Will Ferrell is exactly the kind of dad you'd expect: 9 hilarious stories about his parenting style

Will Ferrell is exactly the kind of dad you'd expect: 9 hilarious stories about his parenting style

Comedian and actor Will Ferrell is a father of three — and we're guessing that he has more than a few dad jokes up his sleeve.

Together with wife Viveca Paulin, Ferrell has three sons: Magnus, 20, Mattias, 17, and Axel, 14. The proud dad seems to have made quite an impact on his kids' lives.

Will Ferrell family (Samir Hussein / WireImage)
Will Ferrell family (Samir Hussein / WireImage)

Perhaps you've seen the indelible image of Ferrell dressed as a medieval lord to upstage his son for prom photos.

There was that time Ferrell showed up at a fraternity party at the University of Southern California (where his son was a sophomore at the time) as the guest DJ, clapping along to the “Rocky III” classic “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor and songs by Jay-Z and Ye.

And of course, Ferrell perfected work-life balance way back in 2013 when he brought his ... ahem ... casually dressed kids on stage to announce some of the biggest Emmy Award winners of the night.

“Unfortunately Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith dropped out at the last second and they called me literally 45 minutes ago and I couldn’t find child care, OK?” Ferrell told the audience at the time. “We had a soccer game, there was a neighbor’s birthday party, a nut allergy, I didn’t have time to do my hair. It doesn’t matter. It’s great to be here.”

Here are more of Ferrell's thoughts on the parenting journey.

Will Ferrell on discipline

While visiting “The Tonight Show” in 2015, Ferrell, dressed as Little Debbie of snack cake fame, told Jimmy Fallon that he only disciplines his sons as Little Debbie.

“So if I come around the corner dressed like this, they know it’s business,” Ferrell said. “My wife will say, ‘Don’t make Dad change into Little Debbie!’”

Will Ferrell on gentle parenting

"As a parent of three boys, it's a lot of chaos. And all parenting rules go completely out the window," Ferrell told Jennifer Anniston during a 2020 interview for "The Ellen Show."

He joked that within five minutes, he went from saying, "'I'm sorry your feelings are hurt'" to "'Get upstairs now and brush your teeth! Shut up! I don't care. Why? Because I said so!'"

Ferrell added that parenting boys is "like running a small correctional facility."

Will Ferrell on encouraging humor

In a 2018 interview with Parade, Ferrell said that his kids are each "funny in their own ways."

For example, when he was a freshman in high school, Magnus borrowed a friend's glasses and put on a serious look for his yearbook photo. He was worried that he would get in trouble, but Ferrell said, "‘No, you’ve got to do it every year! Fantastic!’"

Ferrell added, "It’s fun to see them make their friends laugh. Very similar to me, they’re good kids at school and yet they like to try to be funny."

Will Ferrell on connection

As a father, Ferrell values quality, not quantity.

Back in 2008, he told People, “For me, talk to your children, at least once a week. If you’ve got time, do it two or three times a week, but otherwise, I find the times where I let weeks and weeks go by without talking to my children. That adds up.”

Ferrell has seemingly kept that distance from his children through the years.

While promoting their 2017 movie, "The House," Ferrell sat down with co-star Amy Poehler to talk about parenting. Poehler asked why parents have to be their kids' best friend these days.

Ferrell deadpanned, "I know I'm not my kids' best friend. Not by a long shot."

Will Ferrell on playdates

When visiting "The Late Late Show with James Corden" in 2018, Ferrell schooled Corden and a very pregnant Eva Longoria about the long-term effect of boys' bathroom habits.

"It continues on, the issue," he said. "Peeing ... in a stranger way."

Because his wife is Swedish, Ferrell and his family visit the Swedish countryside every summer. When they are outside playing soccer, there's no bathroom nearby, so the boys "pee out in nature."

Unfortunately, though, that habit has continued at the Ferrell home back in the U.S.

"There's been many a playdate where the scared mother who's visiting us with their child leave immediately because our children just decided to pee in the backyard — and have convinced them to pee in the backyard."

Will Farrell on coaching

Ferrell's boys played with the American Youth Soccer Organization, which requires parents to earn "volunteer points" by refereeing, Ferrell said on "The Ellen Show" in 2020.

He generally makes it through half of the game before one of the kids on the opposing team asks if he's "Buddy the Elf," his character in the hit holiday movie "Elf." Ferrell then uses the distraction to give his kids a leg up on the competition.

But that isn't the only mark Ferrell has made on youth soccer.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, visual effects artist Justin Blaustein, whose son played with Ferrell's son, said that the comedian "often showed up for practice in crazy Hawaiian print shirts, long shorts, black socks and a 10-gallon cowboy hat."

Will Farrell on holidays

Ferrell's son Magnus has said that Easter in their household has been ... interesting.

On the "Lightweights Podcast with Joe Vulpis," Magnus shared a story about his mother waking him up to look in the backyard where there was "a guy in an Easter Bunny costume, and he's just kind of trotting around, kind of bizarre, and he's making this weird face and he's singing this Easter Bunny song."

Magnus added that his father "is someone who has no shame. No shame. It feels like social anxiety is afraid of him."

At Christmas, Ferrell plays the Swedish Santa, Tomten, for their annual Christmas party. He gives a present to each child ... but only if they earn it. If the kids are too nervous to perform, Tomten makes them do five push-ups.

And at Halloween, the Ferrell family has a standing tradition: Ferrell will wear whatever costume his family chooses for him, according to People.

One year, he was a poop emoji.

Will Ferrell on supporting his kids

Ferrell is always there for his kids with more cowbell.

Will Ferrell on the biggest lesson he's learned as a parent

In a video interview from 2023, the Wall Street Journal asked Ferrell a question we all want to know the answer to: "What's the one lesson you've learned as a parent?"

"Being a parent is a huge responsibility," Ferrell began. "You learn a lot of lessons, but the overriding lesson I've learned is that I hate children."

This article was originally published on TODAY.com