Danny DeVito Taught Rob McElhenney That Being a Celebrity Parent Is Simpler Than It Seems

McElhenney says that Devito’s parenting philosophy is straightforward for famous and non-famous fathers alike
Danny DeVito Taught Rob McElhenney That Being a Celebrity Parent Is Simpler Than It Seems

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star and co-creator Rob McElhenney says that his co-star Danny DeVito taught him invaluable parenting lessons, which means that McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson’s kids should probably keep their expectations low around Christmas time.

Given how many A-list actors and entertainment moguls turn out to be absent and ineffective fathers and husbands, it seems like a rarity when a true superstar expertly balances a legendary entertainment career with a positive and fruitful family life. Hell, even for the non-famous wealthy men of the world, being a good dad who is present in his children’s lives sure seems to be a near-impossible challenge. Ostensibly moral and upstanding millionaires regularly find fatherhood to be too great of a distraction to fully commit to their kids — I mean, Bruce Mathis didn’t even meet his twin children until they were already awful adults. 

DeVito, however, doesn’t think that being a rich and famous father is any more difficult than the challenges that parenting poses to any paternal figure, wealthy or otherwise. And, when his friends and colleagues McElhenney and Olson prepared to start their own family, he advised his scene partners not to overthink the “celebrity” part of being a celebrity parent. In a recent interview with Business Insider, McElhenney praised the presence of DeVito and his wife Rhea Perlman in his family’s life and extolled the simplicity of their parenting philosophy: just be present.

Suffice to say that, when it comes to fatherhood, Mac follows Frank’s example instead of Luthor’s.

“The trick is not much of a trick at all,” McElhenney said of the advice given to him by the couple he calls his parenting role models. “It doesnt matter if you are the poorest person in the neighborhood or the richest guy in Bel Air. If your parents give you unconditional love with boundaries and respect you and spend time with you, youre probably going to be okay.”

McElhenney and Olson fell in love while playing abusive coworkers on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so its fitting that the worst non-father in Philadelphia helped them navigate the evolution of their relationship into a family. Today, McElhenney and Olson have two sons, ages 13 and 12, and the advice of DeVito and Perlman has been invaluable in the success of their domesticity. “Having Danny DeVito and Rhea in our lives, who have raised three wonderful kids, has been really helpful,” McElhenney explained.

On top of the simple but effective advice that DeVito and Perlman imparted, McElhenneys business partner Ryan Reynolds, who has a family of six with his wife Blake Lively, sent McElhenney some touching wisdom that he recounted to Business Insider: “Just make sure that, no matter what, you leave space for whats most important, which is your kids. And to be able to twirl Kaitlin on the dance floor.”

Hopefully that dance floor isnt in Paddys Pub with the ownership of the bar on the line, or the only “twirl” will be Macs flurry of elbows.


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