Will Ferrell Stars in PSA for Common-Sense Dinner Reform

Put your darn phone down, Dad.

By Ethan L. Johns
October 19, 2017

Image: Common Sense Media/YouTube

The ubiquitous smartphone has invaded every part of daily life. We look at it while we walk and while we drive; we look at it in bed and, perhaps most agonizingly, at the dinner table. One nonprofit is taking an ad-based approach to getting peoples’ heads out of the clouds, and they're doing it with the help of American funnyman Will Ferrell.

In a new PSA campaign sponsored by the organization Common Sense Media—a nonprofit that offers recommendations for children’s responsible and “sane” media use—Will Ferrell plays a phone-addicted family man. The campaign, called “Device-Free Dinner,” is a response to increased phone use at the dinner table.

According to a Comcast survey, 98 percent of parents believe that device-free dinners are better for family bonding. The same survey also found that 42 percent of parent’s can’t remember their last device-free dinner.

The Will Ferrell ads show Dad distracted by cat filters and ask for five more minutes so he can verbally “like” things on his phone. In another clip, he is chided by his family, who tell him to put his phone in a basket. In an edgier clip meant for use on Funny Or Die, his wife tests him, saying that she is dating his brother, while his daughter says that she’s been cooking meth in the basement.

“Great idea, kiddo,” he responds, staring at his phone, “that’s why you’re so popular at school!”

It would be easier to laugh if it didn’t seem so real. For your next family dinner, try having a #DeviceFreeDinner.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns