Mandy Patinkin Is All of Our Dads on Social Media

The "Homeland" actor's Twitter feed is deeply relatable

June 18, 2020 12:33 pm
Mandy Patinkin
Mandy Patinkin
Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Most celebrities’ quarantine activities have served as unintentional reminders that they lead very different lives than most of us, whether they’re singing a cringe-worthy rendition of “Imagine” from the comfort of their mansions or getting downright weird by shooting videos with multiple equine species in their kitchens or dumping an entire pound of salt into a bathtub while wearing a rainbow caftan to make “human stew.” It’s fascinating — and in many cases, entertaining — but in no way is it relatable.

Enter Mandy Patinkin, whose social-media accounts have been largely devoted to endearing videos of him and his family holed up together at their cabin. With to-the-point captions that provide little context (ranging from “Bad Chair” to “Unconditional love”), the 67-year-old actor posts videos of him and his wife of 40 years, Kathryn Grody, shot by their son. It’s clear from these videos that Mandy — I feel like he’d want us to call him Mandy — is in possession of some very strong Dad Energy, whether he’s trying to learn how to tweet and asking his son what a GIF is, attempting to guess the lyrics to “Call Me Maybe” or just shooting the shit with his wife on the porch.

He’s always been a mensch (see: the video of him absolutely losing his mind with delight when an interview is interrupted by the reporter’s wife going into labor), and it’s worth noting that he also devotes a good chunk of his social media to worthy causes, advocating for refugees and tweeting out links to various BIPOC-focused charities urging his followers to donate. But with Father’s Day upon us, we’re focused on his aggressively relatable dad tweets.

Here are some highlights:

“Oh, yeah, this chair is terrible,” he says, in that very specific, matter-of-fact dad tone that reveals a long-harbored resentment for a piece of furniture. “I don’t look good in this chair. I look like I’m slouching, like I have 12 chins.” After his son Gideon informs him that he looks the same in that chair as he does in every other chair, he cracks up. “Oh, shoot me! Kill me!” he laughs. “That’s horrible news!” Kathryn and Gideon remind him of a recent New York Times article in which a writer in her 30s said Mandy is still hot. “You don’t know, she probably lied about her age,” he modestly offers. “She was probably 108.” He waits a beat, rotates an ankle to perhaps subtly direct our eyes to the Crocs he’s wearing with black socks and insists, “I’m not hot.”

Still perched in the Bad Chair (and, it has to be said, wearing an amount of khaki that would do any dad proud), Mandy decides to pose a question: “Why is dog man’s best friend?” Kathryn makes an observation about unconditional love, and Mandy pounces on the opportunity to tease her about her lack of unconditional love for him.

This clip starts with Becky the dog sprawled across Mandy’s lap — giving him the perfect scene partner for his reaction to Kathryn’s allegation that he’s never given her a foot massage. “Kathryn!” he cries out, as if she’s just revealed his darkest secret. “Becky, don’t listen to this,” he cracks, putting his hands over the dog’s ears.

One of many videos in which Gideon quizzes his parents on pop-culture terminology while they’re seated at the table casually eating matzah with butter and salt (was this filmed during Passover and simply not posted until more than a month later in late May, or do Mandy and his wife eat matzah year-round?), this one features the pair trying to guess the lyrics to “Call Me Maybe” and attempting do the “flossing” dance move. Kudos to Mandy for assuming the motion has something to do with flossing your teeth.

This one’s instantly relatable for any of us who have had to help our parents learn to navigate technology. It starts with Mandy giving his son a look that says, “I know you’re mocking me, but I need your help,” as he establishes the fact that he’s trying to figure out how to post a video of Kathryn to his Twitter account. “So, here we are on Tweet — Twitter,” he says, catching himself. He then notices the GIF button and, unaware what a GIF is, tries to guess what the acronym stands for. “Gosh, It’s Fucked” is his first stab at it, before he yells at his wife across the room to try to get her to weigh in. Ultimately, he presses the button and settles on the so-close-but-not-quite-there “Great Image Frames.”

Anyone with Boomer parents has probably, at one point or another, asked them about their memories of the ’60s. Lucky for all of us, Mandy Patinkin has his answer at the ready. “I remember the milk commercial I made on Wacker Drive in Chicago,” he instantly replies, before remembering that it was, in fact, actually a commercial for Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats. Recovering from this temporary memory lapse, he sings the jingle without missing a beat before adding an amused “That’s what I was doing during the Democratic National Convention.” Kathryn, who naturally was protesting at the ’68 convention, claims that’s why they didn’t meet until later: “He didn’t know anything.” “She taught me everything I know,” Mandy, dutiful wife guy, confirms, before launching into an alphabet’s worth of compliments for her. (“A is for Mom’s adorable, B is for Mom is beautiful…”)

Not all dads have Mandy Patinkin’s theatrical flair, but most love a good joke and can relate to Mandy’s commitment to a bit. It starts off normally enough, with Mandy — with what appears to be a dish towel tossed casually over his shoulder — playing with his dog. “Dad, do your impression of Becky running around the house and her behavior,” Gideon goads him. Suddenly, the Tony Award-winning actor is running around his house barking, with Becky following closely behind. After the two have tired themselves out, we end with an astute observation from Mandy: “I think she likes earwax.”

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