Screentime: How Gonzo Made Me A Bad Parent

(YouTube/YouTube Movies)

On Being A Good Parent

Being a good parent means a lot of different things to different people, but one of the things it means to me is this: I will always try my hardest to take time and answer my daughters’ questions. She may have asked who’s shoes those are 16 times in the past 10 minutes, but each time I calmly respond “Those are your shoes, that’s why you’re wearing them.”

This philosophy also means that when the time comes that I don’t have an answer for her, I’m committed to finding one. I expected that time to come around when she started school, but as it happened it came this year when she is but 2 and a half.

On The Muppets

My daughter loves The Muppets. The first movie she ever sat through was Muppet Family Christmas. She has watched every episode of The Muppet Show at least twice. I maintain that this love comes entirely naturally to her, and has nothing to do with my own Muppet fandom.

So it was only natural that one day she would point at Gonzo and say “Daddy, What That?”

We’d been through this before with the other Muppets, and it had gone swimmingly. “That’s Kermit,” I’d say, “He’s a frog.” “Kernit. Frodd” she’d repeat happily. Miss Piggy (Pig), Fozzy (Bear), The Swedish Chef (Chef). Easy stuff. But now we came to this. The first question I did not have the answer to.

What. Is. Gonzo?

The Muppets have been around for four decades. During that time they have starred in 8 theatrical movies, 9 TV shows and 26 TV specials. Kermit and his crew have used those productions to ask some troubling questions: What would the offspring of a frog and a pig look like? Can Michael Caine dance? What if Tim Curry was a pirate? Questions I’ve struggled with and bested. But to answer my daughter’s question, I had have to peer deeper into the heart of the Muppetverse than any man should ever peer. I have braved the Muppet wilderness, and this is what I have brought back.

Here we go.

(YouTube// Walt Disney Studios Australia)

 

On Reality Itself

Of course, you probably think you already know the answer to my daughter’s question. “What is this idiot on about?” you think to yourself, “Gonzo is an alien.”

This idea was first put forward in 1999’s Muppets From Space. In fact, the entire plot of Muppets From Space is concerned with Gonzo’s “people” coming to earth to take him home. Case closed, column finished, move on.

Not so fast, bucko. What makes you so sure Muppets From Space is real? What makes you think its telling you the real story behind Gonzo? Its long been the conceit of Muppet movies that they are either presenting a fictionalized version of the real story or are just completely fabricated.

This tradition goes all the way back to 1979 and The Muppet Movie. The film begins and ends with a segment showing all the Muppets attending a screening of The Muppet Movie in a theater. Kermit explains that the movie depicts the Muppet’s arrival in Hollywood “approximately how it happened”. It’s therefore clear that Kermit et al. are merely actors playing themselves in a semi-autobiographical work.

NOTE: One important caveat here is that Statler & Waldorf appear in the audience for the film but NOT in the film itself. They are merely members of the general public. (This idea is supported by both The Muppet Show and Muppet Family Christmas). It shows that not all muppets are Muppets. That is, not all muppet-like-creatures are Muppet cast members. Remember this, it’s important.

This idea is made even clearer in their follow-up film. Released in 1981, The Great Muppet Caper stars Kermit and Fozzie as identical twins who are journalists. Miss Piggy plays an aspiring model. Kermit et al. have the same relationship with their characters here that any actor has with theirs. The movie exists entirely in its own fictional universe, without reference to the established characters that we know. Heck, the whole production even begins with a song called “Hey, A Movie!” to cement this idea.

(YouTube//ZuzuFitzwaller)

On Non-fictional Muppet Movies

“Ok,” you think, “Great. The tradition of Muppet movies dictates that Muppets From Space is a fictional story, so Gonzo is not an alien.”

Good job! You solved my Gonzo riddle. Pour yourself a drink.

But hold on just one second! What if I told you that the markers that prove that The Muppet Movie and Great Muppet Caper are fictional stories aren’t present for ALL Muppet releases. In fact, there are three releases that don’t contain the combination of an explicitly fictional plot and impossible metatextual references that indicate a fictional Muppet movie. Those films are: Muppets From Space, The Muppets (2011) and Muppets Most Wanted. That’s right, the very movie that establishes Gonzo as an alien!

