Rob Kenney is a father of 2, though they’re now both grown. The 55-year-old started a YouTube channel called “Dad, how do I?” that has garnered more than 14 million views since the spring of 2020. His channel received a lot of views quickly because during the pandemic his videos went viral for the the helpful information they contained- delivered just the way you’d expect from a sweet dad. Kenney created his channel to help those who didn’t have a dad around when they were kids, which is sadly also how he grew up.
So what kinds of things does Kenney cover? Well, he has videos on how to jump start a car, how to tie a necktie, how to change a toilet seat, how to make good biscuits, and how to use a caulking gun among many other topics. He begins his videos by calling the audience “kids” and usually includes at least one dad joke in his short, but informative videos.
Because of his positive attitude and calm delivery many people have been calling him the “Mr. Rogers for adults”. But, Kenney has stated that he likes to give encouragement to his viewers since, “There’s more to being a dad than just running around and fixing things.”
This genre of video has been called “dadvice” and has made a lot of people feel less alone during the isolation of the pandemic. The channel also includes info that a lot of people, both with and without dads, never learned when they were growing up. The practical advice and comforting words are what have made this channel blow up with subscribers. In less than 6 months his channel grew from 0 subscribers to millions.
In May of 2021 Kenney released a book all about how to complete basic life skills like those on his channel, while also delving into his personal life and how he was raised. Kenney’s father left his large family when he was a teenager and so he missed out on learning so many things from his dad as he was approaching adulthood.
He said that once he had a family he knew what not to do because of how his father treated his family, “At a very young age, I determined I wasn’t gonna do that, that I wanted to do it the right way.” His children are now in their late 20s and he has a good relationship with them based in part on his willingness to admit when he’s wrong, something many adults are still learning how to do by the time they start families.
Whether you have a loving father figure or not, Kenney’s practical advice is still incredibly helpful for most of us, especially in this age of a resurgence of DIY.