefully, people will like what I have to offer.

Dan and his son watching the sunset in Southern Utah.

Dan has been a super nice guy throughout all of this. Dude’s got talent. He deserves all of the opportunities and attention he gains from the success of the video. We sent him a The Dad shirt and hope he wears it with pride.

Check out Dan Fowlks’s website and music.

 

Scientists Baffled By Toddler Who Woke At 4am, Refused Nap, “Seems to be growing more powerful”

(Getty/puhhha)

A 2-year-old in Cincinnati is defying everything we thought we knew about the science of sleep.

Despite waking for the day at 4am, she refused her afternoon nap and is now too wired to fall asleep at bedtime. Defying all laws of science, logic, God, and man, the child continues to refuse sleep. She has also been making noise nonstop for a record-breaking 16 hours.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” says leading sleep scientist Meredith Rischmann. “With the extremely early wake time and no nap, she should be MORE tired than usual, but it seems like she’s only getting more powerful. She’s in perpetual motion, working indefinitely without an energy source, and we can’t explain it.”

“I can barely keep my eyes open,” states her dad, “We’re getting desperate. There seems to be no end in sight.”

Scientists are unable to explain how the child has not passed out and refuses to settle down, despite being read 3 bedtime stories and given a drink of water. People from the community are rallying around the family, with one neighbor suggesting lavender essential oils, to little avail.

“We tried putting a drop of lavender oil on her pillow, and it’s almost like the nice smell had no effect on her at all!” says her dad.

In a shocking exclusive interview, the toddler in question was asked when she planned to sleep and she screamed, “NEVER!” The child then began levitating and glowing with blinding white heat in a state of pure, uncontrolled energy.

Her exhausted mother was unable to comment, as she had fallen asleep on the couch despite the extremely loud conditions.

This Just In…is The Dad Faking News. Despite being completely plausible to parents, it’s satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. For more stories like this one click here.

Retiring Pilot Ends Final Flight By Pinning His Wings On Toddler With Down Syndrome

(Joe Weis | American Airlines)

An American Airlines pilot retired earlier this month after more than three decades, and his final flight was one he will never forget. On his Miami-bound flight, Captain Joe Weis was in the cockpit for the final time, while his wife was in the cabin, making friends with a mother and young child.

The child was a 2-year-old boy with Down syndrome, and he was making the return journey of his very first plane trip. When Joe heard about the boy’s special trip happening on his final flight, he invited the boy into the cockpit (after landing, he’s not breaking any rules on his final flight) and pinned his official captain wings onto the toddler.

“It’s so amazing what he did. The whole thing was so cool,” the boy’s mother told the Orlando Sentinel on Friday.

The boy smiled, clapped and said “thank you” in sign language after Captain Joe pinned his wings on him. His mother said she still talks about the moment and Weis’ former employer, American Airlines, said in a statement they were touched by Captain Joe’s actions.

For his part, Weis said he would never forget it.

“Since it was my last flight, and his first, we wanted to make it special,” he wrote on Facebook.

 

 

Redditors Share The Daddest Things Their Dads Have Ever Done

(Wikimedia Commons | Reddit)
Has your dad cracked a dad joke during a Seger song? Maybe blocked the thermostat with a New Balance sneaker? These Redditors weigh in on the daddest things they’ve ever witnessed their dads do.

1. An alternative to turning this car around.

2. If you’re hungry, he’s Austria.

3. Roasted. Er, sorry, baked.

4. God bless servers for dealing with our dads…

5. …and cashiers…

6. …and imaginary telemarketers.

7. This one might take a second.

8. Father knows your hot dog cravings best.

9. Checkout lines are like open mic workshops for dads.

 

Check out the full list here. Tell us about the daddest thing you’ve ever seen (or done!) at [email protected]. Include a pic or a video and we may feature you so that the whole world can share in your cringe.

Doctor Delivers Baby While Dressed As The Joker

(JUSTIN SELPH)

Having a baby is a pretty scary thing. And that’s before you even consider the physical toll of going through labor! Adding a tiny, helpless creature to your life, one that you’re entirely responsible for on every conceivable level for at least the next two decades of your life is a pretty harrowing event.

It’s important that you have the support you need, both during and after pregnancy. A caring, helpful, knowledgeable doctor and healthcare team that you trust is paramount. Knowing you and your baby are in good hands is essential to managing stress and surviving labor and the first few weeks post-delivery.

A sense of humor helps too. Especially if you go into labor on Halloween.

That’s what happened to Brittany Selph, who had a due date of November 5th but didn’t quite make it. Instead, she found herself at the hospital, being assisted in her delivery by… The Joker?

