In less than a week, a 42-second clip has shot to the halls of viral fame — much to the delight of the entire Internet, and the absolute mortification of two of its main stars.
It all started last Friday, when Professor Robert Kelly forgot to lock the door to his home office while prepping for a BBC Skype interview, which was set to cover the breaking news about the impeachment of South Korea’s president. And as we all now know, the miss would lead to every working parent’s worst nightmare.
“It was a comedy of errors,” Kelly told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, while describing the aftermath of the moment his two adorable children crashed his live-TV interview.
As he explained, his 4-year-old daughter Marion “hippity hopped” into the office to see her dad, who she had just been watching on their living room TV with her mom, who was videotaping the interview on her phone. While in the office — and still on live TV — Kelly tried to remain poised and professional as he attempted to carefully guide his daughter away from the camera. But as it turned out, that was just the beginning: Seconds later, his 8-month-old son James literally strolled into the office in his walker.
And the rest is now viral history.
“Then I knew it was over,” Kelly told the WSJ. Hilariously, his wife ran into the room in a sort of duck-and-cover maneuver, grabbed the children, and scurried out of the office in only the way a mother can do, but it was all caught on live TV anyway.
You know, NBD.
The video has been viewed on the BBC Facebook more than 84 million times and covered by countless news agencies around the globe. The big take-away? That working from home with little kids is ridiculously hard. In fact, as I type this, my 7 and 3-year-old kids are destroying my living room and I’m not totally sure, but I think I hear crying? Wait, nope, that’s whining. But I digress.
Kelly and his family have been deluged with emails and phone calls since this story broke the Internet just a few days ago. In fact, he told the WSJ that it got so bad he had to put his phone on airplane mode just to recalibrate. “We stonewalled because we didn’t know what to do,” he explained.
When asked what he thought of the video, Kelly told the WSJ that aside from his initial embarrassment, he too found the whole thing hilarious:
“I mean, it was terribly cute, I saw the video like everybody else. My wife did a great job cleaning up a really unanticipated situation as best she possibly could … It was funny. If you watch the tape I was sort of struggling to keep my own laughs down. They’re little kids and that’s how things are.”
He’s also pretty amused by how such a seemingly small error on his part could lead to such a massive reaction throughout the world.
“I made this minor mistake that turned my family into YouTube stars,” he said. “It’s pretty ridiculous.”
Kelly, who lives in South Korea with his family, is an associate professor of political science at Pusan National University who frequently appears as a commentator on news programs. In fact, he admitted that his first worry after the whole debacle was that the BBC wouldn’t invite him back. (Though it’s safe to say that after the world’s reaction, he’s still in the BBC’s good graces.)
And as for all that controversy over why so many people assumed Kim was the nanny rather than the children’s mother?
“We were pretty uncomfortable about all that,” Kelly admitted, in a separate follow-up interview with the BBC.
Kim added that she wishes people would just stop debating the video, and just take it for it is: hilarious.
“I hope people just enjoy it, not argue over this thing,” she shared.
Controversy aside, parents everywhere have definitely embraced the video as the ultimate example of how hard it is to get anything done — work-wise or even just basic chores — when kids are around. They may be adorable and funny and the joy of our lives, but kids have an uncanny way of royally messing up our plans when it comes to getting stuff done.
So hats off to Robert Kelly and his lovely wife Kim for having a wonderful sense of humor and grace given the intensity the Internet’s limelight. Because the truth is, a moment like that could happen to any of us. (And for some of us, chances are it already has.)