Rob Kenney was just an ordinary dad to two kids in their twenties, until his YouTube channel made him a father figure to millions. His channel, “Dad, How Do I?” features encouraging how-to videos for everyday tasks.
Vowing to be a great father after his own dad left the family when Rob was a boy, he and his wife of 29 years set out to raise “good adults.” Kenney made sure his children were equipped with all the common sense knowledge they could ever need. And so when his daughter suggested posting his handy tips online, he began sharing encouraging, informative tutorials on how to do routine tasks, like unclogging a sink and jump-starting a car.
"I thought it might be a good way to help 30 or 40 people," he told Inside Edition Digital.
In just a few months, more than 2 million people subscribed for some solid dad advice, stunning Kenney and leaving him determined to help others potentially in need of a support system. "I'm hoping that it's a safe place for people to come in and learn how to do some things," he said.
Kenney grew up in Bellevue, Washington in a family with eight siblings. For most of his life, he was without a father.
"My dad left when I was 14," he said. "He made it official at 14. He was kind of checked out before that."
Without a father figure, Kenney was left to figure out things, both little and big, on his own.
"How to shave. I didn't know how to shave," he said. "And where do you begin? It's not that difficult, but if you've never done it before."
He knew early on he would want to set a different example for his own children. "I determined at a young age. After that, I mean, I'm a 14 year old brain, but [I was] saying, 'I'll never do that,'" he said.
And set a different sort of example he did. He looks at the more than 2 million followers he's amassed online as more than just viewers, and takes the responsibility to leave them with knowledge seriously.
As important as the skills shared is the message Kenney ends on: "I love you, I’m proud of you, God Bless you.”
"They've called me Mister Rogers," he said. "That's way too lofty. I couldn't live up to Mister Rogers. He's in a class by himself."