A baby was just crowd-surfed to Dwayne Johnson while he was touring in Mexico to promote his new film, Black Adam. The moment was memorialized on his Instagram as people flooded the comments section with a mixture of shock, awe, admiration, and fear. After all, to send your little one out into a crowd unattended is a little…taboo? It’s literally an act of letting go of your child, and leaving it up to luck, fate, God, whatever you want to call it…strangers…to not drop, crush, stampede, or steal them.
But this isn’t the first time a crowd-surfing baby has garnered worldwide attention. Let’s take a look at other epic and equally terrifying times someone’s infant was crowd-surfed to a celebrity.
April 2008: A Baby is Crowd-Surfed to Barack Obama
Obama was campaigning in Missoula, Montana when one dad decided to send his infant up front. Her name was Natalie, and she was 8 months old.
The dad’s name was Scott Pankratz. He was interviewed by a blogger for the website Daddy Types shortly after the rally and explained himself.
“I’m 6’5″ and was about 4 people back,” he said. “I was holding Natalie up and Barack noticed and made a little motion towards me. The crowd parted just enough for me to make the hand-off. Since I’m tall and have long arms, I could reach all the way and see her the whole time.”
Photos of the crowd-surfing baby, wearing a white onesie, circulated the internet. A video captured the moment that the baby was handed to Obama, and he doesn’t exactly look thrilled. He asks the dad, who is off camera, if he is the daddy, wags his finger, and returns Natalie.
The Daddy Types blogger asked Natalie’s father, “Did you have plans to have your baby kissed, or was it an impromptu thing?”
Pankratz responded, “Impromptu,” which implies of course that Obama may have kissed Natalie at some point after the hand-off. The video above doesn’t show the surfing or the hand-off part.
October 2008: Another Baby Crowd-Surfs to Obama
Just 6 months later, another baby was sent, hand-over-hand, to Obama through a crowd. The Associated Press described it as “like a tiny crowd-surfer in a rock concert mosh pit.” This baby was wearing pink.
Obama spent a bit more time, it seems, with this baby, whispering in her ear and kissing her. He then told the dad, “Don’t leave me with the baby,” and handed her back. According to NBC, he nuzzled a baby boy afterwards, although it’s not clear if that baby was also crowd-surfed.
June 2013: A Baby Crowd-Surfs to the Stage at the Glastonbury Festival
One little baby was sent surfing over an actual rock concert crowd while sitting in a baby buggy. It was during a Michael Eavis karaoke cover of an Elvis song.
The Guardian’s Tim Jonze reports that concertgoers were beside themselves with anger, with one woman screaming “Stop!” And another yelled, “I’m sorry, but this is not right!”
“People continued tutting but at least the baby seemed to be in tune with the spirit of the festival: like most Glastonbury-goers, he was unable to form complete sentences and could not handle solid food,” Jonze hilariously wrote.
However, this particular baby happened to be the child of one of Eavis’ bandmates. So, in the end, the audience was relieved.
October 2022: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Gleefully Accepts a Crowd-Surfed Baby
This might be the cutest example of a crowd-surfing baby ever. While Obama was courteous, even mildly fatherly and doting, Dwayne Johnson completely and legitimately lit up.
While at a Black Adam press event in Mexico City, a tearful father sent his baby girl above the crowds and Johnson’s way. The tiny baby girl, wearing a shirt with a rainbow, a headband, and with a pink blanket, looked like she literally just learned how to open her eyes.
Fans tenderly pass the baby, whose name is Luciana, to The Rock as he takes her with his hands and cradles her. It’s obvious he’s used to babies (he has three daughters, one who is grown up, one who is 4, and one who is 6). He’s beaming from ear to ear, and it looks like he says something like, “Oh my God, brother. Wow.”
The Rock Made This Baby a Celebrity
Johnson was so overcome with joy and gratitude that he incorporated the moment into a highlight reel and posted about it more than once on Instagram.
“Her father caught my attention because he had tears in his eyes when he held her up high and gestured for me to hold her,” Johnson wrote. “I honestly thought he was holding a toy doll he wanted me to have as a gift. This beautiful, serene, present and trusting angel is Luciana. One day, I bet she’ll inspire all those around her. And whatever this moment meant for her emotional father – means it meant something special for me too. Love you back MEXICO and the mana is strong. Girl dads ROCK.”
In the highlight reel, The Rock introduces little Luciana to everyone as she waves her hand.
“Mexico, I want to introduce you to someone very special — our biggest fan, Luciana,” he says.
The comments, of course, are what we’d all expect them to be. A combination of heart emojis and utter disgust. But one thing is clear — Dwayne Johnson loved it.
Black Adam, a DC superhero film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (of Jungle Cruise), comes out in theaters October 21. You can watch the trailer below.