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.

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.

Madman or Legend? This Guy Played Dark Souls With a Controller Made Out of Pizza

This takes the term “greasy controller” to a whole new level.

Youtube/Twitch streamer SuperLouis64 recently decided that Dark Souls wasn’t hard enough, so he needed a real challenge.  Using a special HRD board along with some wires, he plugged them into pizza slices.  He explains that “Each pizza slice is its own button. For example, I have pizza for movement, and then I have pizzas for attacking and dodging.”  Oh, and if you’re wondering how he could heal his character, he would have to take an actual bite of pizza.  I mean, he probably could have just pushed on the pizza that was designated for healing, but that wouldn’t be any fun now would it?

Dark Souls is already a pretty punishing game.  Not only do you need to really learn the world and how to navigate it, one small mistake will cost you your life.  Once you’ve finally mastered how to get through said area, there’s always a boss at the end that is ready to destroy you.  Learning their movements and abilities is integral to your survival.  It can all be pretty intense and punishing.  Now, imagine doing all of that with a controller made out of pizza.  This man is a legend or a madman depending on how you look at it.  If you’re interested in watching the stream with the pizza controller, I’ll leave the link to the actual stream on his Twitch channel here.

This isn’t the first time SuperLouis64 has played Dark Souls with food.  A year ago he used a banana as a controller.  If he’s going to continue this trend and is taking ideas, I would like to request that he play Dark Souls on the KFC console with a controller made out of chicken next.  It just seems like the next logical step.

Paul: Always Has A Moment

“My boyfriend Paul and I have two daughters together (who are ten months apart in age) and I have an almost teenage son from a prior relationship. Life is extremely busy for us, so finding time to get things done for ourselves that we want to do is extremely hard to come by.

Paul loves tooling around in his garage, and sneaking out to do so without a child noticing is a feat we haven’t quite mastered yet.

Our oldest daughter Lily is a complete daddy’s girl and loves doing everything her dad does. Whether it’s watching football, playing outside in the dirt, listening to heavy metal music or cars revving their engine, if her dad’s doing it, so is Lily.

No matter how much he wants to sneak a couple quiet moments for himself, being dad is always a priority, and he always has a moment for his babies.”

– Lindsay Jolly

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

‘The Flash’ Set Photos and Footage Show Batfleck Back In Action

Ben Affleck is having quite the 2021.

The Dunkin Donuts enthusiast is back together with old flame JLo, back together with old friend Matt Damon, and back together with old frenemy Batman, Batfleck.

Unlike Zack Snyder’s Justice League, this isn’t Affleck doing some reshoots to patch together his director’s original vision. This is the Good Will Hunting star actually suiting up as the Dark Knight for a brand new movie. The movie is The Flash, and is primarily about the red speedster, who somehow crosses timelines and interacts with multiple Batmans from different universes, leading to both Affleck and Michael Keaton appearing onscreen as Batman and/or Bruce Wayne.

We already know Tim Burton’s Wayne Manor is returning, as well as his Batmobile, and now, thanks to some photos taken on the set in Glasgow, we’ve learned that Michael Keaton’s Batman isn’t the only one bringing his toys. Batfleck is bringing the Batcycle!

Eagle-eyed viewers also noticed that Affleck is wearing a slightly different Batsuit as well, the better to help differentiate his Batman from Keaton’s, whose classic costume has already been teased.

We don’t yet know how the Flash will access separate timelines in Andy Muschietti’s film, though many suspect the classic Flash story Flashpoint is being adapted here, one way or another. We’ll find out next year when the movie hits theaters. Until then, we have these sneaky set photos to pore over for clues!

New ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Trailer Gets Us Excited For Some Ghosts

After decades of rumors, a year of pandemic-related delays, cartoons, female-led versions, toys, and more, we’re finally getting a third Ghostbusters movie set inside the original universe.

Jason Reitman, director Ivan Reitman’s son, is helming Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which is finally hitting theaters this Thanksgiving, after having been delayed by the pandemic. The movie’s secrets have been largely kept under wraps, but we know that it’s about a mom (Carrie Coon) who inherits her father’s house in Oklahoma and moves her family there. Soon, her two teenage kids (Finn Wolfhard and McKenna Grace) learn that her dad was one of the Ghostbusters, just in time for local teacher and Ghostbusters fanboy Paul Rudd to unearth some supernatural happenings.

