Parenting, Rad Dads, And The Bagel Bites Jingle: A Conversation With Tony Hawk

What were you up to 17 years ago? I was spending inordinate amounts of time eating Bagel Bites and playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 on Nintendo 64. I’d jump from rail to rail, park bench to car to building, constantly on the grind… not literally of course. I was a lazy college student.

The real Tony Hawk was out there grinding for real. And crashing through coffee tables. (This iconic commercial just celebrated its 17th birthday!)

In addition to being the most influential skateboarder ever, Tony is a prolific media and entrepreneurial powerhouse: video game producer, actor (60 IMDB credits, including Sharknado 5!), skateboard emoji adviser, and philanthropist, making a big difference in low-income communities with The Tony Hawk Foundation.

That’s cool, but has he ever turned a Nosebluntslide grind into a McTwist grab while eating a Bagel Bite? Probably. But whatever.

My friends and I idolized Tony growing up. Still do. And he’s been a follower of The Dad for quite some time. As a dad of 6 himself, he’s very much “part of the club.” So it was super cool to catch up with him by phone for a quick chat.


JOEL WILLIS, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE DAD: What are you like as a dad? What is your parenting style? Has it changed or evolved over the years?

TONY HAWK: It’s definitely changed. I think I’ve learned to be more effective as I’ve gotten older and through experience. But I think that [all of my kids] are all different obviously. They all have different needs and different kind of attention that they want or require. It’s been fun to see them all develop their own interests. They all are very unique, and my approach is to be supportive of whatever it is they’re getting into.

If they really find their passion, I want them to explore and to have the resources to take it further. I think that’s probably how I’m most effective not just financially but in terms of really giving them the tools and giving them the confidence to go forward in something that maybe is untested. Because that’s exactly what I did as a kid. I started skating and it was the furthest thing from cool you could do. I just kept at it because I loved it. I didn’t know I was going to have any sort of career out of it, and I feel very fortunate that that’s what happened. But at the same time, I want them to have that same desire and passion in their life.

Totally. That’s great. I think anybody in any career or any pursuit can relate to that. I know I do. I used to work in IT, and I was there in what many would call a soul-crushing corporate job. I just like making people laugh and making memes and stuff, and now I get to do cool stuff like talk to you on the phone.

That’s exactly it. You never know where it’s going to take you, and if you embrace the challenges of it, you’ll go further than you ever imagined.

And I think that that lesson is so important for kids, the lesson of doing what you love, but also learning every aspect of it and being up for the challenge if things don’t go the way you expect, because those are probably the moments that are more defining and probably more important.

Exactly. Like that video with your daughter where you were helping her overcome her fear and go down the ramp on the board. So cool.

Oh, thank you. Yeah, I just set my phone in a cup that was nearby. Mostly because I knew that she would want to see it. I knew that if she did it, she was going to be excited about it and maybe not do it again, so I just wanted her to have documentation for herself. And then I thought it was such an interesting experience to see her have that doubt, but then have the confidence to really try it, and I was encouraging but I wasn’t trying to be overbearing or intrusive on her thought process.

So I felt like that was a fun thing to watch unfold, and that’s why I shared it with people.

I think the reason I loved it so much and related to it was your excitement. You were fired up. Amped up for her. Did she feel the same way?

She was very excited. She actually ran back up to do it again, because she didn’t want to lose that confidence that she had. I think that she thought she didn’t do it as well as she could have. So she ran back up and did it again. That particular ramp is actually at my office, so whenever she ends up at my office, her first go-to is to go up there to make sure that she can still do it.

With the Rad Dad Squad, I feel like a “rad dad” to me is when you’re able to get down on your kids’ level and play with them and do the things that they like to do, and love it just as much as they do because they do…

It gives them the self-confidence to keep doing it, and as long as you’re doing it and not being intrusive at the same time, that’s obviously a fine line. But the idea of this whole campaign with the rad dad squad is that we want to recognize those moments and those fathers that are really putting out that effort, and getting into what their kids are doing. Being silly, but also being engaged. I’m sure they do it to very little appreciation. So we want to recognize that.

I relate to that. That’s part of our goals at The Dad to recognize modern, involved dads who are going above and beyond and give them that recognition they may not get otherwise.

Right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NGUtX_RXq8

A little controversial here, but I want you to rate the Bagel Bites jingle in terms of musical artistry on a scale of 1 to 10.

You mean, “Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at suppertime?”

You got it.

I’m going to give it an 8, just in terms of memorization. And concise, or you know, impact. Effective impact. Because it’s not like you have to sing it all the way through to get there. It’s very to the point. I like that. It’s a concise message.

