Home » How to DAD: Jordan Watson @ TEDxChristchurch (Transcript)

How to DAD: Jordan Watson @ TEDxChristchurch (Transcript)

Jordan Watson

Full transcript of Jordan Watson’s TEDx Talk: How to DAD @ TEDxChristchurch conference.


Listen to the MP3 Audio: How to DAD by Jordan Watson @ TEDxChristchurch


Jordan Watson – How to DAD

G’day. G’day, my name is How to DAD and I have a black belt degree in daddying. Yes, it’s definitely a real thing, and no one in this room needs to look that up. So please, no one, no one look that up.

Right. So my name is How to DAD, so, obvious first question: “How do you DAD?”

Well, I’ve got no idea. I just make it up. I mean, don’t you guys? No?

I started winging it from Day 1, you know, I’m a dad. I don’t have time to read these serious parenting books and stuff, you know. I’ve got my job, I’ve got the mown to do. I’ve got sport to watch. Even if I did have time to study this baby stuff, I’d probably get a paragraph in and then just be like, “No, I don’t know what he’s doing, this stupid book trying to tell me what to do. I wouldn’t be doing that, mate. No, no, yeah no, I don’t need that, no.”

Grab book and insert as wobbly table leveler thing. So no, reading fancy parenting books isn’t for me. And to be honest, I’d much rather just make it up. It’s more fun that way.

Two years ago, I made a video and I put it on the internet. A mate at work had a baby on the way. I was bored at home with my four months old, and thought I’d chuck together an instructional video of sorts. Not much thinking behind it, I just kind of made it up.

It was called “How to hold a baby.” I thought of as many holders I knew, I made up a few others, and then I made up some silly names to go along with them.

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I thought the mate at work would enjoy it, posted it to his Facebook page and turns out over 2 million other people liked it too.

[Video clip – “How to hold a baby”]

[G’day and welcome to this instructional video on “How to hold a baby”. First, you’re going to need a baby. Baby. Standard shoulder hold, reverse standard shoulder hold, Need to pick something up chin standard shoulder hold, Chin, grab something. Baby Jesus, double baby Jesus, Stinky nappy for me, stinky nappy for you. Box of beers, the telephone, dance partner, bird on a wire, poor man’s front pack, hide your beer belly, the rugby ball hold, other rugby ball hold, show off to the other dads superman, show off to other kids fish. That’s how to told your baby, and no babies were harmed in the making of this video.Video ends]

Pretty good, hey? I was viral without even trying to be. It went around the globe, Huffington Post, Time Online, The Guardian, E! Online, the Today Show, the Waikato Times, Ashton Kutcher, that actor fella, he shared it to his 22 million followers. Me and the little one, we even went on the TV thing.

Mum, this is the bit we’re on the Tele, you missed it when I… She wasn’t home when it originally played so, should I hit play? You watching? You want to hear it play? Cool.

[Video clip]

Posted it because a couple of guys at my work just had newborns, so I thought, tagged them on Facebook, went to bed, woke up the next morning, BOOM.

Host: So, this is the whole thing, basically you post it, go to bed and overnight, I’m probably over selling it here but your life changes over night, you don’t realize until you wake up the next morning.

Did I have any idea how to do a live TV interview with a baby? No. As you can see here, where I break the very first rule of live baby TV, by forcing the kid onto the host.

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Host: Aww, too gorgeous. (Baby cries)

Henry: This is the pass back, this is the pass back.

Yeah, I know we are all used to seeing Paul Henry up close in TV but that close in real life, turns out that’s a baby’s worst nightmare.

My worldwide fame went on and on and on for three whole days. Then, BAM it was over. The relentless YouTube questions and debates on if I was an Australian or New Zealander were done.

Gone were the comments about me looking like and I quote, “a chubbier Mexican Ryan Gosling”. I will take it, I will take it.

My viral dash was done, and already the world had other 10,000s or so viral videos to catch up on. I was just back to being dad, except with my mum reminding me of any new comments on the video on a daily basis. Thanks Mum.

A few weeks later and I was bored. I was like, it’d be pretty cool if I could just be famous again for 3 days just for the free stuffs and after parties and… OK, there was no free stuffs or after parties but it was fun and to be honest I was like, these viral video things aren’t even that hard.

But it had to be different, I couldn’t just try and re-do “How to hold a baby”. I need to think up something new, something groundbreaking. So I went with: “How to show off to other dads while holding a baby.”

Pretty clever. Different but the same, but different. And that amazing video there, did not go viral. Why? I’ve no idea, you know, you can’t plan a viral video. You just make something up, chuck it out there and see what happens.

And clearly with this one, it didn’t help that I had pants on. Stubbies equals success. Short shorts equals success. What’s the saying? ‘Every good idea needs legs’, and obviously for me, every good idea needs these legs and shorts that are too short. I gave up the viral video game, and to be honest, I spent the next 6 months regretting those god damned pants.

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A lot of people argue that “Hey Jordan, I know your second video didn’t go viral, but I don’t think it was because you were wearing pants”. and to that I tell them “shush your lips, it was definitely the pants. It wasn’t the fact that the second made up video thing was extremely similar to the first made up video thing. No, it was those pants.”

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