The job of a parent can be as rewarding as it is demanding. Moms and dads usually form intense bonds with their offspring in their formative years. With that in mind, one TV show decided an impromptu quiz – run in June 2019 – would be a great way to test just how close fathers were to their children. The results surprised everyone.
Throughout the year, we celebrate a number of different holidays and special occasions with our loved ones. Indeed, from the Fourth of July to Christmas Day, these events bring families together across America. And once a year, parents have respective days that commemorate their hard work. It was Father’s Day that inspired this particular paternal quiz.
Mother’s Day is held in May each year, while Father’s Day follows a few weeks later in June. These special days allow children to honor their parents’ efforts over the last year, usually marking the occasion with a card and a gift. With that in mind, Jimmy Kimmel Live! put together an interesting plan ahead of the latter celebration in 2019.
To help celebrate Father’s Day, the late-night talk show took to the streets of Los Angeles, California to put fathers on the spot. They were posed some quickfire questions about their children that covered various topics. However, their subsequent responses left the studio audience shocked, causing the segment to go viral online.
At various stages in our lives, we will experience unforgettable moments. Whether it’s finishing school studies or falling in love, some occasions stay with us for the rest of our lives. But for many people, though, various parenting highs – and lows – soon come to dominate any list of memorable experiences.
When a child enters a person’s life, everything changes. As a result, they’re now responsible for raising the youngster over the next few years, guiding them along the way. While it can seem overwhelming, most moms and dads welcome the challenge, and most get better at the job as time goes on.
Unsurprisingly, there are various perks to being a parent. One of the biggest is watching their children grow as people as they get older, putting their life skills into practice. Alongside that, there’s another unique benefit that comes with the job, as moms and dads get their own “day” every year.
Back in the late 1860s, a woman named Ann Jarvis came up with the idea of “Mother’s Friendship Day.” Following the civil war in America, she looked to bring people back together via this celebration. For the next few years, the occasion was honored in certain parts of the country.
In the end, Mother’s Friendship Day failed to catch on nationally during that period. However, the concept was reintroduced in the early 1900s by Anna Jarvis, Ann’s daughter. After her mom’s passing in 1905, Jarvis looked to resurrect the Mother’s Day idea, getting some assistance along the way.
Some two years on from Ann’s death, Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service in a West Virginia church. She then followed that up in 1908 with her second effort, but there was a key difference. Indeed, a man named John Wanamaker hosted an additional event on the same day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Off the back of that, Mother’s Day continued to grow the following year, as the citizens of New York recognized the occasion. By May 1914 it finally became a national celebration, with Woodrow Wilson confirming the news at the time. More than a century later, moms are still being honored by their children each May.
As for the fathers of America, their special occasion arrived some time after Mother’s Day came to the fore. While the latter event was gathering pace in 1909, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd made a suggestion to her clergyman. She believed that dads deserved an equivalent celebration across the country.
Dodd was particularly passionate about that subject due to her situation at home. Originally from Arkansas, she moved to Spokane, Washington, with her dad and five siblings as a youngster. After that, they ended up staying in a YMCA under the care of their single father, who also fought in the civil war.
Thanks to Dodd’s efforts, that same YMCA hosted the first Father’s Day service in June 1910. However, much like “Mother’s Friendship Day,” the event struggled to gain any mainstream attention. A few years later, it appeared to die down even further when the founder left Spokane to join the Art Institute of Chicago.
As Dodd’s studies finally came to an end, she went back to her home city during the 1930s. At that point, the former student tried her best to spread the word once more, hoping that Father’s Day would eventually catch on. Before long, the concept started to grow outside of Spokane, but there was still some pushback.
As it turned out, the American public weren’t very receptive to the idea, believing it to be a cash grab. Despite those doubts, though, politicians had made several attempts to legitimize Father’s Day in the previous years. Incredibly, Dodd’s initial efforts did get noticed by certain people in the government.
Some three years after the first Father’s Day service in 1910, Congress received a proposal to make it an official celebration. From there, Woodrow Wilson then looked to follow up what he did for Mother’s Day in 1916, as he attended an event in Spokane. Unfortunately for the president, his request was denied this time.
Off the back of those attempts, Calvin Coolidge tried his luck in the mid-1920s. But while he pushed to make Father’s Day official, he didn’t actually pass the decree that would have taken it over the line. As a result of that, this particular debate continued to rage on for over 40 years, before another president stepped up.
Indeed, Lyndon B. Johnson finally confirmed that Father’s Day would become a recognized celebration in 1966. The decree was then backed up even further by Johnson’s successor Richard Nixon, who accorded the event the status of an official national holiday in the early 1970s. Now, both moms and dads could enjoy their own special days.
With that in mind, families across the country were preparing for Father’s Day as usual in June 2019. As the celebration approached, talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! recorded a segment to mark the occasion. Prior to showing the clip, the titular host revealed what was coming in a humorous monologue.
