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After BBC dad goes viral, the parodies (and the backlash)

Commentary: Once millions have seen your kids interrupt a live Skype interview, everyone has an opinion. And a joke.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


He surely never imagined how the interview would go.

BBC News/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

He wasn't seeking fame.

Now he's lumped with it, and all the delicacies that come along for the ride.

Professor Robert Kelly of Pusan National University in South Korea is now the most celebrated political science expert in the world.

It's not his insights -- which I'm sure are deeply thought out. It's the fact that his two kids interrupted a Skype interview he was conducting with the BBC on Friday.

His wife tried to grab them back and the whole thing turned into the best sort of performance art -- the sort none of the participants saw coming.

More than 7 million people have now seen the YouTube video posted by the BBC. On Saturday, it was still the No. 1 trending video on YouTube.

Which means that there are at least 8 million opinions about why it went haywire and about every element of Kelly's actions during the brief segment.

Let's pause first for the parodies, though. It was inevitable there would be some. One of the more polished came from YouTube comedian Kevin Fredericks, who offered the bonus of the professor being replaced by a child.

The kid tries to keep a straight face, but the action behind him is just too much.

Another comedian, Ashly Perez of "You Do You," tried her hand, too. This time, the invading kid is played by an adult on her knees and, well, the effect isn't quite the same.

But The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham warned how reactions to this video would develop.

"Today: BBC dad is hilarious Tomorrow: BBC dad is problematic Sunday: BBC dad is why Trump won Monday: BBC dad was viral marketing for Skype," he tweeted.

In a second tweet, he continued: "Tuesday: BBC dad's Reddit history will shock you Wednesday: BBC dad was arrested on drug charges in 1983 Thursday: BBC dad: a retrospective."

So it was that on Saturday, some people could see only negatives in this video. They decided Kelly was a mean dad.

"RE: that viral BBC reporter video, that was his one chance to be a cool dad and add levity. Instead, he pushed his daughter away. Sad face," mused Twitterer Michael J. Miraflor and many others.

Oh, but it isn't necessarily instinctual for an academic to show humanity. And this was the BBC, after all, where the decidedly uncool Basil Fawlty showed how comedy often comes from pain and frustration with oneself and the world, rather than from lighthearted japing.

As Twitter user Emma L. Conroy offered, "Why are ppl assuming he's a bad dad because he clearly froze when his kids crashed him live w BBC? could he not jst hv panicked?"

Then there was the matter of Kelly's wife who ran through the door to try and retrieve the kids from Skype bombing their dad.

"The woman in viral #BBC Dad video is not 'the nanny'. It's Kelly's wife. Interesting Q: Why was that the immediate assumption by so many?," tweeted Twitterer Elizabeth Griffin and quite a few others.

While her question seemed to stem from genuine curiosity, some were harsher.

"just wanna tell u if u watched that viral video and thought the woman was a maid/nanny and not his wife ur prolly racist," tweeted one Angela @swcv.

What began as a simple interview ended up being discussed the world over.

All that's missing is a presidential tweet, so that we know where we should stand on Professor Kelly's parenting skills and family life.

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