American comedian Alex Edelman received a very special birthday treat from British students while on a train to a London airport.
Students on a field trip began asking casual questions of the 29-year-old Edelman—does he have siblings, what are his hobbies, and then, when his birthday falls, which happened to be that very day.
"A really wonderful thing just happened to me on a train in London," Edelman wrote. "I'm flying back to Los Angeles today from here and I was on the train to the airport and across from me was a classroom of children on a field trip with a nice teacher."
A really wonderful thing just happened to me on a train in London. I’m flying back to Los Angeles today from her… https://t.co/LIslyVZhpa— Alex Edelman (@Alex Edelman) 1521542199.0
And the kids start talking to me and asking a bunch of kid questions like if I have siblings and do I miss them and… https://t.co/lQ6ZMRXSZW— Alex Edelman (@Alex Edelman) 1521542291.0
"Oh, you probably have no one to sing Happy Birthday to you, then."
One of the kids asks how old I am, and I tell him I turned 29 today - which is true, it’s my birthday - And then he… https://t.co/kaDlCZYE9T— Alex Edelman (@Alex Edelman) 1521542511.0
Edelman "hates" traveling on his birthday, but was incredibly moved when the half-dozen students in the class began singing "happy birthday" to him, for everyone around to hear.
So this class of about a dozen little British fellas sing me a very nice version of “Happy Birthday” on the train.… https://t.co/OjjypuiJl7— Alex Edelman (@Alex Edelman) 1521542603.0
Edelman tweeted that he thinks the kids are heroes, and that their kindness is a direct reflection of their teacher, their parents, and the country in which they are being raised.
These kids are absolute heroes. And their teacher must be doing a great job. Because they made my day and they’re a… https://t.co/a8JgvgvUVb— Alex Edelman (@Alex Edelman) 1521542779.0
One student named Leigh told Edelman that "it doesn't take much to make someone smile." One of her classmates, Mohammed, however, noticed that Edelman appeared choked up, rather than ready to laugh.
One last funny thing: after they sang, one of the kids (named Leigh) repeated something he had learned - and just a… https://t.co/SZfDDIj15z— Alex Edelman (@Alex Edelman) 1521550355.0
Edelman celebrated his 29th birthday yesterday while flying back to Los Angeles. His career took off in 2015 after a show in Edinburgh, which ended up winning him the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer. The stand-up comedian was born in New York, raised in Boston, and lives in Los Angeles. In addition to his stand-up comedy, Edelman as written about Millennials in such publications as The Guardian and The Atlantic.
"I didn't cry in front of the kids, obviously. I cried on the train platform after I got off," he recalled. "You know, like any newly-minted 29 year old would."
Birthday wishes came pouring into Twitter.
"Aww Happy Birthday Alex!"
@AlexEdelman Aww Happy Birthday Alex! 😢🎉🎂— Maggie Lawson (@Maggie Lawson) 1521560584.0
"That's beautiful," one fan wrote. Kindness is contagious!
@AlexEdelman That's beautiful - and I love how they even noticed you were about to cry... Lesson to all of us: Be more like those kids!! ❤️— Julie Dole🇺🇸🇨🇦🌎 (@Julie Dole🇺🇸🇨🇦🌎) 1521647847.0
Actor Robin March chimed in too, saying Edelman's story was "a lovely thing to happen. Glad you had a great experience in London. Happy birthday to you!"
@AlexEdelman What a lovely thing to happen. Glad you had a great experience in London. Happy birthday to you!— Robin March (@Robin March) 1521656658.0
One user, though, suggested that next time, he should use the opportunity to show kids that it's okay for grown men to show emotion. But it still contained a happy birthday, and that's what really counts here.
@AlexEdelman Happy Birthday Alex. FWIW you a grown man crying openly, whether from joy or sadness, would have been… https://t.co/9FjvxcI19F— Mikes Recovery (@Mikes Recovery) 1521655372.0