I consider it a commercial masterpiece. I ask this because in your commercial in 2002, the jingle was different. It was sort of like a hard rock remix. So I want to ask you if you were involved in that decision.

I was not directly involved in that decision, no. But I’m honored that my inclusion changed the vibe enough that I got my own signature version. Signature cover, let’s put it that way.

Yeah. The Tony Hawk remix of the Bagel Bites theme.

Yeah, the punk cover of the Bagel Bites jingle, absolutely. I brought that to the world.


Thanks for the chat, Tony.

If you’re a rad dad, you can chat with him too. 3 winners will be inducted into the Rad Dad Squad later in June and will get to hang with Tony on his skate ramp. Just post a video of your own rad dad moments using #RadDadSquad and #sweepstakes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta get back to the grind.

He DID Do That! Steve Urkel Actor Launches Marijuana Line

Jaleel White Weed
(Instagra/Jaleel White, PurpleUrkle)

The cannabiz is a legitimate industry now, with dozens of states having outright decriminalized or legalized marijuana. You can’t listen to a podcast or radio show without hearing the benefits of CBD. And even celebs are cashing in, with the latest being everyone’s favorite mischievously inquisitive neighbor Steve Urkel.

Actor Jaleel White, made famous as 90s nerd Steve Urkel on “Family Matters”, has launched his own brand of designer weed called ItsPurpl, including variants of the Purple Urkle strain. Maybe you’re less into the suspenders and the “Did IIIII do that?” vibes, because you’re a Stefan guy? He’s got you covered there, as the “Stefan” strain will be a cross of the Purple Urkle and a lighter-hued strain.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Jaleel White (@jaleelwhite)

White said the thing that always stood out to him was that there was no clear brand leader ‘for fire purple weed,…so why not me?’ He got connected with 710 Labs, the partner in this offering, through some chance encounters on flights and the rest is now history.

ItsPurpl launches on 4/20 (because duh) and will be on shelves in California and soon at other marketplaces. And White, a self-professed heavy smoker, said he understands the legacy of his character in the culture, and that he’s not taking his new venture lightly.

“The legacy of the character has just taken on its own life, I’ve been associated with something, an avenue of cannabis that’s respected and known,” he said. “My criteria was, ‘I cannot do this and put out a, you know, a boo-boo offering of no effort.’ ”He describes ItsPurpl as a lifestyle brand that celebrates adventure and food. “And what’s going to enhance adventure and food more than some bomb-ass weed?”

I mean, he’s got a point there, and while he delivers that line with the smoothness and suaveness of Stefan, it’s still technically a question, which harkens us back to the Urkel of yore. And that’s the blend he’s looking for by making his name in a new industry. And who wouldn’t want to support a fellow dad?

 

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A post shared by Jaleel White (@jaleelwhite)

Father Figures: All Worth It

“My wife and I found out that we were expecting our first child two weeks before the COVID lockdown, while simultaneously learning we had to move from California to Florida over that same summer for my wife’s career.

I had never felt such a tornado of varying emotions in my life. I was no stranger to moving; I was a military child until I started college. But this was different.

My wife and I spent almost three months apart while I moved our belongings cross-country flying solo, and she stayed home with her family for health safety.

Our daughter arrived in November, we had no health insurance, I couldn’t find a job because of the pandemic (I am a chef – we got hit hard), and the panic ensued – about income and taking care of my family.

We made it through after eight months of unemployment, and times are still hard, but every day I come home I get to see my daughter Lyla’s beautiful smile, and I don’t believe for a moment that it isn’t worth everything I have.

2020, and the future I’m sure, proved more to me than all my life before that I can handle anything, but being a dad makes it all worth it.”

– Eric Jackson

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

Rumored: Marvel Developing Wolverine Series For Disney+

Wolverine Series Disney+
(Marvel Comics)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been put on hold, at least until this summer, but the Marvel Televised Universe – or should it be the Marvel Streaming Universe? – is going strong on Disney+.

So far we’ve gotten WandaVision, are smack dab in the middle of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and have Loki on deck – with a whole slew of other shows in development. Much of the excitement about these shows revolves around their connections to the MCU, especially in terms of introducing new characters into the firmament.

Among the most speculated about characters are the X-Men, and WandaVision fueled that fire in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, Magneto didn’t materialize, and Quicksilver’s appearance was proven to be a tease. But that doesn’t mean the X-Men aren’t coming soon.

A new rumor from That Hashtag Show suggests they may be coming very soon, in the guise of the most famous mutant of all: Wolverine.

