Actor, comedian, and father of two, Josh Gad, is also the voice of Olaf from Frozen. He announced he would be doing a nightly, live story time late last week on Twitter. His first reading, which took place on Friday, was of Olivia Goes to Venice by Ian Falconer—and he did all the voices.
Gad tells his fans, “I’ll try 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 soon. Take care.”
Last week, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. shot up as the stock market plummeted. Tom and Rita Hanks tested positive for coronavirus. And after learning that his daughters’ school would close indefinitely, the anxiety got to Gad.
It’s okay to cry. pic.twitter.com/JTuBCFc4SA— Josh Gad (@joshgad) March 19, 2020
“I felt like I didn’t have any answers to give to the people who rely on me to give answers— namely my girls… I felt like I didn’t know what to tell them or how to prepare them or how to distract them for the greatest disruption they’ll hopefully ever know in their lives.”
Gad realized that every night before he puts his daughters to bed, he reads to them to help relax and wind down from the day. Why wouldn’t his massive following benefit from being read to as well? He said, “It is the one thing I can do while I feel so fundamentally helpless.”
Gad calls it #GadBookClub and says he’s just doing his part to “help keep you and your kids (somewhat) sane?”
So far there is no set time for the informal readings but the earliest have started at 6:45 p.m., with the latest going live around 9 p.m., but Gad has begun to give a bit more advance notice via Twitter. Luckily fans can catch past readings on his Twitter feed anytime.
Kid or not, check out Gad’s past readings of: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Day the Crayons Quit, The Giving Tree, Hooray for Diffendoofer Day, and The Gruffalo.
Gad hasn’t shared how long he will keep up his nightly storytime, but for now, families and fans share photos and gratitude in response to his generosity on Twitter.
We LOVE this. Thank you thank you thank you from children ages 3,5, 32 & 33— Jillian “Stay Home Save Lives” (@jillian_brunson) March 16, 2020
Gad is, “…grateful it is touching so many people and giving folks 20 minutes respite from the grind that is the constant barrage of horrible updates that we are getting on these devices right now… For me, it has been a distraction, to sit and simply read a book and not look at a screen and not think about what is happening around us.”
Other celebrities are using their platforms and creativity to contribute remotely through this period of quarantine. John Legend offers an in-home concert, Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner started #SaveWithStories and Ben Platt hosts an impromptu dance party to help keep people entertained. Children’s author Mo Willems hosts ‘Lunch Doodles’ to engage kids with daily art projects, and ‘Queer Eye”s Antoni Porowski is offering free cooking classes on Instagram.