Celebrity Dads Who Find Fatherhood Hilarious
Fatherhood changes you — even if you’re a celebrity. The only difference is that, if you’re an entertainer or comic, it gives you a serious source of material. Jim Gaffigan pokes fun at the fact that his family of seven lived in a two-bedroom apartment, while Louis C.K. has turned his parenting experiences into full-on TV show plots.
Here, these celebrity dads give it to us straight about the new, often absurd truths and hard-won wisdom that emerge once you’re a man with a child. And they’re not afraid to add a little humor in the process.
As a father of five, comedian Jim Gaffigan has plenty of material to draw from. (The family of seven, including his wife Jeannie, lived together in a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, for one). In his best-selling, 2013 book, “Dad Is Fat,” he wrote to his kids, “Well, since you’ve come into my life, you’ve been a constant source of entertainment while simultaneously driving me insane. I felt I had to write down my observations about you in a book. And also for money, so you could eat and continue to break things.”
On not getting enough sleep: “There should be a children’s song: ‘If you’re happy and you know it, keep it to yourself and let your dad sleep.’”
On bedtime: "Whenever one of my children says, 'Goodnight, Daddy,' I always think to myself, 'You don't mean that.'"
On being a father: “Most of the time, I feel entirely unqualified to be a parent. I call these times being awake.”
On having a large brood: “You know what it's like having a fourth kid? Imagine you're drowning, then someone hands you a baby.
Justin Timberlake and wife Jessica Biel welcomed a son, Silas, in April 2015 — and the pop star has been humbled ever since.
On fatherhood: “Here’s what I’ll say — all I know is I don’t know what the hell I did before. It’s an extremely humbling experience, and I’ve never had more poop on my person.”
On finding work-life balance: "At first, it broke me down … Those first eight months felt like those old [Ed Sullivan] shows where people are balancing spinning plates on poles — except if you drop one, they die.”
Pharrell Williams and his wife Helen Lasichanh had a son, Rocket, in 2008, then doubled the size of their three-person family in January 2017, when they had triplets.
On having triplets: “It’s a full-on assembly line … They harmonize when they cry. When one cries, two cry, then three cry. Chain reaction is a real thing at our house.”
Ryan Reynolds is reliably one of the funniest, most self-deprecating celebrity dads on Twitter — or IRL, take your pick. His wife, Blake Lively, gave birth to their first daughter, James, in 2014, and their second, Inez, two years later — and Reynolds has been on a roll ever since. “Being a dad isn’t just about eating a huge bag of gummy bears as your wife gives birth,” he tweeted back in 2017. “It means being comfortable with the word hero.”
On the truth about traveling with toddlers: “I would rather drink a piping hot bowl of liquid rabies than get on a plane with my two children. At two years old they just have to rip all their clothes off and introduce themselves to everyone on the plane. It’s just like, ‘Please can we land in a farmer’s field?’”
On feeling protective: “I used to say to [Blake], 'I would take a bullet for you. I could never love anything as much as I love you.' I would say that to my wife. And the second I looked in that baby's eyes, I knew in that exact moment that if we were ever under attack, I would use my wife as a human shield to protect that baby."
On his philosophy about pets: “If my daughter proves she can take care of the Fire Ants I got her, we’ll get her the damn kitten.”
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis welcomed a daughter, Wyatt, in October 2014, and then a son, Dimitri, in November 2016.
On the perspective he gained from having a child: “As soon as this child was born, I immediately wanted to call my parents and just apologize because I never knew how much they loved me.”
On becoming a father the second time around: “The first one, I almost became a doula. I was reading every book. I was ready. This one, I haven’t done anything. I’m like, ‘Well, we didn’t break the first one.'”
So much of Louis C.K.’s stand-up routine is about being a divorced father of two girls.
On parenting 50-50: “Be a dad. Don’t be ‘mom’s assistant.’ That’s depressing, just waiting for her to write you a list, walk around a store staring at it, calling her from the cereal aisle to make sure you got the right thing. Be a man. Make your own list.”
On not being a perfect parent: “You can’t even enjoy being a parent because there’s no pride in it because we suck at it. Everybody sucks. We make huge mistakes and then you just go, ‘Whoops, permanent damage there, move on I guess.’”