According to THS, Marvel is currently developing a new series based around the hirsute, adamantium-clawed, borderline immortal mutant. The show is purported to be an anthology series that tackles a different storyline each season, with the first season tackling Project X. Future seasons could potentially tackle the acclaimed Japan storyline, and perhaps Old Man Logan, both of which have been touched upon one way or another in the Fox film series.

The big question any time a new Wolverine project is discussed is the question of casting, and unfortunately, these rumors have no such tidbits. This hasn’t stopped the internet from throwing names into the mix, like The Boys’ Anthony Starr and Karl Urban, Rocketman’s Taran Egerton, and more.

Obviously, Marvel is the standard for superhero stories, and everyone is dying for their takes on Wolverine and the other X-Men. The first few Fox movies were good, and Logan was great, but the MCU has a shot to Trump them all. But would they start on TV?

Frankly, the idea of Marvel introducing one of the marquee characters on Disney+ instead of on the big screen seems a bit unlikely to me, but the dominance of streaming, especially over the past year, has changed the game. Anything is possible.

Except Danny DeVito getting the role. Unfortunately.

Kevin James To Play Saints Coach Sean Payton in Netflix Movie

The King of Beating Altanta
(Twitter/Saints)

We are currently in the middle of the NFL’s off-season, and most of the conversations around the league are about the upcoming draft. But in his latest Football Morning In America column, well-known NFL writer Peter King dropped a bomb: they’re making a movie about Saints coach Sean Payton.

Payton has been the head coach of New Orleans since 2006, and his team is undergoing some major changes this off-season after longtime QB Drew Brees announced his retirement. Together, Brees and Payton won the city’s first and only Super Bowl back in the 2009 season, which you’d think might be the subject of the movie. But no. It’s actually about Payton’s job coaching… his son’s 6th-grade team?

The movie is called “Home Team” and will focus on the 2012 season when Payton was suspended for Bountygate and spent his off-time coaching his son’s team. The movie will air on Netflix and is being produced by Adam Sandler’s production company Happy Madison. The kicker? Payton will be portrayed by Sandler crony and former King of Queens Kevin James.

James is best known for his starring role on the aforementioned King of Queens sitcom and is most mocked for his role as Paul Blart: Mall Cop, in which he plays an overweight, Segway riding mall security guard. Legendary NFL journalist Peter King pointed out that he’ll need to “drop a few pounds” to play Sean Payton, but let’s be serious here: Payton isn’t about to return kicks or make any tackles. He stands on the sideline with a headset and a clipboard, I’m sure James will be fine.

He should also fit in quite well with kids, being that he has plenty of experience starring with Sandler in the Grown-Ups movies and other less-than-Oscar friendly fare that is perfect for juvenile sensibilities. It probably won’t be too goofy, though, since king reported that payton was able to read the script and suggest some changes.

Filming hasn’t started yet, but the trash talking has, as evidenced by tweets from the Saints and Falcons official team accounts.

The Falcons mocked the casting using a familiar poster:

And the Saints fired back:

Hopefully, the movie is as entertaining as the Saints/Falcons rivalry!

New York State Trooper Finds Missing Toddler on Mountain, “She Wouldn’t Let Go”

New York state trooper finds missing toddler on mountain
(YouTube/CBS New York)

When a child goes missing, time is of the utmost importance. With each passing minute, kids are exposed to more potential danger as they stray father away from safety. No parent should have to find themselves in a situation like this – but if they do, hopefully, they have a brave and experienced team like the New York State Troopers on their side.

On a Saturday in late March, the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office received a chilling call. A 2-year-old girl had gone missing, and in all likelihood, she had slipped out of her house and wandered off. The girl’s home was just half a mile from a nearby mountain, and streams and ponds punctuated the space in between.

“These missing kids, it can go really bad. It’s time-sensitive depending on the time of year, so although it was a nice day the temperature was dropping,” New York State Trooper Brian Hotchkiss told Rochester First.

At first, Hotchkiss and the other law enforcement agents knocked on doors in the girl’s neighborhood hoping that somebody had seen the toddler in her bright pink shirt. But as the minutes ticked by, Hotchkiss and two fellow troopers made a decision – they were going to climb the nearby mountain.

In reality, it was a long shot. An entire mountain to search with only three people was a huge undertaking, and it seemed unlikely a 2-year-old could climb a mountain that took three adults an hour to climb – but the troopers were determined to leave no rock unturned.

After reaching the top, the troopers’ search continued. They scanned the tree-filled mountain top, a dense green and brown collage. Suddenly, a small splash of pink caught Hotchkiss’s eye.

