Internet Dad Rob Kenney of ‘Papa, How Can I’ From Kent

Rob Kenney’s YouTube Channel “Daddy, How Do I?” has over 4 million subscribers. #k5evening

KENT, Wash. — In his backyard in Kent, Rob Kenney prepared his homemade cue card and props, then tapped “record” on his iPhone.

“Hello kids! So today I’m going to show you how to fish,” Kenney said, gesturing to the poles and bait on his patio table.

He had a live audience of two – his dogs sitting at his feet. But tens of thousands of people will later watch his recording on his instructional YouTube channel.

Kenney is known as the “Internet Father” (a Google search of that term immediately brings up his name). But he’s also a self-described introvert who, through genuine concern for others, unexpectedly gained digital fame during the pandemic.

His channel “Daddy how am I supposed to” has over 4 million subscribers, attracted by his direct tips and heartfelt encouragement. Videos contain “How to unclog a sink”, “How To Bake Cinnamon Rolls,” “How to start a car quickly” and “I’m proud of you!” — the kind of things he shared with his kids before they grew up.

“I saw one of my kids in the other room say, ‘Dad, how could I,’ and that’s how I came up with the name,” Kenney said. The kids were out of the house and I was feeling a little lost. Honestly, Dad being is everything to me.”

But his own father was not a role model. He left his wife and eight children when Kenney was only 14 years old.

“When I was 19, I learned how to tie a tie from my roommate,” Kenney said. I remember struggling with a lot of different things.”

He never wanted anyone else to struggle. So – at his daughter’s urging – he posted his first videos in April 2020. They included advice on how to tie a tie and shave, and he started each of them with the greeting, “Hey kids!”

His daughter shared them in a few online “kindness” groups and almost immediately they resonated.

“I was like, ‘Hey, I’ve got 300 subscribers looking at me. This is a little scary, but pretty cool,'” Kenney said with a laugh. “When we came in May, I thought, ‘Okay, I’ve got 100,000. Now I have 400,000. Now I have 800,000.’ Then it’s over 1 million and I’m like, ‘What’s going on here?'”

In just two months Daddy, how am I supposed to? officially went viral.

Kenney was featured on national news broadcasts, in major publications. He got to interview Kevin Hart about a movie. He published a book

But despite all the attention, his goals remained pure: to share practical advice and unabashed emotions. His video telling viewers, “I love you. I’m proud of you. God bless you”, has more than 1.4 million views.

“Being a father is so much more than fixing things or showing you how to fish. You have to share your heart,” Kenney said. “The need for it is heartbreaking, and when you spend time on my channel people’s comments? I still get tears in my eyes.”

Comments include: “I never realized how much I needed someone to say ‘I’m proud of you'” “I’m 55 and grew up without my dad. This is the best idea ever” and ” “I just cried when I saw a man fix a toilet. I lost my father five years ago… we need more people like you in this world.”

“It’s so much bigger than me and I’m still trying to understand the impact it’s had,” Kenney said.

A self-described introvert, he may never fully embrace fame. But he sees the YouTube channel as a calling.

The internet can be so dark, but Kenney is proof that there is always light.

“It’s about us,” Kenney said. “We’re all in this together. Let’s figure it out and be good people. Because if everyone did their part, the world would be a much better place. I’m blessed to be a father, and now I’m going with that further.”

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