TikTok ‘Where’s my dad?’ trend has ties to New Jersey youth theater

The trend features child actor Domenic Innarella during a rehearsal of “Finding Nemo Jr.”

News 12 Staff

Aug 17, 2023, 12:53 AM

Updated 303 days ago

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One of the latest viral memes taking over the social media platform TikTok had its start in New Jersey.
The popular “Where’s my dad?” trend began with a performance at the Children’s Community Theater in Brick.
The trend features child actor Domenic Innarella during a rehearsal of “Finding Nemo Jr.” – a musical based on the 2003 Disney movie “Finding Nemo.” Innarella sings, “Where’s my dad? I’m all alone. I’m too small to be here on my own,” while controlling a Nemo puppet.
“It feels amazing,” Innarella says of the trend. “Like it literally happened overnight, so it is surreal. I can’t believe this is happening.”
Children’s Community Theater recorded the rehearsal and uploaded it onto the internet.
“So once we posted that video and after a couple of days I was like, ‘Woah this is kind of blowing up.’ It’s the most viewed video on our account and then after a week it was in the millions,” Innarella says.
The video has taken on a new life as a way to make light of things adults have to do that they wish their dads were there for or were doing for them instead like filling out tax forms or bringing their cars in for service.
The viral clip has also helped grow both Innarella’s social media following and the Children’s Community Theater. Innarella now has 35,500 followers on TikTok. The theater has over 57,000.
“Some of my friends have texted me, ‘No way, yo, the NFL, MLB have used [your clip].’ It’s just so surreal,” Innarella says.
The production of “Finding Nemo Jr.” has wrapped after performing four sold-out shows earlier this month.


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