Daddy Comic's Parody of Billy Joel Video Starts a Fire All His Own
A really good comedian has an excellent grasp of history. At least enough to entertain us. So when funny guy Bruce Fine came up with the idea to make a year-in-the-life time capsule video, sung to the tune of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire," he had a pretty good sense that this was one of those good ideas.
Turns out he was right. ParentDish caught up with the stand-up comic and an edited version of the phone interview follows.
ParentDish: So you're a cool Los Angeles guy. Truth: Are those your real kids in the video or did you do a casting call?
Bruce Fine: That's my real wife, Shelby, and my real kids, Gabriel and Brady, in the video. We want people to see this and see how much fun the family can have.
PD: How did you come up with this idea?
BF: Someone on Facebook mentioned that it's 20 years since Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire" video came out. I had the idea of doing a time capsule of what it's like to be a dad now and live in this crazy country.
PD: So you're one of those rich comedians who can just reserve a studio and get it done?
BF: We did this for $150. Asher Glaser, my sidekick, used a little HD camera, like what someone would use on Thanksgiving. We borrowed a green screen from a comedian friend and then my son Gabriel came out dressed in a black jacket and sunglasses.
PD: You look like you're having so much fun in the video.
BF: I've been a comedian, actor and writer for 15 years and this is the most fun I've ever had.
PD: Is your wife in the biz? She's a natural, reaching under the covers and grabbing ... the remote! Very hilarious.
BF: She's a schoolteacher and she said, "I'm not an actor," so I said, "You can play my wife."
PD: And the kids? What do they think?
BF: They like to watch it. It's next to Toy Story on the shelf and they don't get tired of it. They want to show their friends to let them know that they're rock stars. I joke that I'm Li'l Billy Joel and they're Li'l Li'l Billy Joels.
PD: You sound a tad obsessed with The Piano Man? Have you two chatted?
BF: I would love to. I even posted it the video on Alexa Ray Joel's Facebook fan page. My dream is that Billy would sing it with me. His version goes over 40 years of his life. He was born in '49 and did it in '89. I did three minutes of the past year and made it funny because that's what I do.
PD: I like the ending with the kids sitting on the couch.
BF: Gabriel's sitting on the couch eating yogurt singing it after I started writing it. Asher started filming it and that's at the end. That's the next generation, the fire continues, and goes on and on and on and on.
PD: Was there anything that you thought twice about including?
BF: As a comedian, I always want to push it to the edge, like saying sex scandal stories and the Vatican and "How much free porn can I see." In the old days it was a big deal if your mother found a Playboy in your Sports Illustrated. Now, there's much more access and kids can see anything.
PD: True. As parents we have to be Big Brother.
BF: My boys have never heard me curse. I'm from Boston and I'm a comedian, two of the biggest cursers in the world. But I'm a role model for them first. You have friends who don't know these rules and they come in and say, "Can you believe how f**king hot it is?" They throw six years of parenting out the window.
PD: I have a feeling that you'll still have an influence on them. So, what's next for you? Another parody?
BF: Something about the economy with that song by Michael Buble, "Haven't met you yet." It's a work in progress.
Follow Bruce on his website, BruceFine.com.
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.