Flashback Friday: More Dad Libs for Family Fun

My son Jonathan and I trying not to lose it.
My son Jonathan and I trying not to lose it.

Last Friday I reblogged as a flashback an old post called Dad Libs, a Mad Libs Alternative. This week I’m including one that never made it from the family YouTube channel here to the blog, so I know it will be new to most of you. I’ve decided to include our very first Dad Libs recording as well, to offer up a bit of history on the art of our family’s twist on an old game. I’ll post that one below the newer one for comparison (the old webcam gives it a real historical feel).

Like Mad Libs, the game that inspired us, which was created in the late 1950’s by the team of Leonard Stern and Roger Price, our twist, “Dad Libs” is a language game. It operates on the same principles as the original, but it calls for the whole family to be creators, not just to fill in the blanks of someone published by someone else.  A blind panel of friends or family members are asked to give seemingly random parts of speech to fill in the blanks of a text.

The creative-ish part is that we take turns deciding what the text will be, a poem, a famous speech, an obscure news story, whatever you think will be fun. Then you copy and paste the text, and proceed to choose which words to blank out, words that will be filled in by the rest of your merry band, who have no idea what text you’ve chosen.

Then the really fun part is that you turn on the camera, and make someone read the newly altered text for the first time, and save for posterity the giggles and gaffs. If you don’t have kids, don’t worry, your friends will enjoy this as well. Honestly this has to be better than sitting around the kitchen table playing bridge.

If you’ve never done Mad Libs and are still confused, you might want to google it because the explanation I give in the older of the two videos below is pretty feeble and fumbling.

This newer video was recorded last Summer (You can thank the Monkey for his editing) and in it we are mad-libbing Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” followed by Tom Hanks’ award-winning grave-side monologue from the movie “Forest Gump.”

The second video was actually our first one back in 2010, and my son Jonathan aptly named it “The Gettysburg Massacre.” In the clip’s description (on YouTube) you can find the whole text, which you are free to copy, but trust me, you’ll have even more fun if you do this from scratch. If you have even more time to procrastinate on this Flashback Friday, you can watch the whole playlist here. I hope it inspires you to try something creative like this with your clan.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. slpmartin says:

    What a fun family activity…like the creativity…but not certain I could read those without laughing throughout the reading…enjoyed the videos.


    1. Well, I pretty much did lose it over the spider bit. 🙂 But I cannot wait for the next game night.


  2. Jamie Dedes says:

    Lots of fun. Enjoyed much … a clever way to spend an evening and – yes! – infinately better than Bridge . . .


    1. Haha, yes. Thank you for joining us for game night. Lol


    2. Jamie Dedes says:


      … and thanks for the follows, by the way. Would like to feature you on Bardo. Would that work for you? Any suggestions about what you’d like to share there?


    3. Wow, thank you for the honor. I’m a Unitarian who is more humanist than anything else. So I’m not sure what would work there for you. Probably something about my boys. I’ve been working on a few poems that might interest you. Perhaps I could send you something and see if you think it might fit what you are doing at Bardo?


    4. Jamie Dedes says:

      Would love that. Thank you.
      Please put “Bardo” in the subject line so it doesn’t get lost in the fray.
      Look forward to hearing from you, David.


    5. Thank you, Jaime. I appreciate what you do, and I’m touched that you thought of me. I’ll send you something soon.


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