(YouTube//HTK1968)

Muppets From Space has all the Muppet cast, acting exactly within their established characters, living in a house together. The Muppets living all together is not a completely new idea. The extremely short-lived CBS series Little Muppet Monsters established a shared Muppet dwelling way back in 1985. It is, perhaps, unusual that Statler & Waldorf live with the rest of the cast. As discussed earlier, they have been established as members of the public. However, their increased involvement in sketches in later seasons of The Muppet Show may indicate that, at some point between 1987’s Muppet Family Christmas and 1999’s Muppets From Space, they became fully-fledged cast members. So there is nothing in characterization or setup to indicate that Muppets From Space is fictional.

How about any meta-textual weirdness? Gonzo may be given some hope by one line in which Pepe refers to the adventure being like a “Muppet movie”, but the comment in context is not that much more meta than something you or I might say to a friend. Still very ambiguous.

On Job Security

However, not all hope is lost. As any private eye worth his salt will tell you, sometimes clues come from the most unlikely source. Thus, in order to finally solve the mystery of Gonzo, we must follow the tracks an unlikely suspect, an obscure Muppet who seems entirely innocuous, but may actually hold the key that unlocks the mysteries of the Muppetverse.

Bobo The Bear.

(YouTube//dangersque37)

Bobo The Bear was a late addition to the Muppet universe. He first appeared backstage on Muppets Tonight as a security guard at KMUP, the TV station which airs Muppets Tonight. After that, he shows up again only in the TV Special A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa and in the movies Muppets From Space, The Muppets (2011) and as a cameo appearance in Muppets Most Wanted. That’s right, the 3 movies we’re interested in! Each of his major appearances give him similar roles, outside of the Muppet cast, and it is possible to trace quite a neat career path for Bobo just from these productions.

1996-1998: Muppets Tonight – At the start of the show, Bobo is already working as a security guard for KMUP.

1999: Muppets From Space – At some point between the end of Muppets Tonight and now, Bobo has moved into government work, presumably with a good reference from KMUP. He now works in a prominent position at C.O.V.N.E.T. While his position is not exactly a logical leap from security guard work, he seems to be a general henchman, which his skill-set and experience make him a good fit for.

2008: A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa – Bobo has remained in government work but has, at some point between 1999 and now, been significantly demoted (presumably after the disastrous mission depicted in Muppets From Space). He is now working as an airport security guard.

2011: The Muppets – After presumably getting tired of low level government jobs, Bobo has entered the private sector. He is now working for Tex Richman, as (you guessed it) a general henchman.

There are three important things to note here: First, Bobo’s appearances all see him play a specific type of role, which can be added together to give a consistent career path. Second, all of these roles place him in opposition to the main Muppet cast. He is not shown to be a member of the Muppet crew at any point, nor is he ever seen to be affiliated with their productions except in a tangential way.

Finally, and most importantly, most of his appearances occur in works which depict themselves as being non-fictional. Muppets Tonight is a continuation of The Muppet Show, the place where the established characters of The Muppets come from. A Muppet Christmas and The Muppets (2011) are set in a world in which The Muppets are all famous actors.

This all seems to suggest that Bobo is merely a member of the general public (NOT a Muppet cast member), whose various jobs have brought him into contact with the Muppets several times. His appearance as a henchman in Muppets From Space therefore cements its position as a non-fictional work. It’s much more plausible to accept that a former security guard would accept government work than to assume he would join a group of actors with whom he has butted heads in the past. Finally, we have confirmation: Gonzo is an alien, everything is great.

(YouTube//Activeaffiliates)

On Ricky Fuckin Gervais

And then Muppets Most Wanted shows up.

Muppets Most Wanted begins at the exact moment The Muppets ends. The big dance number finishes and the crowd dissipates. The first lines of the film are spoken: “And…. CUT!”

The Universe is torn asunder.

With two words, Muppets Most Wanted retroactively reveals The Muppets to be a work of fiction after all. Kermit et al., were just playing versions of their real selves.

At first this seems fine. Its just a fictional version of a true story, like The Muppet Movie. But the problems run deeper than that. Bobo’s presence ruins everything.

You see, the fact that Bobo has a role in the The Muppets means he is not just some hard-working security guard. He is a member of the Muppet’s cast. When did he join the cast? Was it in 2011, after leaving his government posting? Or was it in 1997, after Muppets Tonight? If it was any time before Muppets From Space in 1999, Gonzo’s status is unknown yet again.

But more than Gonzo’s species is at stake here. So much more. What if Bobo joined the cast even earlier? Has he been a cast member this whole time? Is Muppets Tonight also fictional? Is it all a sham?!

The implications of this are staggering. If Muppets Tonight is just another work of fiction, that means that The Muppet Show is too. Nothing is true!

