Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon, & More Celeb Fathers Share the First Time They Held Their Baby in ‘Dads’

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Clear a few hours from your schedule, because Apple TV+ just dropped a new documentary you’re going to want to watch — especially this weekend. Called Dads, it centers on modern fatherhood which, as you might imagine, makes it pretty perfect for Father’s Day weekend. But even beyond the oh-so-salient timing, it’s a must-watch if you want a super-sweet reminder of just how great (and adorably, irrevocably, unabashedly taken by their kids) dads can be. 

This ought to tell you just how hard the film will tug on your heartstrings: It was produced by the same people responsible for the tearjerking family drama Parenthood. Only, Dads resonates even more because they’re from real people — real dads with real-life struggles, joys and, yes, plenty of LOL-inducing moments. It’s basically a love letter to fatherhood. It’s also a nice switch-up in point-of-view. While we often have these kinds of conversations with mothers, dads have feelings about major parenting milestones, too. And we couldn’t help but melt hearing some of Hollywood’s best dads describe the first moment they ever held their babies. 

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So, get ready to get all up in your feels. You’re probably going to want to call your dad by the time you’re finished reading this article. Or, if you happen to be with him, by all means, reach over and give him a hug. At one point, he was just like these famous fathers swooning over the brand new bundle of love in their arms (that would be you).

Jimmy Fallon

“They’re just so little. Everything’s so mini and tiny. I remember holding her for the first time and just going, ‘I don’t want to break this. Can someone else hold this?’” Fallon said of daughters Frances and Winnie, adding he eventually got over his fears. “Yeah, by the end, amazing — one-handed, like the Heisman Trophy. I was walking around with my baby like I wasn’t even holding it.”

Will Smith

“I remember driving home from the hospital just feeling like everybody was an asshole. Driving like, ‘Relax, y’all!’ It was the first moment that the full weight of his life was my responsibility,” the dad of Trey, 27, Jaden, 21, and Willow, 19, admitted. “When we left, it was just the two of us. Now, this dude lives here. Forever. So, I’m walking through the door and I see all of my stuff, all over the floor in front of my picture-in-picture TV and it dawned on me and I looked down and I was like, There’s a thousand-page manual for a picture-in-picture television, and they sent us home with a baby and NOTHING. I was like, ‘Something’s really wrong here, baby.’”

Conan O’Brien

“I remember us taking Neve, my daughter, into the apartment and it is the way you watch people carrying a bomb that hasn’t gone off. You’re just hyper-aware — if there’s a bird six miles over that way but it’s headed this way, what if it tries to take her?” O’Brien joked before getting serious. “So much of our youth is just me, me, me, me, me; gotta go, gotta, gotta, gotta. But then when you bring a kid into the world and you realize, ‘That’s my daughter,’ your shoulders drop in this very profound way. ‘Oh, right. Now it’s about her. It’s not about me. It’s about her.’ It’s this incredible realization that you’re not the most important person in the world.”

Jimmy Kimmel

Warning: Even though most of us parents have experienced something similar, Kimmel’s first full-on dad moment might make you gag. “I had my daughter Katie and she was about like, I don’t know, 10 months old, just kind of holding her over my head. I was smiling, had my mouth wide open and she had her mouth wide open. And then she vomited in a forceful column — I guess they call it projectile vomiting — directly into my mouth. Like, it hit my uvula. It just went right into my throat. Of course, your reaction is to throw this person as far away from you as possible, but I didn’t. I held onto her, and I just spit as much of it as I could out,” he shared. “That’s when I realized I was a dad.”

He also got visibly emotional when the subject of his children’s health came up. “I wasn’t at all worried that there would be anything wrong when my son Billy was born,” Kimmel said of his youngest, who has a congenital heart defect. “I had three kids that were all perfectly healthy. You know, you’re only as happy as your family is. And so, you’re very vulnerable.”

Judd Apatow

Director Judd Apatow’s daughter Maude, now 22, apparently put her parents through the wringer in those first few months. “Every time her body touched the crib, ‘Waaah!’ It was like a monster movie. I would hold her, with bad posture which led to disc issues later. So, I would hold her like this,” he said, hunching over, “for so long.”

Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s twins are nine now, and he’s still exhausted. The sleepless nights might taper off as kids get older, but we all know that being bone-tired from parenting never really budges. “I could fall asleep literally right now from sleep deprivation,” Harris said of being a dad.

Ken Jeong

For Ken Jeong, becoming a dad showed him just how quickly your whole world can flip upside down. “Our kids were born premature, and we didn’t know what was going to happen,” he revealed of twin daughters Zooey and Alexa. “It’s one of those things where that changes everything.”

Kenan Thompson

Kenan Thompson’s summation of meeting his daughters, Georgia and Gianna, for the first time is enough to make anyone’s heart melt into a puddle. “It was just love at first sight — like for real for real. I’m a dad. You know what I mean?” he gushed. “I just felt like I was on duty, like a soldier. Like, all right, I’m a dad.”

Before you go, click here to see celebrity kids who are all grown up. 

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