It was probably the longest 40 seconds of his life, yet it also became the moment that skyrocketed Robert Kelly and his family into online celebrities. And it's all because he forgot to lock the door of his home office that day, providing us with one of the best videos -- so far -- for the year.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Prof. Kelly described his kids, Marion, 4, and James, 8 months, crashing his live TV interview with BBC News as a "comedy of errors." It was the first time his kids got in the action in over six years of doing live interviews from their home in Busan, South Korea ( Prof. Kelly is an associate professor of political science at Pusan National University).
"He usually locks the door," his wife, Kim Jung-A, in the same interview. "Most of the time [the kids] come back to me after they find the locked door. But they didn’t [this time]. And then I saw the door was open. It was chaos for me."
In the video interview with The Wall Street Journal, the family finally answers three of our burning questions:
Where did you come from, Mom? As Kim and the kids settled down for pizza in the living room, Kim decided to record her husband talking on the TV on her phone. That's why she didn't notice Marion, followed by her brother, head to their dad's office. She only realized they had left her when, yep, she saw Marion on TV (the feed was delayed on her television).
What was Mom's secret for that ala-The Flash entrance? Kim had socks on. (In Korean homes, shoes are left at the door.) That was why she was able to slide on the hardwood floors and gather the kids out of the room quickly. (In the new family interview video, watch it 'till the end, and you'll see Prof. Kelly wore socks in the new interview video.)
Why was Marion in a "hippity-hoppity mood" as her dad described? It was her birthday, and she had a party at school! Could the pumped up energy be because of a sugar birthday high?
While Prof. Kelly found the video cute and funny, he was worried of its ill-effects on his career. But he clarified, "Yes, I was mortified, but I also want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me." It was what we found to be adorable in the video, as we pointed out before.
After the incident, Prof. Kelly and Kim were not mad and didn't scold the children. They can understand why many found the video hilarious.
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"It was a mixture of surprise, embarrassment, and amusement and also love and affection," Prof. Kelly said. "I mean it was terribly cute."
"My wife did a great job cleaning up a really unanticipated situation as best she possibly could... It was funny," he continued. "I was sort of struggling to keep my own laughs down. They’re little kids and that’s how things are."
The video clip on Facebook has now been viewed more than 21 million times and shared nearly 240,000 times. Prof. Kelly and Kim are hoping the media frenzy will settle down. But they are glad people can have a good laugh at the unscripted event that is normal life with kids.