The new trailer stops playing coy and deletes the goods. We learn that the kids are Egon’s grandchildren (and get an Annie Potts cameo!) who dig up ECTO-1 and some other old Ghostbusters gear, including footage from the first movie, and are soon caught up in whatever is happening underneath their town. There’s even a tease of an original cast member’s appearance – and I don’t just mean Slimer.

This new trailer is a lot of fun. It’s a bit heavy on the reverence but finally provides a glimpse of the original Ghostbusters vibe the previous clips had been lacking. Check it out! The movie hits theaters this Thanksgiving.

After Being Stopped by Cops, Dad Modifies Power Wheels Car To Make It Street Legal

A lot of parents made special purchases to help the family get through the pandemic. Maybe it was a tablet, a video game system, or anything to help keep kids excited and upbeat during a tough time. For one dad, it was Power Wheels for his kids to ride around outside with. Then he took it to the next level.

James Scudder, a dad of five from the UK, bought his kids the Power Wheels ride-on car at the start of the pandemic. After driving one of the red Super Sport XLs down the street in the neighborhood, he was pulled over by law enforcement who told him he couldn’t drive it on the street. So he decided to overhaul the toy and make it the first street-legal power wheels car.

He modified it with turn signals, hazard lights, and a horn so it would meet the traffic requirements to be on the road. He put in an amped-up battery to really make it fly, as it can reach a top speed of 22 mph. Think about the toy cars your kids have, and how insane that would be seeing an 8-year-old buzzing around the hood in that. He’d be the coolest kid pulling up to the lemonade stand.

Scudder unveiled his modified road-legal car on his YouTube channel. He also told media outlets he didn’t keep track of the costs, because he would’ve had to explain them to his wife and she “wouldn’t have been happy.”

 

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He said his family and friends love his modified car, even if they think he’s “a bit crazy and weird for doing it.”

A bit crazy and weird could describe a lot of passion projects for dads though, and if you wanna stick it to the law by souping up a toy car so you can cruise the neighborhood with your toddler, we aren’t here to judge.

A famous racecar driver once said nothing was important than family, so go ahead and hit the road, and live your dad life one quarter-mile at a time.

Little Skateboard Fairy Becomes Youngest Brazilian To Win Olympic Medal

This year, skateboarding became an official Olympic sport, and it didn’t take long for it to make headlines. Tony Hawk reflected on how “surreal” it is to see the sport that he pioneered and helped make famous be elevated to such a prestigious stage. Then, two 13-year-old girls won medals in the first-ever skateboarding event, making news all over the globe.

It turns out it’s not the first time one of them went viral.

Rayssa Leal, a 13-year-old girl from Brazil, won the silver medal in the first women’s street skateboarding event. Leal has a nickname, the “Little Skateboard Fairy” (Fadinha do Skate in Portuguese), that she earned six years ago when footage of her skateboarding in a full-on fairy princess outfit – complete with wings – went viral.

Now she’s the youngest Brazilian to win a medal at the Olympics:

Not only did Tony Hawk help pave the way for skateboarding’s respectability, but he also helped Rayssa get her nickname when, six years ago, when he shared the video that made her famous:

She didn’t stop skating, getting better and better until she qualified for and competed in the Olympic Games. And now she has a silver medal.

I bet it will go great with a princess gown.

‘Police Academy’ Star Michael Winslow Makes Comeback After Raising His Kids Solo

No matter how much you plan and prepare, having kids is a constantly-changing and unpredictable experience. Our lives look a lot different than we ever could have anticipated, and for some, life’s curveballs forced us to put important things on hold. “Police Academy” actor Michael Winslow stepped away from his career after the death of his wife, dedicating himself to raising his kids as a single father. But now that his kids are grown, Winslow is making a triumphant return.

Michael Winslow refers to himself as a “voicetramentalist,” but it’s difficult to properly describe the range of his skillset. Winslow stunned viewers with his unique talent, appearing in over 25 movies and TV shows in the 80s alone. Michael Winslow can make sounds – seemingly any sound, using his mouth and probably some sort of magic.

After his first wife Belinda Church passed away, Winslow’s life did a 180. Rather than building upon his massive success as an actor and comedian, Winslow focused on fatherhood. On a recent episode of America’s Got Talent, Winslow returned to the spotlight in front of millions of viewers around the world, stunning a whole new generation with his carefully crafted skill.

Simon Cowell, one of the show’s four judges, recognized Winslow immediately. Expectations were high, given that Cowell knew what “The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects” was capable of several decades ago. Even so, Winslow blew the judges and audience out of the water with his unique and mind-blowing performance.

Winslow combined storytelling, comedy, and the talent that sets him apart from the countless other comedians auditioning for AGT. Beginning with a story about his childhood, Winslow shifts seamlessly into other captivating topics. He brings stories to life with his sound effects, and by the end, a good portion of the audience was staring in open-mouthed awe. Winslow received a well-deserved standing ovation and four resounding yeses from the judges.

“My life has changed again for the better, and I’ve gotten another blessing,” Winslow told Terry Crews after his flawless performance. “America’s Got Talent is the place for me to show I still have something to offer. I’ve still got some sounds to make, and there’s still room for a little more.”

“It’s Surreal,” Tony Hawk Reflects on Olympic Skating, Tests Out Tokyo Skatepark

Skateboarding made its official debut as an Olympic sport, marking an important turning point for skaters around the world. Few people have been as instrumental in the evolution and popularization of the sport over the years as Tony Hawk – so naturally, the legend himself made an appearance at the Olympic games.

Over the past several years, Hawk has vocalized his need to slow down. Though he’s maintained his intense passion for the sport, skating took an increasingly noticeable toll on his body. Regardless of his ability (or willingness) to compete, Tony Hawk wanted to ensure he was there to celebrate the massive milestone in skateboarding history – recognition of the sport that may not have happened without him.

Tony Hawk attended the monumental event as a commentator for NBC, putting his extensive knowledge of skating to the best possible use. He wasn’t there to skate, but he’s Tony freaking Hawk. Skating is in his blood. Obviously, he had to test out the first-ever Olympic skate course at Ariake Urban Sports Park.

 

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“As a kid that was mostly lambasted for my interest in skateboarding, I never imagined it would be part of the Olympic Games,” Hawk marveled in an Instagram post.

“It’s surreal to now be in Tokyo bearing witness to this milestone in the most unprecedented circumstances. I know in the end it will help to grow skateboarding’s profile internationally, exposing our passion to an audience that has never seen it before or simply refused to embrace it.”

 

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The skating legend reflected on the importance of the event, the fact that kids watching at home could very well be the next generation of skaters. The legitimization of skateboarding as a sport has been a long and arduous process. But much like the validation athletes feel after qualifying for the Olympics, the inclusion of skating in the 2020 Olympic Games validated the sport as a whole.

“I predict it will be one of the highlights from all of the Olympic Games coverage this year,” Hawk concluded, “and I’m here for it.”

A 13-Yr-Old Skateboarder Made Olympic History With Her Gold Medal Performance

A 13-year-old girl became the first female Olympic gold medalist in skateboarding and, in the process, became one of the youngest gold medalists in Olympic history. Skateboarding was officially added to the list of games this year, which is very cool, and is a true testament to Olympic skateboarding analyst, Tony Hawk.

Momiji Nishiya, a Japanese native who reportedly loves rocking the baggie jeans and t-shirts that many skateboarders sport, dominated the competition and bested the rest of the world’s best skateboarders. Nishiya just came to skate, and she crushed it.

The silver medal went to ANOTHER teenager, this one from Brazil.

“I didn’t think I could win, but everyone around me cheered me on so I’m glad I was able to find my groove,” Nishiya said after winning. She beat out the reigning world champ and several other favorites, and in doing so she became Japan’s youngest-ever gold medalist. Very cool.

In fact, Nishiya almost became the youngest gold medalist ever, but she’ll have to settle for silver in that category. She is a little more than two months older than American diver Marjorie Gestring was when she took home a gold medal in the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.

It’s pretty cool to watch a teenager on the world stage make history in her sport, and history in the Olympics period. It was an awesome debut for the sport growing in popularity, and hopefully, it will be cemented in future editions of the Olympic games.