Josh Gad reads bedtimes stories to the world during the COVID-19 isolation


As I say anytime I have the good fortune to write about Josh Gad, I absolutely adore him. I mean, I like a lot of celebrities, but I find Josh worthy of adulation. First off, I think he is talented. I’ve mentioned that I got to see him in The Book of Mormon on stage even before I knew who he was. I loved him as LeFou and all his voice work, but I’m watching Avenue 5 on HBO and Josh is fantastic as the narcissistic, clueless Herman Judd. He couldn’t be farther from Olaf, the kindly, self-sacrificing snowman. Josh and Hugh Laurie should be cast opposite each other in everything. However, in addition to my enjoying him on screen, I genuinely think Josh is a good person. I follow him on social media and he is consistently clever and kind. Any time he speaks about or to another celebrity, they respond with effusiveness and admiration for who he is. He is a walking feel good. And he doesn’t stop there. Josh does a lot of work with sick kids already. With the encroaching isolation of billions of people as countries try to flatten the curve on the COVID-19 spread, Josh stepped up for kids once again, this time offering to read bedtime stories live, on Twitter.

Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in the Frozen movies, took to Twitter on Friday to offer kids a little bit of comfort—and their parents several minutes of free daycare—as they self-isolate at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The actor read Ian Falconer’s 2010 children’s book Olivia Goes to Venice, part of his Olivia series, which is written for kids aged 3 to 7.

“Since we’re all stuck at home right now I figured we would have a little fun together, so I’m going to see how this goes, but I decided I’m gonna read to your and your children or just you, depending on what you prefer,” Gad, a father of two, said in a Twitter Live video. “I’m not gonna pass judgment right now since the world is a little bit of a hot mess. But I thought tonight, we would start with one of my favorite books about one of my favorite places that none of us can really go to, a little place called Venice, in Italy.”

“Alright, kids! That’s the first book of this little experiment. Let me know if you like this and if you enjoyed it and if this was helpful,” Gad said. “I’m trying to provide at least 10 minutes of daycare to you and your families a night while we’re going through this unprecedented global event. I love you all. I’m hoping you’re all healthy and safe, wherever you are, and hopefully, I will see you all very took. Take care.”

[From E!]

As reported, Josh’s first reading was Olivia Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer. Josh said he loved the book because it was about one of his favorite places, Venice, Italy. I don’t doubt that, but I have to believe his selection was an intentional show of support, considering the crisis in Italy right now. Josh used different voices for his characters and explained things to his young readers, like what a hotel is and how much he loves gelato. He also pointed out the kids watching that he wanted to lick his fingers to turn the pages, but he wasn’t because the CDC said we should keep our fingers out of our mouths. He’s such a dad. Day two, he read The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywit, this one was new to me and it’s charming. His third reading was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, which was my favorite children’s book growing up. Last night, Josh not only included Instagram in his #GadBookClub, he switched up his story. Josh said he’d intended to read If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss, but changed his mind, most likely following his first day homeschooling his kids, to Dr. Seuss’ Hooray for Diffendoofer Day.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Most parents admit they sit with their kids to listen to the stories, even though Josh refers to it as 10-minute daycare for the parents. It seems like such a simple act but if you can make the live readings, there’s a sense of people coming together for this shared moment that makes it all the more lovelier. Plus, I can only imagine what it does for the young viewers when he signs off by telling them he loves them. A lot of folks are quoting Mr. Rogers’ line, “Look for the helpers,” in response to #GadBookClub. My first thought was Franklin Roosevelt’s Fireside chats that calmed a broken nation. Sometimes you just want someone to take a hold of your hand when things are scary (that’s a metaphor, folks, don’t hold a strangers hand right now, even if it is Josh Gad’s). My kids are too old to appreciate this gesture but since Josh slips in some of his dry wit in his asides, it’s appealing enough for me to enjoy on my own. I wonder how long it will take before he reads Frozen? I can only imagine his commentary while reading that.




Photo credit: WENN/Avalon and Twitter

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11 Responses to “Josh Gad reads bedtimes stories to the world during the COVID-19 isolation”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    I love Josh Gad. He is a sweet, kind, funny man, who seeks to heal. I have been following him on Twitter since the Parkland school shooting in which he lost a family friend and he became very active in supporting the families and March for our Lives. I listened to the first #JoshGadBookclub the night he started it. It’s a wonderful gesture that I hope brings comfort to many while also encouraging kids and parents to read.

    Another lovely gesture has been YoYo Ma’s #SongsforComfort on Twitter and Facebook. He started playing a cello piece every day but others are encouraged to contribute as well and people have. There is also a #PoemsforComfort

    • DD says:

      Thank you so much for these: #songsforcomfort and #poemsforcomfort. I feel like we need to build virtual choruses and sing together during these times. Hugs, everyone. ♥️

    • Thanks Lightpurple for letting us know how to find Josh’s readings. I will listen tonight and thanks for the info on YoYo Ma and the poems. I will seek those out as well. Thank you Kaiser for bringing attention to this lovely man and his huge heart. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never heard of him. Obviously, I’m one of the few people who know nothing about the FROZEN movies, but I will seek out his Twitter and his acting work in future. I like to support good wherever I can.

  2. Solace says:

    I lovvvvve him too! 😍

    In frozen, in Olaf’s voice he says “Samantha?!, (bursts out laughing), I don’t even know a Samantha!!”

    He’s just priceless 😂

  3. Betsy says:

    I always liked Josh Gad, but since my son’s reading resource said he reminded her of Olaf in the best way possible, I’m overcome with love for him. I hope my son continues to grow up as kind and sweet as Gad appears to be.

  4. Dee says:

    He’s the best part of the Frozen movies. So fun .

  5. Giddy says:

    Josh Gad is a national treasure, and a gift to us all. What a lovely, talented, generous man. He really does seem to be picking up the reins from Mr. Rogers, he’s a helper’s helper and is making himself into a source of comfort and strength.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I came across him reading the crayon story by accident on Sunday evening. My child and I now look forward to listening in to his “renditions of the classics.” Such a fun little snippet of time in our isolation. Huge appreciate to Josh for doing this!

  7. lassie says:

    My coworker bestie and I have a “best movie you’ve never seen club” at work and she suggested the Rainn Wilson movie “The Rocker” which has a pre Frozen Josh Gad as Matt. He’s a hoot in that movie.

  8. NeoCleo says:

    I have such a lovely painful lump in my throat right now!