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Will Ferrell Doesn’t Find Diaper Changing Funny

09/13/2010 at 04:00 PM ET
Jim Spellman/WireImage

Will Ferrell is a hands-on dad with his three sons. But there’s just one thing he really won’t do: changing the dirty diapers.

“I refuse to do it,” he tells PEOPLE at the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of his dark comedy Everything Must Go. “I let my wife do it. I’m not so good with it.”

It’s nighttime at the Ferrell house, with wife Viveca Paulin and sons Magnus, 6½, Mattias, 3½, and Axel, 7 months, where the actor steps up. The comedian, 43, says he loves reading to his boys and tucking them into bed.

“It’s pretty simple at our house: it’s dinner, bath time, bedtime stories and then bed,” he says. “I read to them and do the funny voices. They seem to like it.”

In return, his children are the cure when he’s feeling down.

“On the days that are not the best and I’m feeling stressed,” he says, “I come home and the kids make me great again.”

Not that he could do it without his wife of 10 years. “I’m so happy that I have my beautiful wife to share my life with and raising our sons,” he says. “She runs the household and does a great job. I couldn’t do it without her.”

– Paul Chi

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Showing 47 comments

Tess on

A parent is supposed to change the kid’s diapers. It’s not exclusively the mother’s job.

Jess from Ohio on

Just my opinion, but I think both parents should be involved in pretty much every aspect. Sometimes being a parent means doing things you don’t want to do. But hey, maybe that’s just how Will Ferrell and his wife have it worked out and who am I to judge really? I bet his boys are really cute and enjoy the antics of their funny dad :)

Rachel on

Whatever works for them…

Sarah S. on

“I let my wife do it.”, said Will. I wouldn’t put up with that crap (no pun intended)!

D on

Guys that won’t or refuse to change their children’s diapers, in my opionion, ar whimps. I have 5 kids, and my husband changed diapers on all of them. It’s not a big deal for crying out loud!

Lau on

I doubt his wife has a blast changing diapers…

jessicad on

Some people can’t handle it because everyone is different, relax. My sister used to gag when she would change my daughter, her husband said he’d do the changes when they have one because she really does gag easily:) If my husband made millions and let me stay home with the kids I probably wouldn’t fret over him changing diapers.

rebekah on

i’m with jessica d. my mum said my father was the worst diaper changer when my siblings and i were small. too afraid of making everything too tight on us, he left the nappies too loose. we had regular blowouts, and my mum said she’d rather change us herself than do extra laundry. this could be the case in the paulin-ferrell house, too. or will’s got a weak stomach… :P

Rosy on

He sounds just like my partner in regards to the nappy changing…I’ve had to nag nag nag at him because it does take two to make a baby. Yes I look after our son all day while he’s at work but even on weekends he never offers to change him. It’s just laziness and IMO a little sexist.

Laura on

I personally don’t mind doing the diaper changing so when I have children, I probably won’t care if my husband always helps or not. HOWEVER, I feel a husband should step in if say the wife is busy doing other things. For instance, if the wife happens to be making dinner, helping another child, etc and the husband is not doing anything and it would be so much easier for him to change the baby. That is when it would get on my nerves!

CMS on

It’s possible that he was joking, too…

kirsty on

My husband and I were at a friends house and the wife was washing dishes and their son needed to be changed, the husband went and got the wife who was busy in the kitchen. You know what the husband was doing, just talking to us, so its not like he couldn’t do it. We asked him about it and he said it makes him gag, oh please barf makes me gag to, but I clean it up when my daughter gets sick!

meghan on

Maybe the comedian was, oh I don’t know, joking?

MZ on

Considering how Will’s sense of humor is, I wonder if perhaps he was just making a joke that isn’t come across in print?

TC on

That’s sad

I am a nanny for the family and when mom is out of town dad will leave the poor baby in a dirty diaper until I get there. He wakes up around 5am and always has a dirty diaper…..I dont get there till 8.

There is not one person on the face of the earth that enjoys changing dirty diapers but that’s part of having a baby. If you aren’t grown up enough to change diapers you aren’t grown up enough to have a kid.

TC on

Forgot to add something

My cousin’s wife had a baby and they knew he was going to be deployed to Iraq for 15 months so for the first 3 months of his son’s life he was the only one that changed him. That was his bonding time and that helped his wife because for 3 months she never had to worry about diapers. I went to visit them and I was holding the baby and I could smell he was wet so I asked where the diapers were and my cousin jumped up and told me he would change him, it was almost like he looked forward to doing that…..and hey I wasn’t going to object :) When he came home from deployment he went straight back to his diaper duties and his wife hasn’t changed a diaper since.

