Today - Season 2014
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TODAY   |  January 15, 2014

Hank Azaria: Preemie son stopped my selfishness

The voice actor known famously on “The Simpsons,” is taking on a new role as dad in a docu-series on AOL called “Fatherhood,” which documents his dealing with as a dad and the health of his premature son.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> hank is in the role of his life. he's a dad.

>> he can't get out of it.

>> hank explores the journey in the series called " father hood " out today. take a look.

>> i feel about kids the way i feel about most people which is most of them are annoying. children are no exception. they're like annoying short people. my lovely girlfriend and katie and i have been together a bunch of years. the question was do we get married? do we have kids? i started the journey of asking everyone i could see, friends, poker buddy, experts, asking them why did you want to become a father, what's so great about it? in the middle of that we got pregnant.

>> oh my gosh.

>> hello. surprise. what was your initial reaction? by the way, welcome.

>> thank you.

>> what was your initial reaction when you found out?

>> my initial reaction believe it or not is captured on camera which you'll see a bit of in the document series. we were shooting this and then my dog of 16 years started to die, very old. the day we put her down we found out we were pregnant. we were shooting all this rather insanely.

>> you had a double whammy. pain of losing a beloved pet and joy maybe.

>> you don't know until that moment how you're going to really feel. it was a big joy reaction. it's not like a reality series --

>> it's not about you --

>> it's not. it's about father hood peppered with our actual life.

>> must have been scary in the beginning. your baby was born prematurely.

>> she was 30 week, 10 weeks early.

>> two pounds two ounces?

>> two pounds five.

>> he's in a fight for his life.

>> he was okay. it was seven weeks there in the nicu. see how tiny he is there. for me it -- i had a lot of selfish concerns even in the pregnancy like how is it going to change my life? how am i going to deal with screaming in the house and diapers. when you're faced with, what if he's not okay? that put it all in context. i'm just grateful he's all right.

>> what lessons did you learn from other dads? did they teach you anything?

>> people have been amazing. kevin bacon had the best advice. i can't remember if we were pregnant or not when talking to him. he said the phases will drive you up the wall. remember the phase whether you love it or hate it, it's going to pass. they don't tell you that. so particularly in the whiny phase. i was like, he's not going to be this way forever.

>> he'll take a break and come back as a teen. it's true.

>> this is the new hank azaria .

>> there's debate in my family about that pronunciation. which do you prefer?

>> azaria. my sisters prefer zaria. this is out now right?

>> when you have your second child, you can do it from katie's perspective. if she wants. she's been great putting up with cameras. we're married now.

>> congratulations.

>> this is the thing i love to watch. catch the