Creating hilarious dad jokes is an art form. The world-famous Sandwich Bag Dad takes it to a new level. Laugh or be inspired, you choose.
By day, Dave Blumenthal is a (mostly) normal guy, working in finance and doing his best to survive the trials and tribulations of parenthood. By night, Dave is a cartoon artist. Drawing under the moniker ‘Sandwich Bag Dad’, Dave combines his love of art with his passion for wordplay and dad jokes.
In The Begining
The Sandwich Bag Dad story started in 2012. Dave’s eldest daughter, Sharni, had started school just weeks after the birth of her baby sister. To make Sharni feel special and loved, Dave’s wife started carving little love hearts and other shapes into Sharni’s school sandwiches.
After a few days, Dave took over the sandwich carving duties and from there, things escalated quickly. The daily sandwich cut-outs became more and more intricate, and Dave was soon fielding new ‘carving’ requests from Sharni’s friends and teachers.
Weeks passed and the daily sandwich carvings continued. One day, as Dave was about to slice up a new sandwich “masterpiece”, he spied a marker pen on the kitchen benchtop and had an idea. Instead of cutting shapes into the actual bread, why not just draw his designs onto the actual sandwich bag itself. And, the rest, they say, is Sandwich Bag history.
A Daily Ritual
From that point on, drawing on Sharni’s lunch bags became a daily ritual. Over the next few years, Dave’s artwork steadily gained notoriety amongst Sharni’s classmates, her teachers and the school staffroom. The bag drawings even became a regular discussion topic at parent-teacher interviews, with Sharni’s teachers usually starting the interviews with “your daughter is doing great, but can we talk more about your sandwich bag drawings?”
In 2016, after much prodding from Sharni’s teachers, Dave finally joined the world of social media. He established his “Sandwich Bag Dad” identity on Instagram and Facebook and began to share his works online.
Over the ensuing 4 years, Dave‘s daily lunch bag workload doubled and then tripled as Sharni’s two sisters, Tia and Milly, started school and began to demand their own customised sandwich bag art. All the while, Dave continued to post his works to his social media accounts and build a growing band of loyal followers.
In 2019, Sharni convinced Dave to go ‘green’, or ‘brown’ to be more precise, swapping from plastic to more environmentally friendly, paper sandwich bags. “I was really happy to make the switch,” Dave chuckles, “Not only was I doing my bit for the planet, but this was clearly a sign from my daughters that it was perfectly okay to recycle my dad jokes!”
In 2020, Dave’s quirky ritual went global. His drawings were featured in numerous newspapers, global entertainment websites and radio talk shows. His lunch bags even had their very own exhibition at Australia’s National Cartoon Gallery.
To this day, Dave continues his daily tradition of lunch bag drawings for all three of his daughters. The bags are usually drawn at night, with each taking around 10 to 30 minutes, depending on their complexity. Once complete, Dave duly photographs his work for social media posterity and then places them on a pile. Each morning, the Sandwich Bag Kids raid the stockpile to select their bags, before tossing their sandwiches inside and heading off to school. While very occasionally one of Dave’s lunch bags will be hung up on the classroom wall, the vast majority end up crumpled and tossed in the recycling bin. Dave doesn’t mind though. He knows the bag have served their purpose, bringing a smile, an eye-roll … and a sandwich to school lunchtime.
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