Thankfully, it wasn’t the actual Batman villain but was her physician, Dr. Paul Locus, an obstetrician at the Henry County Medical Center in Paris, Tennessee who was fully decked out in Heath Ledger’s Joker look when he delivered Brittany’s daughter Oaklyn.

“My wife’s due date was Nov. 5, but that obviously didn’t happen. She woke up Halloween morning to her water leaking,” Brittany’s husband, Justin Selph, told PEOPLE. When they arrived at the hospital, they saw their doctor in costume as DC’s iconic supervillain. Luckily, they weren’t so serious.

Knowing full well it was a little odd, Dr. Locus was more than prepared to shed his costume and deliver the Selph’s baby in a more traditional outfit, but the couple was comfortable with him, and assured him it was fine. In fact, instead of being bothered, the couple was actually enthusiastic, and totally down to clown!

“We found it very humorous and a little excited that we would have a baby delivered by The Joker.”

The delivery went off without a hitch, and now the couple has one heck of a story, and some insane photos to go with it!

“There my wife is, staring the Joker straight in the eyes while delivering our baby, what a sight!” Justin says. “I was holding her leg up, and snapping pictures! I was going to go Facebook Live, but the nurse cut me off!”

“[Dr. Locus] was a great sport about the whole situation, and took photos with our family,” Justin adds. He even swung by the next day and delivered a congratulations card. He signed it, “Dr. Joker.”

Some men just want to cut the umbilical cord.

Pixar’s Onward Trailer Showcases a Sentimental and Strange New Tale

Pixar has tackled a lot of strange stuff over the years. Toys that come to life when humans aren’t looking. An elderly widower who attaches balloons to his house and flies to South America. Cars that talk.

Like Disney, the animation studio is also no stranger to sentiment and grief. The Toy Story toys are stricken by their owner’s increasing maturity. Nemo is infused with the fear and sadness of loss. The first ten minutes of UP are legendarily tear-jerking. Even Cars has… okay, maybe not Cars.

Onward, Pixar’s latest movie, features the voice talents of Star Lord and Spider-man themselves, and while it looks like a fun, and funny, supernatural romp, it also looks weird as hell and sad AF.

Before we even get to the weird stuff, there’s weird stuff. Chris Pratt and Tom Holland voice brothers who appear to be elves, or trolls, who live in the modern world? Or something? And there’s magic, but not as much as there used to be? It’s a little confusing. Then we learn that the boys’ dad passed when the brothers were too young to remember him, and on the youngest’s 16th birthday, they get a gift from him: his wizard staff. Because apparently he was a wizard. And he left a spell too, that allows his kids to resurrect him, but only for a day.

This is where the sentiment comes in, because if Tom Holland’s delivery of “I’m gonna meet dad?” is any indication, this movie is gonna be dusty.

The boys set off to use the spell to conjure up their dad, but something goes awry. And this is where the weird comes in: they only manage to resurrect his legs. I told you it was weird!

The trailer shows the brothers on a quest to conjure the rest of their dad as they encounter a whole world of magic that they never knew existed. It’s like Weekend at Bernie’s crossed with Harry Potter.

Here’s the synopsis:

Two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, go on a journey to discover if there is still a little magic left out there in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.

And here’s the trailer!

World-Class Violinist Volunteers to Play Music for Shelter Dogs

(ASPCA)

Just because man’s best friend can’t read music, doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy it.

Professional violinist Martin Agee has played in world-renowned concert halls during his career, from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House, but lately, he’s been spending his time entertaining an audience of the four-legged variety. Every few weeks, he brings his violin to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Adoption Center in New York City and the effect it has on the dogs is incredible.

“The instant the bow hits the string, you get a reaction like, ‘What just happened?’ It’s stunning to see,” he told the TODAY show.

Agee started volunteering at the ASPCA more than two-and-a-half years ago as a way to cope after losing his greyhound rescue, Melody. In light of the joy Melody brought into Agee’s life, he signed on as an adoption coordinator at his local shelter.

During his time, he became more and more interested in the ASPCA’s storytelling program, where volunteers would sit down and read to dogs as a way to help calm and facilitate rehabilitation for animals who had been abused.

(ASPCA)

“I almost jokingly said to some people, ‘Well, maybe I’ll play my violin for the dogs when I’m there,’” he recalled. “Little did I realize that that would become a reality.”

The reaction to the music was immediate and amazing. Energetic dogs settle down in order to listen. Shy dogs dare to wander closer to the front of their enclosures to see. It’s almost as if it brings these animals to a calm equilibrium.

“It’s really incredible to watch the impact his music has on the dogs and how quickly they respond,” Kris Lindsay, senior director at the ASPCA, told TODAY.

(ASPCA)

The only hard part is that Agee gets attached to many of the dogs through his music, making it harder to say goodbye when they finally get adopted, but he knows that finding new, loving homes is always the primary goal.