Tristan on

In the context of this article it doesn’t sound like a joke, but who knows? If he was serious, it’s a pretty poor excuse. There are a lot of things involving raising children that are not particularly fun and one parent or the other may ‘not be so good with’ but are easier with both parents equally involved. I’m glad I’m not married to someone like that, but if Will’s wife likes changing all of the diapers more power to her.

mommytoane on

So what if he skips on diaper changes. Is it that impt he helps? I imagine he’s rather helpful in other aspects. A diaper change isn’t the end of the world. My husband rarely changed diapers. I didn’t freak out, because instead, he was the one running a bath for me, and picking up the livingroom so I could relax. Granted parenting is shared, but the responsibilities of each parent are between the parents. No one has a right to judge how someone else parents. None of you all are perfect.

Jaz on

Somehow I doubt he’s NEVER been alone with his kids when they needed a diaper change. He’s definitely done it. How else would he know he doesn’t like it! ;)

Deni on

OH shut up and stop judging him people! He said he wasn’t good at it, so leave him alone. If his wife is not complaining about it then neither of you should complain about it either.

meghan on

The rest of this article is so sweet and complimentary to Viveca and the boys and how they have enriched Will’s life, it’s a shame that everyone sees the need to focus on one aspect of the article that could very well have been a joke.

mary on

I have a feeling Will has changed a diaper or 200 in his life. He is a comedian, after all.

M on

He’s crap for an actor aswell. Knowing this article excists, means I’m never gonna watch a movie he plays in again. I didn’t like him already, so that shouldn’t be too hard.

Erin on

I knew it. There’s always someone that doesn’t get sarcasm.

Even if he’s serious – it affects you…how?

CelebBabyLover on

Will could have been joking, and I also remember him saying once that Vivieca actually doesn’t LET him change diapers because he’s so bad about it (that, too, may very well have been a joke)! :)

Anyway, I agree with jessicad’s comment. Some people just have very, very weak stomachs. In fact, I once knew a woman who has such a weak stomach that, I’m not kidding, when she changed one of her kids’ diapers, it was usually followed by her running to the bathroom to throw up! Seeing someone else throw up also makes her throw up.

Some people are just very sensative to stuff like that, just as there are people that faint at the sight of blood, and people who refuse to touch raw meat with their bare hands because of the way it feels!

CelebBabyLover on

Also, I wish we could see a picture of Axel! :)

Denise on

I don’t think he is joking, my brother in law was the same way. He claimed it made him gag. Will says “I’m not so good at it”…well, that is impossible, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to stick one of them on your baby’s bottom.

Each to their own, that is his wife’s problem to deal with. Just picturing Will years from now when he is elderly and needs his own diaper changed…guess his wife can say “I’m not so good at it.”…LOL

M on

Even if he tried to make a joke I think it’s a stupid one. My opinion, that is. If somebody else think it’s a great joke, then that’s up to them.

dlock on

My husband was the first person to change our sons nappie when he was born. Since I had a c-section n couldn’t really move around, my husband dealt with the nappie changes for the first few days home from the hospital. When we came home he was still on nappie duty, it was when I started move around a little more (like 2 weeks after), I was the main nappie changer. But 7 months later, my husband and I rotate for the most part if were home together. But, I don’t really have any problems from my dh! I was actually more scared to change his nappie because of my sons circumcision, so my dh would jump rite on it! :)

Jessie on

as long as he picks up the slack somewhere else it’s not a big deal to me. If i change diapers he’s gonna get up in the middle of the night for feedings,lol

Tess on

M – completely agree.

sar on

You know what? My hubby isn’t good at it either! He doesn’t wipe thoroughly and puts the diapers on way too tight. And he does gag a lot…

So I just prefer to do it, but he will do it if I can’t obviously. It’s not that strange or rude if you ask me!

gdfg on

I don’t think it’s a joke, I think he’s just being honest.

In mosdt domestic partnerships there are a couple of chores that only one partner does. Example: mowing the grass (which I DON’T do), work on the cars, etc. It sounds like Will does things for his kids that his wife doesn’t do, so if she’s the only one who changes diapers then that’s fine.

gdfg on

“Knowing this article excists, means I’m never gonna watch a movie he plays in again.”

Seriously, you’re never going to watch another one of his movies because he doesn’t change diapers??

