Social media sensation Patriotic Kenny had us all rolling on the floor laughing with a four-part series of his first-ever interaction with the personal assistant Alexa.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 25, 2022. It has since been updated.
Most of us have probably become accustomed to telling Alexa to add items to our grocery list or asking Siri to call contacts on our iPhones. However, for those of us who did not grow up with this kind of technology, using it for the first time can be both confusing and illuminating. That is exactly what Kenneth "Kenny" Jary experienced when he spoke to Alexa for the first time. At 80 years old, his first interaction with the artificial intelligence tech was captured in a TikTok video, which was liked by many since it was first posted, Comic Sands reports.
In the clip, Kenny can be seen trying his hand at communicating with virtual assistant technology, Alexa, for the first time. He asks his friend Amanda Kline, who is off-camera, "Can I ask her?" After he is given the go-ahead, he leans into a tablet and says, "A-Alexa?" Following a brief pause, he affirms, "No answer." Nonetheless, Kenny hears a response eventually and begins to interact with the technology. "Alexa, how about sausage and pepperoni pizzas..." he proceeds. "Are they good for you, or not?" Alexa does not seem to understand the question and adds his request to a grocery list instead.
There’s 4 parts. It’s so funny but sweet. Tik tok is @/patriotickenny 😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/YngwgMfjEb— ✰𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗡𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗶𝘀 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ƹ̵̡✰ (@bridgetnxo) March 21, 2022
Then, as he takes a closer look at the screen, Kenny discovers that one of the items added to the shopping list was underwear. So, he does what any reasonable first-time user would do and clarifies to Alexa that he does not want to create a shopping list. He even thanks her for clearing the list. At that point, Alexa responds, "Anytime, literally." Reasonably, Kenny was absolutely floored. Upon seeing his reaction, viewers on TikTok were completely enamored by the senior citizen. One user humorously noted in the comments section, "Alexa better start acting right for grandpa, honestly." Another added, "I'm 'literally' crying laughing right now!" Others joined in, commenting on how funny the clip was.
Kenny first joined TikTok to raise awareness about veterans through informational videos. Every now and then, he uploads videos of himself interacting with new forms of technology that were not available to him while growing up. Fans of the TikTok star return to his profile to see his humorous and adorable videos. His positivity and emotional openness have proved irresistible to his 1.6 million followers. For instance, when he needed a new mobility scooter last year, his followers raised enough funds to buy him a new one. He now uses his presence on TikTok to pay it forward.
In the past, Kenny and Amanda have surprised veterans across the United States with mobility scooters of their own. So far, they have gifted new scooters to over 50 veterans. According to the 80-year-old, TikTok has changed him. "It made me into a different person," he said in an interview with CBS Local Minnesota. "Before I was struggling, I was alone, didn’t have nobody and it was a struggle. But now I’m out, I’m about and I just feel so much better."