“Father’s Day is [this] Sunday,” Jimmy Kimmel tells his live studio audience. “Fathers, for those of you who are unfamiliar, are the people who fall asleep on the couch after dinner while your mother lists which of your cousins gained the most weight. But being a dad, it’s not easy.”
Kimmel’s humorous observations don’t end there, though. He continues, “The thing they don’t tell you about fatherhood is that, for an hour a day, you have to get on the floor and pretend to be a horse! But we came up with something fun in honor of this special day.”
At this point, Kimmel lays out the plan for his audience. The host adds, “We wanted to put some dads to the test. So we went out on the street and asked them to answer some basic questions about their children, in our first-ever ‘Pop Quiz.’” Following this, the TV show’s survey footage begins.
However, no one could have predicted what was about to be revealed. To start things off, a British man was pulled aside with his son. After the dad confirms that they’re close, the person with the mike says, “I’m just gonna ask you some questions about your son. Just answer them to the best of your ability.”
The interviewer then poses his opening question. “What is your son’s birthday?” he asks. The father subsequently looks over at his boy, before playfully grabbing his shoulder. “Now that’s a good one,” the parent responds with a grin. “That’s a difficult one, because I don’t know. No, I don’t know his birthday!”
The focus then switches to a second pair, as the interviewer quizzes another dad about his daughter. Once again, the father asserts that they have a close relationship ahead of the question. He’s asked, “What is your daughter’s favorite subject in school?” Looking rather pensive, the man responds, “Social Studies.”
At this stage, the interviewer confers with the daughter, who reveals that’s incorrect. Undeterred, the dad is asked an additional question about her education. “What grade is your daughter going into?” the man with the mike queries. Unlike before he appears more confident with this one, replying, “Ninth grade.”
This response provokes a shocked expression from the daughter, suggesting that the answer was wrong again. After this the dad remains in place, but his younger girl enters the scene. The interviewer then asks, “What’s the name of your daughter’s school?” In keeping with the emerging pattern, the father doesn’t know this either, guessing incorrectly no fewer than three times.
The segment doesn’t end here, though, as the clip cuts to another father and daughter on the street. But before the interviewer poses the next question, the girl closes her eyes. He subsequently asks, “What color are your daughter’s eyes?” Following a few moments of silence, the dad answers, “Brown.”
As it turns out, the girl’s eyes are in fact blue. However, her dad offers up an excuse for the incorrect answer, saying, “I have a brown-eyed daughter though!” At this point, the father is also quizzed about his other kid, who joins the shot. Unfortunately for him, things don’t improve.
Indeed, the interviewer brings up the birthday question again, drawing a cautious look from the dad. “May 17,” he answers sheepishly. “Oh no, it’s the 14th and I don’t know what year!” From here the segment then transitions to the next family, but that doesn’t signal a change in the pattern.
The father struggles to name his daughter’s school teacher, rattling off two incorrect answers to the camera. Incredibly, though, the biggest shock is still to come, as the last family is brought in by the interviewer. In this instance, the dad is flanked by his four young daughters on the street.
To kick things off, the father is asked if he can name any of his daughter’s teachers, to which he responds, “Of course I cannot!” At this stage, the interviewer then brings up the birthday question, pondering if he knows any of them. But no one could predict what came next.
The dad asks, “Oh, why do you do this to me? I give up.” Following this admission, one of his daughters gives an answer which leaves the shamed father floored. “Oh yeah, yesterday!” he adds with an embarrassed grin. “Horrible! Just yesterday.” The interviewer adds mercilessly, “And you forgot.” At this point, the segment takes one final twist.
The interviewer invites the mother into the shot, and proceeds to ask her about the girls’ best friends, their doctor, dentist and birthdays. In stark contrast to all the fathers previously quizzed, the mom gets every question right, drawing a sheepish look from her husband. With that, the segment comes to an end.
The show then cuts back to Kimmel in the studio, with the host sporting a very big smile. “Better luck next year!” he says, which brings things to a close. Off the back of that, the clip was uploaded to YouTube via the show’s official account in June 2019.
Since then, the video has made a massive impact online, posting some eye-watering numbers. Titled Can Dads Answer Questions About Their Kids? the segment has generated more than six million views on YouTube. In addition to that, it’s also accumulated more than 200,000 likes and in excess of 10,000 user comments.
Inevitably, reaction to the footage was fairly mixed, as people debated whether the fathers’ lack of knowledge was funny or not. “This is pretty sad,” wrote one YouTube user in the comments section. “My dad isn’t perfect, but at least he knows my birthday and the color of my eyes. Jesus.”
Those sentiments were shared by another online user, who wasn’t best pleased with the results of the quiz. They wrote, “Some people might find this funny, but it’s actually sad. Like your own father doesn’t know anything about you. These kind [sic] of fathers should feel embarrassed.” However, not everyone agreed with that view.
Indeed, as the comments continued to flood in, one other message stood out. “I had one of the best dads ever,” a YouTube user wrote. “He didn’t always remember my birthday [and] never knew my teachers, but he always loved me, took time with me, made me laugh, protected me…to me, he was a superhero.”