(YouTube//dorcm1973)

Well…not quite. This state of affairs leaves one movie, one keystone holding all the others in place: Muppets Most Wanted. By revealing everything else, everything upon which The Muppetverse is built, as fiction, Muppets Most Wanted reveals itself as the only thing that is real. Walter, Costantine, Ricky Fucking Gervais. That’s the real, true story of the Muppets. Everything else is bullshit. They were just playing roles for 40 years. And now, finally, we know the truth.

But Muppets Most Wanted has one more trick up its sleeve. Right at the end, right at the climactic wedding scene, who shows up in the audience? Bobo The Bear. Its as if he’s saying “I’ve been here all along, hiding in plain sight. Everything you know is a lie.”

Epilogue

And so I return to my daughter a broken man. Not only do I not have the answer she seeks, but I have knowledge that to impart to her would be to destroy her world. It would be better had I never attempted to answer at all, if I had given up my researches and used that time to play with her and like, teach her to count or whatever. But what’s done is done.

Later she asks again. Pointing to Gonzo and looking up at me, all innocence.

“Daddy, What That?”

That’s Gonzo, honey. He’s a….whatever.

“Gondo. Whaever”

 

(YouTube//Sam P)

 

 

Father Figures: It Took Everything

“When our daughter was born, it took everything out of me.

Labour was close to 24 hours and a difficult delivery caused me to hemorrhage and lose a lot of blood. This took the rest of any energy I had left. It was hard to adjust to parenthood as we had to stay in the hospital for an extra couple of unplanned days.

The second night our daughter, Candice, refused to sleep unless it was on someone’s chest, and walking around. We were both completely zonked. Andy took her and spent hours walking around the room so that both Candice and I could sleep.

It was the first real sleep I had gotten in days. When I finally woke up, he looked so tired and while my heart ached to see him in such an exhausted state, I had to snap a picture as I had never been more in awe with him.

To this day, every time I look at this picture, I am flooded with emotions of gratitude and love for this man.”

– Catherine Capern

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

Crafty Dad Builds Epic Indoor Climbing Room for His Two Sons

Dad builds climbing room for sons
(SUPPLIED)

COVID has ushered in an unprecedented era of creativity. We’ve had to adjust seemingly overnight to an entirely new way of living, and for parents, keeping kids entertained without their typical activities has proved to be unexpectedly challenging. Many parents, however, have taken the challenge in stride and jumped feet-first into finding creative solutions. Mike Ross is one such dad, ensuring that not even a pandemic would slow his active family down.

The Ross Family
(The Ross Family)

“When the lockdown happened it really felt like we needed to use our own space to its fullest potential in order to keep sane and busy,” Mike told The Dad. “It felt hard to keep the kids active and motivated at times, they were (are) really missing their friends so we wanted to have some options for them.”

Mike and his wife have two sons, a 5.5-year-old and a 2-year-old. Early on in quarantine, Mike took on his first big project to keep his kids entertained at home – a backyard play-set given to him by a friend. Rather than assemble the play-set as it was, Mike decided to turn it into something that any kid would envy.

“We reassembled it and modified it slightly,” Mike said of his formerly run-of-the-mill play-set. “We added a cargo-net climbing wall (truck bed cargo net) and hung a hammock underneath. We added a climbing rope and a trapeze bar. Later we mounted the sprinkler to it… the creative juices started flowing about then.”

Backyard Set
(The Ross Family)

After successfully using the warmer months to the fullest, Mike wanted his kids to have a similar level of excitement about something they could use year-round. Prior to quarantine, Mike didn’t have a whole lot of woodworking experience – but like most dads, his kids provided both the inspiration and motivation to use what skills he had and learn the skills he needed.

Mike’s oldest son loves climbing, and his history of scaling anything from banisters to basketball nets sparked the idea for a climbing room. Mike’s wife broke the massive project down into doable chunks, and his brother stepped up to help him complete the challenging project. Though the climbing wall was technically for the kids, it truly became a family affair.

“We had been talking about it since November but had other priorities over the holidays so he (our oldest) knew it was coming and counting down the days but it wasn’t finished until the beginning of January,” Mike recalled. “Our 5yo insisted on being in the room and trying to help and was trying to get on it every chance he got (not annoying at all). As soon as it was secure and he got the go-ahead, he jumped right in and his little brother followed right behind. They were practically squealing with joy and looked like real little monkeys climbing the walls!”