“I followed the stream and I located the child,” Hotchkiss recalled. “She was lying on her stomach on a rock, and I ran over as quick as possible and I saw her arm move and I knew she was alive and my heart just dropped. I was so excited, I ran up she hugged me immediately, she wouldn’t let go.”

One of the heroic troopers wrapped the shivering girl in his uniform, and before long, the 2-year-old was safe under the care of a local hospital.

“I still can’t get that out of my head, her turning over and looking at me and throwing her hands up in the air. I’ll never forget that.”

LeVar Burton: ‘No One Is Better Suited Than Me To Be Next Jeopardy Host’

Van Dyke Backs LeVar Burton
(Change.org)

“Jeopardy” continues to move through its interim hosts as the search continues for a permanent replacement for legend Alex Trebek. We’ve seen the favorite, Ken Jennings, we’ve seen a producer who wants the big job, and we’ve even seen an NFL quarterback. There’s one person the internet has been DEMANDING gets a shot, and it’s astonishing Jeopardy hasn’t yet listened: LeVar Burton.

It started as a petition to get the “Reading Rainbow” star a chance as an interim host, and it’s started to gain traction after Burton shared the petition himself. Then Hollywood royalty and all-around good guy Dick Van Dyke shared it. Now, Burton is actively campaigning for the spot, telling Entertainment Weekly he knows he’s the best choice.

“I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is better suited for this job than me, and I will go to my grave believing that,” he said. “I think my whole career is an advertisement for being the host of Jeopardy.”

Burton is emboldened by the overwhelming support from fans online, as more than 200,000 have signed the petition. And he rattled off his credentials to EW and honestly, it’s hard to argue against him. He cited his lifelong fandom of the show, as he started watching even before Alex Trebek was even the host. He watched the show almost every night of his life, he dominated celebrity Jeopardy when he got his shot in the 90s.

Not only is he a huge Jeopardy fan, but he is a tremendous advocate for learning and curiosity. And he brings fans from multiple demographics, from Gen X to millennials. Burton is getting more vocal about wanting a shot, saying he believes producers have to be paying attention.

“And I hope they weigh this campaign as a factor in my favor.”

Even the New York Public Library endorsed him in his bid.

With a groundswell of support behind him, there’s only one question for the Jeopardy powers that be that is unaccompanied by the traditional answer-first: What are they waiting for?

Looking For a Great Co-Op Game? ‘It Takes Two’ Is the Best Of the Best

(Electronic Arts/Hazelight Studios)

The only video game my wife and I play together is World of Warcraft.  I’ll play pretty much anything, but she’s very particular.  Trying to convince her to play something different has always been a challenge… that is until a little game called ‘It Takes Two‘ graced us with its presence.

If you haven’t heard of it, It Takes Two is a breath of fresh air and one of the best co-op games you’ll ever play.  The story features some heavy themes, but it’s also really funny, heartwarming, and feels real… even when you’re being chased by giant microphones that act like snakes.

It Takes Two begins with Cody and May in the process of getting a divorce.  They can’t get along like they used to and unfortunately, they have to break the news to their daughter Rose.  Rose acts like it’s fine, but sneaks off to the tool shed.  There, she brings out this “Book of Love” she found, written by Dr. Hakim, the “world-wide bestseller and famous expert on love”.  She pleads and cries on hand-made dolls that look like her parents, asking for them to stay together.  Her tears fall onto the dolls and something magical happens.  Cody and May fall asleep, only to reawaken as the dolls.  Terrified, confused, and just wanting to get back into their real bodies, The Book of Love (which is now very much alive) explains that they have to fix their relationship to break the spell.  This is where the fun begins.

As Cody and May, you make your way through different areas around your home.  You’ll climb the massive tree in the yard and even go through a giant toy castle that Cody built with his daughter.  Working together is everything in this game, and trust me when I say that you’ll be working together.  It Takes Two is literally built from the ground up for co-op.  Everything you do requires two players, making it impossible to beat this game by yourself.  Each puzzle is cleverly designed and you’ll be talking things out with your partner, constantly trying to figure things out.

Yep, I’m flying the underpants plane and that’s my wife fighting a squirrel (Electronic Arts/Hazelight Studios)

The variety of different gameplay and genres you’ll come across is also pretty staggering.  It Takes Two features platforming, fighting, flying, swimming, Diablo-style gameplay, and there’s even a nod to Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road. One minute you’re riding on top of frogs across a pond, next, you’ll be flying a plane made out of Cody’s underpants while May has to battle a squirrel on top in a full-blown Mortal Kombat fight.  Seriously, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever had to do in a video game.  My wife and I couldn’t stop laughing and I was so zoned out watching her fight the squirrel, I crashed the plane the first time it happened.

