It’s one of the funniest videos circling the Internet right now: when a dad-slash-East Asian affairs expert’s kids stole the show during a live TV interview.
Here’s the backstory:
Near the end of a long day of radio and TV appearances from home, Robert Kelly prepared for another live video interview at 7 p.m., but he forgot to do one important thing: lock the door of his office in his high-rise apartment in Busan, South Korea’s second-biggest city, as he usually does.
Thus setting off “a comedy of errors,” as Kelly described it to The Wall Street Journal.
As Kelly began his BBC appearance to discuss the impeachment of South Korea’s president, his wife, Kim Jung-A, was with their two children in the living room, watching it. In fact, she was videoing the TV screen with her phone to make sure he had a clip of it. And what a clip it turned out to be.
As the interview began, the couple’s 4-year-old daughter Marion jumped up and down at the sight of her father on the screen. Perhaps recognizing his location, a room at the end of the hallway, she wandered off to find him. She was in an energetic mood after enjoying her birthday party earlier that day at kindergarten, her dad says.
The couple’s 8-month-old son, James, followed behind his sister in his walker, as he often does. Ms. Kim, who was concentrating on filming her husband, didn’t notice they’d even left the room. Then hilarity ensued.
There she was: Marion was in the same room as her father in a bright yellow sweater.
“As soon as she opened the door I saw her image on my screen,” Kelly said.
“She was in a hippity-hoppity mood that day because of the school party,” said Kelly, an associate professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea.
Mr. Kelly tried to play it cool, smiling and attempting to guide his daughter to some toys (ha, ha) while continuing with the interview. He thought the BBC might cut away to other footage or try to narrow the camera angle.
But, as we all know, they didn’t.
As Marion sat down, James was making his entrance. Kelly began answering a question about inter-Korean relations when James glided across the room behind him.
“Then I knew it was over,” Kelly said.
In a heroic effort to try to save the day, Kim slid across the apartment hardwood floor into the room in her socks, Risky Business-style. She tried to stay out of camera shot before rounding up the children (she didn’t). She says the delay on the TV feed meant she didn’t see the children in the room for a few seconds, thus her delayed reaction.
The video has been covered by media all over the world and caused millions of parents to laugh sympathetically.