“We have a chin-up bar in the doorway, a basketball net on the back of the door and a laser light bluetooth speaker in there too now. We are always thinking about new ways to play in there, they love(d) it!”

Indoor Climbing Wall
(The Ross Family)
Indoor Climbing Wall for Kids
(The Ross Family)
Kids Glowing Climb Wall
(The Ross Family)

Texas Teen and Her Grandfather Rescue Boy Who Fell Through Frozen Pond

Teen and grandpa rescue boy who fell through frozen pond

Sometimes being in the right place at the right time means the difference between life and death. During a winter that seems as full of surprises as the baffling phenomenon that was 2020, much of the U.S. can’t seem to catch a break. Texas was hit particularly hard by the abnormal weather, with freezing temperatures and snow that left the entire state in shock. Aside from the impact the weather had on necessities like electricity and water, many Texas residents themselves were unsure how to cope with the cold.

18-Year-old Caitlyn Thomas, like many Texans, was not a fan of the snow. Her dog needed a walk, but the cold made the generally enjoyable task completely unappealing. Unbothered by the snow and ice caking the ground, Caitlyn’s dog persisted – and like any good dog owner, Caitlyn relented. She bundled up, leashed her eager dog, and the pair headed out for a walk.

Caitlyn held the leash in one hand and her phone in the other, likely distracting herself from the frost crunching beneath her feet. In a stroke of incredible luck, Caitlyn’s attention returned sharply to her surroundings in the precise place and time it was needed.

“I was playing on my phone and then I look up and I see this little image in the water and I walk up to it and realize it a little boy,” Caitlyn told ArkLaTex Homepage. “It instantly clicked in my brain like, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to help him!’”

The panicked teen was unsure of how to describe the boy’s location to an emergency dispatcher, so she began pounding on nearby doors to no avail. The quick-thinking teen called her grandfather, Randy Thomas, who lived only a block away. Minutes later, Thomas arrived at the scene, not even taking the time to put on a coat.

Caitlyn dialed 9-1-1, but not wanting to wait any longer, Randy Thomas jumped in the water next to the boy. Fueled by adrenaline and the knowledge that time was running out, Thomas was able to pull the young boy from the frigid water with the help of a few good samaritans and even the boy’s dog. Though he was too cold to speak and missing his shoes, the boy was conscious and otherwise unharmed.

If one thing had gone differently for Caitlyn on that life-changing day, the story may have ended differently. An awe-stricken Caitlyn explained, “I’m just so thankful that God sent me out on a walk in that direction because I was debating on going a different way.”

The Dad Staff is donating to a collection of food and warming centers throughout Texas to help families in need. Impact Your World allows us to contribute to 14 organizations, including The Red Cross, Mercy Chefs, Austin Pets Alive, as well as local food banks in Dallas, Houston, and Austin. If you are able, please consider donating any amount here.

Two New Animated Transformers Series Are Coming

New Transformers Shows Coming
(Hasbro)

Sometimes, even with countless cable channels and streaming platforms and different ways to watch stuff, it boggles the mind that they keep making new shows. Especially when those new shows are just new versions of old shows!

We’re getting new He-Man shows, new Avatar shows, and now we’re getting a new Transformers show. Two of them, in fact!

On Thursday, Hasbro announced a brand new Transformers animated series that will live on Nickelodeon, and it will focus on the interaction between a brand new species of Transformers and the humans they befriend. As well as some well-known characters from the past.

“As soon as I read the creative concept, which at its core is about family, I knew we absolutely had to tell this story with our good friends at eOne and Hasbro,” said Ramsey Naito, President, Nickelodeon Animation. “The series will tell a reimagined story featuring both original characters and fan-favorites for a whole new generation of kids and families.”

Meanwhile, Netflix announced a new animated comedy series called Transformers: BotBots, which focuses on mischievous little robots who disguise themselves as ordinary objects and wreak hilarious havoc.

“We are delighted to partner with Netflix to bring an all-new Transformers story to life and explore a whole new universe with BotBots,” said Olivier Dumont, Hasbro eOne’s President of Family Brands. “Transformers storytelling has expanded into so many new avenues and we can’t wait to surprise both existing fans and new fans coming to the franchise for the first time with these fun bots who are definitely more than meets the eye!”

The toys, and their accompanying shows and movies, have been around since 1984, and it doesn’t sound like they’ll be going away anytime soon.

Unlike my Optimus Prime toy that the evil Ms. Giovine confiscated when I wouldn’t put it away during third-grade math.