“And maybe there will be music there as well,” he said with a smile.

Gordon Ramsay Admits He Fainted During Son’s Birth

(Instagram/gordongram)

Beloved chef and professional rage monster Gordon Ramsay is officially a father again. Welcoming his fifth child, Oscar, into the family, the fiery-tempered Masterchef host admitted that this one wasn’t just another trip to the hospital. Yes, this potty-mouthed bad boy of the culinary world finally met his match when the sight of his newborn son actually caused him to faint.

“Tana didn’t want to see me there for previous births, she said ‘I don’t want you to see me in this state so get out.’ This time around, I was there and I absolutely shit my pants. I fainted. I literally dropped on the floor,” Ramsay recalled on the Jonathan Ross Show.

“I was sat there and Oscar popped out through the sunroof and then they sort of throw you on him and he’s screaming and I fell back, the nurse grabbed me.”

For a man so accustomed to screaming, you wouldn’t think hearing it from an infant would affect him so strongly.

Even the soothing soundtrack of Ed Sheeren in the background wasn’t enough to keep Ramsay calm and conscious.

“I put Ed on to calm everybody. I put Ed on then I blacked out, I fainted like an idiot. Have you ever been in the [operating] theatre where there is so much commotion, so much going on? And then bang. I’ve never fainted in my life, by the way, that was the first time.

 

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Lunch with my boys @_jackrams3y_ @oscarjramsay @prawnonthelawn #padstowharbour

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The hardass chef then confessed that he simply doesn’t have what it takes to deliver babies (besides the obvious reasons): “It’s scary, it’s full on also they are experts [the doctors] and I’m a control freak so I was like ‘Get me the hell out of here, please.'”

Ramsay miraculously survived the daring experience of watching someone else give birth though, and he’s finally kicking back and relaxing with his new, terrifying bundle of joy.

“He is six months, it’s extraordinary, also for the rest of the kids it’s just a welcome bundle of joy. And boy, does that take you back!”

Congrats, Chef. Just try and leave the pants-shitting to him from now on. Okay, big guy?

Just in Time For Spooktober, Family Basement Fills With Blood

(YouTube/WHO-HD)

Owning a home is a milestone. For many, it’s a lifelong dream. The American dream, some might say. I don’t know own one myself, and while I sometimes dream of it, there are things that give me pause. The constant maintenance seems like a hassle, and I’ve seen friends deal with troublesome repairs and renovations. When I hear about that stuff, the benefits of having a landlord to handle it all seems better than ever.

And then I read a story like this one, and I’m never more excited to be able to move apartments at will. Because if this happened to my home, my instinct would be to burn it to the ground!

The funny thing is, the family in the story was already preparing to sell their home. I imagine this incident will merely accelerate their timeline. It’s not like anyone is itching to stay in a house that occasionally fills up with blood.

That’s right, Nick Lestina and his wife and five children live in Bagley, Iowa, and the other day they opened the door to their basement and saw that the room was filled with blood. Somehow they are not several states away, but have instead been the subject of dozens of news stories. If it bleeds it leads, especially during Halloween season!

Thankfully, the source of the blood isn’t a pair of elevators that go down to the basement, or anything else Stephen King related, but a meat processing company that is next door to the Lestiva’s home and shares some pipes with the family. They’ve lived next door for ten years and never had an incident, but this time something went awry.

Lestiva reported it immediately and Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources confirmed that it was indeed animal blood, fat, and bones, which Dahl’s Meat Locker had been pouring down a floor drain that’s connected to the family’s pipes. Unfortunately, the business has not exactly been cooperating with its neighbors.

“They haven’t reached out at all. In fact, they haven’t taken any accountability for it,” Lestina told KTIV. “They say it’s not their fault and told me ‘good luck.’ If I want to do anything about it, it’s on my dime and my schedule.”

Yikes. Talk about a horror movie. Probably easier to just burn the place to the ground!

Watch the footage below, if you can stomach it!

Father Figures: Could Not Be Happier

“My wife and I spent the first 2.5 years of our marriage assuming that when we were ready we would be able to get pregnant without issue.

When we first started trying, tests and attempts came back discouraging time and time again. Finally after months of trying we were pregnant. We went to the doctor and they confirmed our prayers had been answered. Shortly after our appointment, our excitement was crushed. We woke up in the middle of the night knowing something was wrong. We went to the ER and found out we were having an ectopic pregnancy and lost our precious baby.

A couple months after that we suffered a miscarriage as well. Feeling completely dejected and beaten down we started losing hope.

We then went to an amazing reproductive endocrinologist to help with our journey. Fast forward about a year later, Ford Michael Dietrich was born and we could not be more in love. Being a dad is the best thing ever and I could not be happier.”

– Mike Dietrich

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.