|Entertainment Press/Splash News Online|
Funnyman Andy Richter says that his two children William Oscar, 8 ½, and Mercy Josephine, 4, have well-developed senses of humor — but what’s comedy to them isn’t comedy to most adults!
“All you have to do to make them laugh is throw pee and poop into the conversation or make fart noises,” Andy tells Babble. “They love that.”
“When my son started to get to the age of liking jokes, every one we would make involved pee or poop or farting. We thought, ‘Oh my God, we’ve raised a frat-house monster.’ Then we took a trip to preschool: that’s what makes all of them laugh. It’s universally funny.”
Although his job as announcer on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien will no doubt impress the kids someday, Andy says it hasn’t happened yet. “They really don’t [think I'm cool], because they think of me as their parent, which is how it should be,” he explains before adding,
“Whenever I hear anybody say, ‘My dad is my hero,’ I always think, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Parents are like the drapes in your bedroom — you barely even notice them or what they do.”
Click below to learn which child Andy calls “a complete noodge.”
Of course, there are undeniable perks to Andy’s career and William and Mercy are starting to take note. William and a friend attended the premiere of Madagascar 2, and he also met Tom Kenny — the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants — at a Nickelodeon party.
With regard to the latter, however, Andy says a connection was not necessarily made! “[William] still thinks SpongeBob is a real creature out in the ocean somewhere,” he quips. Mercy, by contrast, gravitates more toward classics like Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry — something which makes Andy feel “very proud and very happy.”
“She prefers them. It’s not anything we really forced on her. I know parents who are like these aesthetic cops — they insist their child should watch an episode of My Pretty Pony or whatever. I certainly don’t turn on Barney and say, ‘Come and watch this insipid garbage.’”
William is big for his age, which has its fair share of disadvantages. “Everyone always thinks he’s eleven,” Andy explains. “And not that he’s terribly behaved, but they expect him to act much older than he is because of his size.” What’s more, brother and sister “fight endlessly” according to Andy, who suggests that Mercy is often the instigator.
“I have to give my son a tremendous amount of credit, because if I were him at his age I would have been pummeling my sister if she did the things to me my daughter does to my son.”
When asked to elaborate, Andy says that Mercy is “a complete noodge” who can have “the snottiest little sister way of arguing with” her brother, and she isn’t afraid to fight dirty! “Like she’ll go a bin of toys looking for a weapon to hit him with, something she can use to do damage,” he adds.
Mercy’s actions aren’t always as sinister as they sound, however. Says Andy,
“Half the time she’s really doing comedy skits. She’s hilarious. She’s making him crazy, but she’s also making him laugh. And she’s discovered early on that you’re going to catch a lot less hell from adults if you make them laugh while they’re mad at you. That’s a pretty good skill at age four. And frankly it’s terrifying. We have a pretty funny household.”
William and Mercy are Andy’s children with wife Sarah Thyre.