On his role as a father: “I'm not raising children. I'm raising the grown-ups they're going to be. I have to raise them with the tools to get through a terrible life. That's the way I look at it.”
Together, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are one of the most relatable couples in Hollywood — and one of the funniest, especially when it comes to parenting. Their daughter Lincoln was born in 2013, and Delta, in 2014.
On the love only a father knows: “I rescind my early statement, ‘I could never fall in love with a girl who regularly poops her pants.’ (I hadn't met my daughter yet.)”
On traveling with kids: “There are men who have scaled Everest who wouldn’t dare to travel with two kids under three. #warrior #dadbeast.”
Lin Manuel Miranda
Lin Manuel Miranda’s wife, Vanessa Nadal, was pregnant with their son Sebastian (born 2014) as he put the finishing touches on what would become the blockbuster hit play, “Hamilton.” Their second son, Francisco, was born in February 2018.
On having a three-month-old: "Twelve weeks old: When your kid is young enough to fall asleep on your chest, yet long enough to kick you in the nuts at the same time."
Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld have three children — a daughter, Sascha (born November 2000), and two sons, Julian (born March 2003) and Shepherd (born August 2005).
On toddlers: “Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don’t have the top for.”
On ornate bedtime routines: “The bedtime routine for my kids is like this Royal Coronation Jubilee Centennial of rinsing and plaque and dental appliances and the stuffed animal semicircle of emotional support. And I’ve gotta read eight different moron books. You know what my bedtime story was when I was a kid? Darkness!”
On dad style: “You can tell what was the best year of your father’s life because they seem to freeze that clothing style and ride it out.”
On the intimacy of fatherhood: “Being a dad is, you know, it's a surfboard on a rainbow: You're getting all you can handle of life. What I like about having kids is when they're on the toilet and you knock on the door, they just go, 'Come in.' Nobody else does that — nobody just invites you in when they're on the toilet, defecating.”
Comedian Stephen Colbert has three children with wife Evelyn — Madeleine (born 1995), Peter (born 1998) and John (born 2002).
On dad versus child: “Never underestimate a kid’s tenacity. Raising a child is like wrestling a small but relentless opponent.”
On the cycle of life: “You can’t spell 'parentry' without 'try.' Of course, you’ll make a few mistakes. The important thing is that the mistakes you make with your kids are the same ones your parents made with you. At least you know how those turn out.”
Comedian Chris Rock is father to two daughters, Lola (born 2002) and Zahra (born 2004).
On being the father of two: “Two kids are easier than one because they play together. When you’ve got one you’ve got to be the show. When you’ve got two, you’ve just got to be the usher. They can play in the park while you’re reading the paper. ‘Hey hey hey! Get off her hair!’ Then you go back to reading. One kid is horrible. Have a bunch of kids or have none at all.”
Comedian Conan O’Brien has two children with his wife Liza — Neve (born October 2003) and Beckett (born November 2005).
On teaching important life lessons: “Just taught my kids about taxes by eating 38 percent of their ice cream.”
A father of four, along with his wife Anna Scarpulla, Ray Romano has some well-earned parenting wisdom.
On the truth about parenthood: “Having children is like living in a frat house. Nobody sleeps, everything’s broken and there’s a lot of throwing up.”
Will Arnett has two boys — Archibald (born October 2008) and Abel (born August 2010) — with fellow comedian Amy Poehler.
On wanting to keep your children safe: “I want my son to wear a helmet 24 hours a day. If it was socially acceptable, I’d be the first one to have my kid in a full helmet and like a cage across his face mask.”
Michael Ian Black
Michael Ian Black has two children — Elijah (born 2001) and Ruthie (born 2003) — with wife, Martha Anne Hagen.
On a father's love: “I really love my kids for about six minutes a day.”
Action star Tom Hardy had a son, Louis, from a previous relationship, but fatherhood hit him strong when his second son was born in 2015. He and his wife, Charlotte Riley, are expecting a third.
On sleep deprivation: “If anyone else [deprived you of this much sleep], you’d have them up at the Hague for war crimes.”