If you do happen to crash the plane as I did, the nice thing about It Takes Two is there are no “lives”.  If you happen to lose all your health, you just come back right away.  If both of you fall at once though, you’ll have to start from the previous checkpoint.  The checkpoints are pretty frequent and this really helps take away some of the stress and frustration, allowing you to enjoy the gameplay and story.

The writing is fantastic throughout and the story isn’t as cut and dry as you’d expect.  It Takes Two deals with real situations and feelings, like losing interest in your favorite hobbies or the stress of raising a family and being happy.  Even though Cody and May are working together, they still mention that once it’s all over they’ll be able to get divorced.  You’re rooting for them to stay together, but at the same time, maybe it’s better if they separate?  The game asks questions like this throughout, and even though you are traveling from one magical and crazy set piece to the next, it keeps you engaged with these characters.  Trust me when I say you won’t want to stop playing until you find out if they really do live happily ever after.

If you’re looking for a new game and a fun co-op experience to play with your spouse or whoever you play games with, It Takes Two is the very best of the best.

It Takes Two is now available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, & PC

Adoption Ad for Chihuahua Described as a ‘Chucky Doll in a Dog’s Body’ Goes Viral

Adopt Dog that is chuckie
(Twitter/HLMongoose)

My kids are desperate for a dog.

Like anyone with a heart, they’ve always loved man’s best friend, but over the course of the pandemic, their desire for a furry friend has reached a fever pitch. I am reluctant, not because I dont want a dog – I’d love a dog! – but because I know the dog will become my sole responsibility.

And because we could end up with a dog like Prancer, a chihuahua that his owner is desperately attempting to get someone to adopt. After a fruitless search for a new owner, the dude decided to get brutally honest about Prancer, and the resulting post has gone viral, for good reason.

Prancer is “literally the Chihuahua meme that describes them as being 50% hate and 50% tremble.” Apparently, he was “raised” wrong by his original owner and is now a neurotic mess who has his family in the grips of a “demonic Chihuahua hellscape.”

The owner goes on to describe Pancer in the best/worst way:

“I was excited to see him come out of his shell and become a real dog. I am now convinced at this point he is not a real dog, but more like a vessel for a traumatized Victorian child that now haunts our home.”

It seems Prancer prefers women to an extreme extent: “He hates men more than women do, which is saying something.” She even uses The Office to describe the dog’s feelings towards him, “But you know that episode of The Office where Michael silently whispers ‘I’ll kill you’ to Toby? That’s Prancer having to begrudgingly coexist with everyone when I’m around.”

Oh, and don’t even ask about children. “Prancer wants to be your only child.”

The last portion of the post lists some of Prancer’s traits, but admits that “finding someone who wants a chucky doll in a dog’s body is hard, but I have to try.”

I might read this post to my kids just to scare them off getting a dog.

Check out the full posting on Twitter, and swing by New Jersey’s Second Chance Pet Adoption League if you want to take a chance on Prancer!

Playstation Exclusive ‘Days Gone’ Announced For PC With New Trailer

Days Gone Trailer
(Sony Interactive Entertainment)

While fans of the open-world zombie game are still wishing and waiting for Days Gone 2, Sony has announced the next best thing.

Days Gone, which was only available on PS4, will be making its way to PC on May 18th, 2021.  You can pre-order it now on Steam and Epic Games Store for $49.99 USD.

New features to the PC version include 21:9 ultra-wide monitor support, unlocked framerate, 1st, and 3rd party controller support, mouse and keyboard and much, much more.  You can check it all out in the new trailer down below.

If you haven’t played Days Gone, it’s a pretty great zombie game… now.  When Days Gone launched back in 2019, it had some major technical and gameplay issues.  Developer Bend Studio would put time and effort into updates to really polish it since then, turning it into something that you should definitely try out.  Days Gone drew comparisons to The Last of Us but it is very much its own beast.  Days Gone features an open-world where you can pick and choose your missions.  You can travel by motorcycle, and you actually need to worry about putting gas in it too.  Also, the zombies are called “Freakers” and dozens of them can appear on screen and attack you in a massive horde, making for a pretty intense experience.

I think it’s great that we’re continuing to see Sony release their exclusives to PC.  Horizon Zero Dawn was the first and Days Gone means they’re not stopping anytime soon.  Xbox has committed themselves to delivering their games across multiple platforms, so if Sony wants to keep up, this is definitely the best way.