Family in Internet-Winning BBC Video Breaks Silence: 'We Said to Each Other, "Wow, What Just Happened"'
“I made this minor mistake that turned my family into YouTube stars," Professor Robert Kelly said of their newfound Internet fame
It turns out the family in last week’s Internet-winning viral video is just as sweet as you hoped they would be.
Professor Robert Kelly achieved international stardom at lightning speed on Friday when a viral video of his two adorable children and fast-acting wife hilariously crashing his live BBC interview went super viral, and the group almost instantly became heroes among parents the world over.
And now, after taking a few days to process the enormity of the situation, the family is speaking out — and laughing about it along with the rest of us.
“I mean it was terribly cute,” Kelly told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Tuesday. “I saw the video like everybody else. My wife did a great job cleaning up a really unanticipated situation as best she possibly could … It was funny. If you watch the tape I was sort of struggling to keep my own laughs down. They’re little kids and that’s how things are.”
As the world now knows, Kelly was in the midst of a live BBC interview about the political crisis in South Korea when things went uproariously awry. First his young daughter jauntily walked in, followed by a baby rolling in with a walker. Mom then swooped in with her Risky Business-style slide to swoop up the children and surreptitiously close the door.
Kelly places the blame for the entire fiasco squarely on himself — because he forgot to lock the door of his office.
“He usually locks the door,” said his wife, Kim Jung-A. “Most of the time they come back to me after they find the locked door. But they didn’t. And then I saw the door was open. It was chaos for me.”
Jung-A says she and the kids were watching Kelly in the living room, and she was distracted because she was taking a video of Kelly on the TV with her phone. (There was a delay in the video, which meant she didn’t notice her kids on the screen until it was much too late.)
“We said to each other, ‘Wow, what just happened?’ ” Kelly said after it was all over, also calling the hilarious catastrophe “a comedy of errors.”
Kelly also solved one mystery from the video: The reason for his daughter’s cartoonishly confident entrance to the room. Apparently little Marion had just returned from a school party celebrating her fourth birthday.
“She was in a hippity-hoppity mood that day because of the school party,” he said of the interview that took place around 7 p.m. local time from their high-rise apartment in Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city.
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The political science professor admits he had conflicting feelings about how to handle the situation when he saw Marion had crashed the interview.
“As soon as she opened the door I saw her image on my screen,” he said, later adding. “Yes I was mortified, but I also want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me.”
A video interview with The Wall Street Journal gave a sense of the family’s warmth — and the kids were as adorably goofy as ever.
“What did you do for your birthday at school, honey?” Kelly asks Marion, who manages to shout “blahh!” in response.
“I don’t know, man,” Kelly then says into the screen with a smile as 8-month-old son James sits on his lap.
The family went off the grid after the social media tsunami, and he says they are still adjusting to their sudden fame.
“I made this minor mistake that turned my family into YouTube stars,” he said. “It’s pretty ridiculous.”