Jack Black: Now that my kids are teenagers they can’t stand my musical tastes

Jack Black was a guest on the We are Family podcast for Parenthood magazine. It was a concise little 11 minute episode which helped me make the decision to listen to it. (Bite-sized podcasts which are well edited are easier to listen to!) Jack is promoting Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, his animated series on Netflix and it was just announced that Kung Fu Panda 4 is happening. He opened up about working on School of Rock with child actors, a role he said was scary but worth it. He was also asked about music in his household with his wife of over 15 years, Tanya Haden, also a musician. Jack said that they used to jam out in their house until their teenagers got sick of his music tastes. Jack and Tanya have sons Samuel, 16, and Thomas, 14. Here’s some of what he said and you can hear that interview on Apple Podcasts.

On if School of Rock made him want to be a dad
At that point I was like ‘I’m not getting married and having kids that’s not for me.’ I was intimidated by the kids. Once we got on the set and had our first read through with the cast I was like ‘this is magical, this is going to work… What was I afraid of? I was born for this role because I’m like a kid.’ It was a good lesson in taking the plunge. Just because you’re afraid of a thing doesn’t mean it’s not going to be a great thing – like the best thing in my career.

When you go into a production and you’re making a movie, there is a bond there. It’s a scary job when that camera’s rolling and you’re saying your lines. It takes a lot of courage to be able to face your inner demons and the terror of the moment. To this day we have that awesome experience in common and we look forward to our reunion. We have a 20th reunion coming up next year.

On music in his household
[My wife and I] like to jam out a lot and listen to music and dance around when the boys were younger, in their single digits. Now that they’re teenagers they can’t stand my musical tastes. They’re always [wearing] headphones and not even letting me hear what they’re listening to. Back in the day there was a lot of dancing around to Weezer that was probably our favorite.

Tips on parenting teens
We have fun adventures but it gets harder and harder to get quality time with the kids as they get older. It’s like ‘I’m not a kid anymore I don’t want to do that kid stuff.’
‘We can still go to Disneyland can’t we?’
‘No it’s not cool anymore.’
That’s just part of growing up right, you’ve got to let them leave the nest.

[From We are Family on Apple Podcasts]

I imagine that Jack Black is a unique kind of embarrassing dad and he’s said as much in past interviews. I’m so lucky that my son never got sick of my music! He’s not into the same shows as me for the most part, but he and his friends actually like the 90s rap and 70s and 80s R&B that I listen to in the house. (Rock the Bells and The Groove on Sirius.) The other day his friend knew the lyrics and was grooving out to Lauryn Hill and Tribe Called Quest with me, I was impressed.

Also, as I mentioned in my story about Joel McHale’s son bitching about visiting Stonehenge, I went to Disney with my parents at 13 and hated it! Only decades later did I realize what a big deal that trip was and how I was completely unappreciative. It’s just how teenagers are.

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10 Responses to “Jack Black: Now that my kids are teenagers they can’t stand my musical tastes”

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  1. Lucía says:

    Coolest guy ever.

  2. Dutch says:

    Having Jack Black as a dad would be such a blessing and a curse. He seems like a fun dad to have but also given the frequency he spends in a Speedo on his TikTok account he would be mortifying embarrassing for a teenager.

    • MsGnomer says:

      Agree, 100%!

      His quarantine videos did make me laugh my ass off, so even if his teenagers are rolling their eyeballs, I am grateful for his ridiculous theatrics.

      Isn’t his mother/kids’ grandmother a heavy duty scientist? Makes me wonder if that is a possibility for his kids as they mature. That would be cool, too.

  3. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I’d have loved it if we had camera-phones back in the 90s. I’d have footage of me driving, my hubs beside me and three boys in the back head-banging to Alice in Chains, STP and all the retroactive rock we could handle lol. In fact, now that my oldest is 31, he’s actually asked me why my music hasn’t aged with me. Everyone he knows my age listens to, “age-appropriate” music apparently. I simply told him I’d not go neatly into some box.

    • JJS says:

      Same. I actually really love Spotify for this, it helps me keep listening to new music, both stuff from this year and funny enough, small songs I’d never heard from the 80s, etc. but that area also great. My kids joke that I know more about pop culture and new stuff then they do, and I think its partially thanks to this site!

  4. Matilda says:

    I’m going to apologize to my mom today for being so ungrateful when she and my dad took my sister and I to Disney World when I was 13. I resented not having gone earlier and felt too old for it. I should have appreciated any vacation as my dad didn’t like to travel and sending us to relatives homes was supposed to suffice for vacation. My mom worked hard for that trip, we rarely stayed at hotels before that. Now travel is one of my main passions. Sorry mom!!

    • whatWHAT? says:

      I know it’s not our business but I’d love to hear your mom’s reaction to your apology. I bet you she will LOVE to hear it and might even get teary about it. It’ll probably mean a lot to her.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Awwww, do it! It’ll mean so much to her. And you’ll forever be grateful you did.

  5. Haha my daughter doesn’t care so much for my music taste,but she has me listening to her play list…

  6. alexc says:

    And on another related musical note, his wife Tanya’s father was the late, truly great jazz bassist Charlie Hayden. A very cool family!