148 user 129 critic

World's Greatest Dad (2009)

2:33 | Trailer
When his son's body is found in a humiliating accident, a lonely high school teacher inadvertently attracts an overwhelming amount of community and media attention after covering up the truth with a phony suicide note.


Bobcat Goldthwait
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Lance
Daryl Sabara ... Kyle Clayton
Morgan Murphy ... Morgan
Naomi Glick ... Ginger
Dan Spencer Dan Spencer ... Dan Spencer
Geoff Pierson ... Principal Anderson
Henry Simmons ... Mike Lane
Zach Sanchez-Vitale ... Peter (as Zach Sanchez)
Alexie Gilmore ... Claire Reed
Evan Martin ... Andrew
Ellyn Jameson ... Jennifer (as Ellie Jameson)
Michael Thomas Moore Michael Thomas Moore ... Chris (as Michael Moore)
Ray Buckley ... Metal Kid (as Alles Mist)
Jermaine Williams ... Jason
Lorraine Nicholson ... Heather


Lance Clayton is a man who has learned to settle. His son, Kyle's an insufferable jerk. Lance is dating Claire, the school's art teacher, but she doesn't want to get serious or even acknowledge publicly they're dating. In the wake of a freak accident, Lance suffers the worst tragedy -- and greatest opportunity of his life. He is suddenly faced with the possibility of all the fame, fortune and popularity he ever dreamed of; if he can only live with the knowledge of how he got it. Written by andrew mcgraime

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lance Clayton is about to get everything he deserves. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, crude and sexual content, some drug use and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Krist Novoselic: The newspaper vendor who hugs Lance. Novoselic is a rock musician, best known as the bassist of Nirvana. Furthermore, it is well known that Nirvana's frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide and writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait was a close friend of Cobain's. See more »


After Kyle's journal is published, the motivational sign over the blackboard in Mike's classroom reads "Hard work is it's own reward". There is no apostrophe in "its" when it is used as a possessive. Mike teaches creative writing. See more »


Lance Clayton: He was a sweet boy.
Lance Clayton: I'm sorry.
Dr. Dana: But there was a lot brewing underneath?
Lance Clayton: The tragedy is, I didn't know until his death how sad he was. Or profound.
See more »


References Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) See more »


Under Pressure
Written by David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor
Performed by Queen & David Bowie
Licensed courtesy of EMI Records Ltd and Queen Productions Ltd.; Courtesy of RZO Music; Courtesy of Hollywood Records
See more »

User Reviews

Nice Black Comedy for Williams and Bobcat
17 December 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

World's Greatest Dad (2009)

*** (out of 4)

One of the blackest of all black comedies features Robin Williams as Lance, a failed teacher, failed boyfriend and failed father to an obnoxious pervert (Daryl Sabara) who masturbates too much, is hated by everyone and who has no real purpose in life. After a tragedy and a lie the father must then come to terms with something that I won't ruin here. When people think of Goldthwait, 99% of them are going to think of the crazy guy from the POLICE ACADEMY films and only 1% are going to know him as a filmmaker. SHAKES THE CLOWN has gained a cult following over the years and there's no doubt that this film will eventually be looked at as not a great movie but one that after watching you'll want to stand up and applaud the filmmakers for delivering something completely original and different. It's hard to really describe this movie because it's best that you go into it without knowing all of the details and how we get to the events in the second half. I'm sure you could show this movie to a hundred people and each one of them would walk away feeling the movie was about something different. I think the film certainly shines the spotlight on parenthood, teen suicide and how we worship celebs and how those celebs even become famous. The movie has so many layers that people are going to take different things away from it but I really respected the comedy of the first half and then the drama of the second. The first half of the movie is full of vulgar situations as the loser son offends one person after another and the viewer can't help but hate him. There's never an attempt to make us like him and that's usually not a good thing in a comedy if you hate the leading man. We're not even given a reason to like the father played by Williams, although I'm sure one could feel sorry for him because of how big of a loser he is to everyone around him. If you do find yourself caring for him then that might change after the events in the second half of the movie. Everyone was informed about Williams and his full frontal nudity but more people should really look at his terrific performance. I guess raw might be a simple word but the entire Williams persona is cleaned away and we're seeing a performance from him that we haven't seen before. I've always felt that he was a better dramatic actor than a comedic one but he handles both sides extremely well here. Sabara is just as great as the perverted son and Alexie Gilmore is wonderful as Williams' girlfriend. The film hits on all sorts of rather taboo subjects but for the most part is looks them directly in the face and doesn't back down. I'm sure the subject matter might be too much for certain film fans but I think those looking for a rather brave and original piece of film-making is going to at least respect what we get here even if they find themselves feeling uncomfortable.

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Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

24 September 2010 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

World's Greatest Dad See more »

Filming Locations:

Seattle, Washington, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,675, 23 August 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Color (Alphacine)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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