The immaturity on this site never fails to astound me . . .

sgv on

My husband is an exelent loving caring wonderful dad, but he hates to change diapers (poop diapers…) of course if he HAS to because I’m not home, then he does, but when I’m home I do it, and is ok for me, because he is very hands on, he does everything at home (including ironing!) and with our daughters he is great so is not a problem for me that he doesn’t like the diaper changing. There are things that I don’t like to do at home (like taking the trash out) and he does them for me, we are a team, we help each other, and if I know that something bothers him then I do it, it works for us, so I think there’s nothing wrong with Ferrell’s family.

D on

I gagged with all 5 of my children while changing diapers. Gagging is a normal part of diaper changing. It comes with having a baby. Diapers are not meant to smell like rose petals. That’s why they are called diapers!

D on

If a guy/father/partner isn’t good at diaper changing…practice, practice, practice. Do you think that first time mothers or grandmothers know how to change diapers all the time? It’s not just the men. It takes practice!

ecl on

There is no such thing as “being bad” at changing diapers. They are very easy. Those men who are “bad” at changing diapers are either too lazy to learn or don’t enjoy it, but let’s not pretend that they are some kind of challenge. He doesn’t wipe well enough? That doesn’t mean he is bad at it. Again, it means he is lazy. That is fine if the husband picks up the slack elsewhere, but storytime? That’s a fun, bonding activity! And mowing the lawn as one person said? That’s not a day in and day out activity so it can’t even compare. This is topic that is good for mothers to discuss because division of labor in the household is one of the biggest causes of strife in relationships.

Dee on

My hubby is the worst at diaper changes and he has a weak stomach. Twice he almost puked on our son when he pooped and everytime he smells or sees it he starts to gag so I dont let him touch him then.

However I dont care how bad he is when baby pees, papa needs to help out and change his bum. At the same time Will is just being honest and my hubby was the same with me. He warned me before hand that he was not good w/ poopy diapers.

He reads to the kids and help out in other ways thats what matters….

crazymegtay on

If my husband were famous & bringing in all the dough, I wouldn’t LET him change a diaper.

CelebBabyLover on

gdfg- I agree completely! To add a few examples to what you said…..In a lot of households, only one spouse cooks. With my parents, it’s my dad who does the cooking. He really enjoys cooking, whereas my mom prefers to stay OUT of the kitchen (she can cook, but she prefers not to). So it’s only natural that my dad do all the cooking.

In some households, diaper-changing is just another thing that only one spouse does. :)

eli on

Hey Will However dedicated your wife is to your children we all dislike cleaning up poop as much as the next guy it is about showing up for your wife when it doesnt smell like roses all the time

e on

My thought is that some people can do somethings and some can not. I can deal with dirty diapers all day, but cannot deal with vomit. I changed my sons, and my nieces diapers all the time. However, if one or the other of them spit up or vomited, I was useless. The first time my brother saw me change his daughter’s diaper he was impressed, cause I did it so fast and efficient, cleaned, creamed and powdered in no time. The first time she puked, sorry to say I gave over to someone else. My son has had a million diapers changed, gotta say when he was sick I did hold his head, but I might have gotten a little sick at the same time. Sorry, I have a weak gag reflex. I gave him to his dad, or grandma if she was there. Not to say I didn’t stay with him if he was sick, just saying if Dad was there, it was his job that day……

jessicad on

Maybe they have a more traditional household, he said she takes care of the house, and obviously he works, should he ask her to go out and make millions so its even? No, I just don’t see anything wrong with him not changing a diaper or why he deserves to be called lazy, a wimp, and told he’s not ready to have kids, that’s just silly. Not like you have this amazing bonding experience when you change a diaper full of crap, he still sounds very hands on and like a great dad.

Like e I can’t deal with vomit, at all. Thank goodness my daughter never throws up(knock on wood) because I can’t handle it. I work in a hospital and LOVE seeing broken bones and can deal with poop, needles, or blood all day long, but seeing someone throw up makes me want to as well. One of my co-workers can’t stand feet, so I’ll trade her nauseous patients for one a foot issue, everyone is just different and its no big deal:)

LH on

I can’t believe so many people have such strong opinions about such a nontopic! Who cares! In the grand scheme of things, how relevant is this?

Sue on

If Will refuses to change a diaper, what will his kids do when Will is in diapers? They may refuse to change his! He better rethink the whole issue.

Robert OKeefe on

If the married couple agree on the relationships routine surrounding their family’s lives…it’s up to them!
A side note: My father changed me, once …I do believe I woke up in strange crib in a strange house!

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