Instagram Is Cracking Up Over Michael Symon's Throwback About His Parents

Remember that magnet game you had as a kid, with the man's face sketched onto it? You could move your little magnet pen across the screen to drag the tiny magnetic threads around the page, using them to give the man a mop of hair, bushy eyebrows, or tufts of magnetic hair growing out of his ears? And when you held it up, all the pieces would fall to the bottom, leaving your man looking like Vin Diesel? Well, while Food Network chef Michael Symon has professionally sported that clean-as-a-cue-ball look for as long as we can remember, his Instagram posts would indicate that, like many of the facial hair-sporting world, the Iron Chef began moving the magnets around sometime in 2020. 

A post on Symon's Instagram from November of 2020 gave followers the first glimpse of a goatee. Since then, the chef's social media account has tracked the spread of salt-and-pepper chin hairs growing steadily across the lower half of his face, culminating in a full beard. Now, followers of Symon's facial hair journey can rejoice: His recent Instagram post indicates that there might be more memorable hairstyles to come, as funky follicles seem to run in the chef's family. In a throwback for the record books, Symon captioned the post, "At my parents today .. found some old pics .. my dad was a pimp .. that is all."

Welcome back, Symon

In the grand tradition of going through your parents' stuff and embarrassing them in front of all your friends, Symon posted a picture of his dad at a much younger and, ahem, funkier age. The elder Symon sports a magenta button-down shirt with a floppy collar, along with a groovy necklace (visible because quite a few of Mr. Symon's top buttons are undone, by the way), massive glasses, and a curly, puffy crop of hair on his head.

Judging by the comments, one of the little kids in the picture with Symon's father is the star of "Throwdown with Michael Symon" himself. "He looks slick, for sure!! And how adorable are you?!" wrote Lori Stokes of Fox 5 in New York, to which Symon replied, "lol...thanks L!!..xo," confirming that one of those kiddos is indeed Symon. (Our money is on the kid on the left.) "Your dad reminds me of Mr. Kotter," one follower commented, referencing the titular teacher in the 1970s hit show, "Welcome Back, Kotter." And it's true: Symon's father, who Symon once told USA Today was an integral part of the family business by doing the books for Symon's company, does look about a gold chain and a pair of roller skates away from an audition for Xanadu. Weirdly, with fashion trends from the 1970s having a major moment in today's culture, the post could pass for a current photo with a far-out filter...if it weren't for Symon's contextual caption.