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Tom Papa Explains Why Dads Don’t Want Gifts on Father’s Day

"Think of your dad like a clam. You wouldn't buy a clam a sweater. He won't wear it, and neither will your father."

The Late Show

Father’s Day is rapidly approaching and one stand-up comedian has a message to kids about the upcoming holiday: Don’t buy fathers any presents. Tom Papa, a longtime stand-up and father of two, shared his controversial advice during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, arguing that dads are as unenthusiastic about receiving a gift on Father’s Day as most kids are about buying them.

“No father wants anything,” Papa explained. “No more presents for dad… A father does not need presents. Your dad does not want you running around the mall buying mini-helicopters and shirts that he’s not going to wear. Dad is there. He wants to see your face, and that’s it. He has everything he needs. Think of your dad like a clam. You wouldn’t buy a clam a sweater. He won’t wear it, and neither will your father.”

Colbert agreed, noting that finding the right type of gift for a dad can be tough. Papa believes this is because, unlike the rest of the family, dads don’t grow or change. A dad’s goal is to stay the same. Papa then spoke about the misery of being a dad on vacation, as fathers are completely subjected to whatever their kid desires at that moment.

“A family vacation is a horrible thing,” Papa says. “It is a gut-wrenching, soul-crushing, sticky affair. You’re going to have to buy things you don’t want to buy. You’re going to have to stand in line for things you don’t even like. You’re going to have to buy food for people who don’t eat. You’re going to wear a bathing suit all day long, in public.

But Papa explained that despite the horrific nature of family vacations, he will always go because they make his kids happy and that’s what being a dad is really all about.