New Superman Movie Being Written By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates Superman
(Getty/Ismael Quintanilla)

They’ve been trying to get Superman right for years.

Ever since Christopher Reeve embodied the character in Richard Donner’s classic (and its classic sequel), Hollywood has been trying to recapture that magic. It was gone as early as Superman III and hasn’t really been back.

Maybe you love Dean Cain or Tom Welling’s TV versions, maybe you ride for Zack Snyder’s gloomy, homicidal hero, but none of those versions have erased Reeve’s seminal take or brought the hero back to prominence. He continues to take a backseat to Batman, Spider-man, and most recently, the Avengers.

It’s time for some new blood, and now we’re gonna get it.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, the celebrated black writer who helped shape the MCU’s Black Panther and has been at the forefront of America’s discussions about race for the past decade-plus, has been tapped by DC and Warner Bros to write a new Superman movie. The movie is being produced by JJ Abrams, who once wrote his own controversial script for a Superman reboot before Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh revived Richard Donner’s version with 2006’s Superman Returns.

“To be invited into the DC Extended Universe by Warner Bros., DC Films and Bad Robot is an honor,” Coates said in a statement. “I look forward to meaningfully adding to the legacy of America’s most iconic mythic hero.”

The first question that’s going to come up is: are we getting a black Superman now? No one knows. They don’t have a script or a director yet, and casting is a long way away. But just because they’ve hired a black writer does not mean he has to write a black character (in fact, aside from the celebrated take on Black Panther, Coates also wrote a recent series for Captain America). Especially when that character is an alien inherently different from, and often at odds with, the culture he adopts. That said, a black version would certainly be a change of pace, and would offer some interesting opportunities.

“Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘Between the World and Me’ opened a window and changed the way many of us see the world,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “We’re confident that his take on Superman will give fans a new and exciting way to see the Man of Steel.”

Either way, there is plenty of metaphorical space to explore with this character, who was conceived by marginalized Jewish artists as a representation of American, and human, ideals and whose own outsiderness has been used to comment on plenty of societal issues, including immigration, civil rights, and more. As a symbol for America, the Big Blue Boy Scout is well within his rights to engage with the modern state of the country, and the world. And Ta-Nehisi Coates is a gifted writer with a keen eye for human issues, and will surely write a compelling character, whether they end up casting Michael B. Jordan or some blue-eyed kid from Riverdale.

The biggest question isn’t what Superman looks like, it’s how he acts, and what kind of tone the film has. For the past 10 years, the cinematic version of the most famous superhero of all has been focused on darkness, and grit, and inner turmoil. I think it’s time to move on from that.

Superman can exist in a complicated, troubled world without succumbing to that darkness himself. He should be a hero who strives to lead by positive example, who inspires us to be better, who shows us all what we can be.

No matter what color he is.

Chris Evans Comforts His Dog After Surgery by Stitching up His Favorite Toy

Chris Evans fixes dog's favorite toy after his surgery
(Instagram/chrisevans)

Human or animal, surgery is no fun. After a stressful hospital stay, all anyone recovering from an operation wants is to relax and heal in the comfort of their own home. Chris Evans, dog dad extraordinaire, has proven time and time again that he’ll do just about anything for his rescue dog, Dodger. The pair plays together, naps together, and are there for each other through thick and thin.

Without a doubt, Dodger is one lucky dog. He had a tough start, as an adult dog living in a shelter – puppies go quickly, but some adult dogs wait years before finding their forever home. In his first major stroke of luck, Dodger was discovered by Evans while the Captain America actor was filming a movie nearby. Ever since, the pair have been inseparable.

Even after finding his best friend, Dodger hit additional roadblocks. In July, Evans posted a photo on his Dodger-filled Instagram, a picture of his beloved pup recovering from surgery.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chris Evans (@chrisevans)

Dodger recovered well after his first surgery, but according to Evans, the resilient boxer-mix needed a second hip replacement. Like any doting dad, Chris was by Dodger’s side as soon as he was out of the animal hospital. This time though, Chris had an adorable surprise for the groggy pup.

“Hip replacement #2 completed! Such a trooper. He’ll be back in action in no time,” Chris shared on Instagram.

After the photo of Dodger’s stitched-up leg, Chris shared a photo featuring some slightly less professional, but extremely important stitches. The doctor was none other than the actor himself, and the patient? Well, Dodger’s other best friend.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Chris Evans (@chrisevans)

“Yesterday while he was in surgery, so was his favorite lion (which had been on IR since November after a nasty tear). I’ve never sewn anything before but I’m pretty proud of my hack job,” Chris said. “They’re both happily recovering in each other’s company.”

There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, dog, or human. But doing little things to show you care, even if they’re out of your comfort zone, truly makes you one of the greats.

“Silence of the Lambs” House Is Becoming a Bed and Breakfast

Silence of Lambs Home
(YouTube/The Sisters Sold It)

“The Silence of the Lambs” was partly about a man named Buffalo Bill who entertained a guest in his home. OK, he may have been a serial killer and the guest may have been kidnapped, but the new owner of the home featured in the film is hoping that will give it just enough charm for people to want to pay money to stay the night. Buffalo Bill’s house is becoming a Bed and Breakfast.

The new owner of the house, who bought it earlier this year for nearly $300k, plans to do some small renovations to make it more accommodating but will be keeping all of the creepy old-wallpaper, pocket doors, wood trim, and other furnishings that will remind fans of the movie.

The basement does NOT, however, have a well to torture victims in. The owner WILL, however, be adding said well. Though he claims it’s mostly for photo ops.

The three-story, four-bedroom house just outside Pittsburgh looks just as creepy as you remember it from the movie. And the timing is good, in a sense, as the film nears its 30th anniversary and the franchise receives a revival of sorts with the new “Clarice” show.

One of the previous owners of the home was an FBI agent, which is a fun little fact for such a creepy home. And soon you will be able to (try to) sleep in that creepy home.

Guests will be sure to receive only the finest lotion to put on their skin, and a sleepless night full of nightmares.

New ‘Breath of the Wild’ Style Pokemon Game and Diamond & Pearl Remakes Announced

Pokemon Shining Pearl
(YouTube/Official Pokemon)

Tomorrow, Pokemon celebrates it’s 25th anniversary… which is kind of insane to think about since that means I was 10 when the very first Pokemon game released.

Anyway, now that I’ve just realized how old I actually am, Nintendo dropped a couple of new announcements for fans today during a ‘Pokemon Presents’ livestream.

The first announcement was for Nintendo Switch remakes of Pokemon Diamond & Pearl.  Originally released on the Nintendo DS back in 2006, these new versions will both be releasing later this year and feature updated graphics on top of the classic Pokemon gameplay.

The other announcement is actually a pretty big deal since we’ve never seen this kind of gameplay before in the franchise.  A Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild style game called Pokemon Legends: Arceus will be releasing early 2022 and will break new ground for the beloved series.  It takes place in the Sinnoh region (the same one as Diamond & Pearl) but features a vast open-world for you to explore.  Check out the trailer down below.

Well Nintendo, ya got me.  It looks like my kids and I are going to be catching them all… again.

(imgur/djbws92)

NASA Engineer Helps Land Mars Rover From Daughter’s Childhood Bedroom

NASA dad watches Mars rover land
(Instagram/maddievsm)

Every job has different metrics for measuring success. Maybe you have regular performance reviews, sales goals to hit, or maybe being successful at your job means landing a freaking rover on Mars. Father and engineer Alejandro Miguel San Martin has worked for NASA for 35 years, and in that time, he’s made history time and time again. This time, however, San Martin’s daughter was able to capture the incredible moment on camera.

Because of COVID, NASA’s work on their most recent rover, Perseverance, has looked a bit different. Rather than working alongside his team in person, San Martin turned his daughter’s childhood bedroom into a makeshift mission control room.

“Touchdown! Never thought my childhood bedroom would become my dads covid mission control – but could not be more proud of the Jet Propulsion Lab EDL team!!!” Madeleine San Martín shared on Instagram. “5/5 for Mars Rover Landings, let’s celebrate!!”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Madeleine San Martín (@maddievsm)

In the heartwarming video captured by the NASA engineer’s daughter, San Martin quite literally jumps out of his chair with excitement upon learning that the Perseverance mission was a success.

“YES!!!” San Martin exclaims, throwing his hands in the air after receiving confirmation that Perseverance safely touched down. He kisses his daughter and puts his head in his hands, watching with tears in his eyes as his peers celebrate on screen. “Unbelievable” he marvels, both laughing and crying.

After 35 years with NASA, San Martin has helped land five rovers safely on Mars. Even after experiencing such massive success four times previously, the thrill of making a monumental mark in history clearly doesn’t get old. This NASA dad’s work is out of this world, and San Martin is over the moon about it.