All About the Wacky WallWalker Inventor, Ken Hakuta

Ken Hakuta, best known as Dr. Fad is a Japanese-American TV personality and inventor. He gained fame mostly from his appearance on his television invention show “The Dr. Fad Show,”. The show aired for six years, i.e from 1988 to 1994.

Additionally, Hakuta is the organizer of four fad fairs, wacky ideas, and inventor conventions in New York City. Likewise, he was also honored with the “Inventor of the Year” Award at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

Talking about his relationship status, Hakuta is a married man. He is married to a dashing woman named Marilou Cantiller. The couple has been married for over four decades. Furthermore, they have three children.

How Old is Ken Hakuta?

Ken Hakuta was born in 1951 in Seoul, Korea. However, he grew up in Japan. His birth name was Paik Kun. He is 71 years old as of now. His father’s name is Paik Nag-Seung and his mother’s name is Paik Nam-il.

His father was the CEO of a textile company. Due to some circumstances, the Paik family moved to Japan where Ken grew up. Ken was just born when they moved to the Land of the Rising Sun.

He is the nephew of the founder of video art, Nam June Paik. However, nothing much is known about his personal life including his siblings and education.

Ken Hakuta Changed His Name After Moving to Japan

The Hakuta family was originally from Korea. His Korean name was Paik Kun. His family migrated from Korea to Japan in 1951, and his Korean surname was changed to a Japanese surname.

Ken Hakuta Started The Dr. Fad Show in the ’80s

Ken invented the “wacky wall wacker,” a popular toy of the 1980s that sold over 240 million units. And it got even more popular when the Kellogg Company used the toys as prizes in their cereals.

As mentioned earlier, he signed a contract to play the role of Dr. Fad in the television invention show, “The Dr. Fad Show,” in 1988, which aired for the next six years. He also made appearances in TV shows like The New York Times, The Tonight Show, 48 Hours, and many more. The famous inventor introduced an e-commerce company with the goal of selling herbal products. He also worked as the executor for the real estate business of his uncle.

His Toy, “Wacky Wall Walker” Sold Over 240 Million Units

Hakuta invented the highly popular toy of the 1980s, the “wacky wall walker.” Basically, it’s a sticky, elastomer-made toy that would start walking on its own once it was thrown against a wall. It was like a spider in shape.

Hakuta got the idea of it from the octopus-shaped toys that his mother used to send from Japan for his son. Ken found himself fascinated with that toy. He began to consider its viability in the U.S. market. Without any further delay, he purchased the rights to the product for $5000 and began to market them in Washington, D.C., naming it “Wacky Wall Walker.”

The toy was a big hit, making Hakuta worth over $80 million.

Who is Ken Hakuta Married To?

Hakuta married his co-worker and longtime love, Marilou Cantiller. They met for the first time when Ken was working at the World Bank. Soon, they started dating. Then, after a year, the couple decided to take it a step further and start a matrimonial relationship in 1977.

As mentioned earlier, Marilou was Ken’s co-worker, she also used to work at the World Bank. But, she only came to the limelight after getting married to the inventor.

The romantic couple has already spent more than four decades of their marriage happily, and there are many more to go. Together, they have three children: Justin Hakuta, Kenzo Hakuta, and Aki Hakuta.

Ken Hakuta partying with wife Marilou Cantiller
Source: Dreshare

His Son, Justin Hakuta Is An Also an Entrepenur

The 40-year-old Justin Hakuta has the same enthusiasm as his father. He began his career in 2004 while still in college. His first job was as a sales and marketing associate at Honest Tea. Then he established his non-profit organization, All Day Buffer, which used to help arrange meals for poor, needy people. Justin has also worked as a research analyst for a private firm in New York. In 2014, he became the product lead and co-founder of Avacara.

Justin rose to prominence as a result of his current workplace, GoodRx. He joined Goodrx in 2016 as a senior product manager. It was the beginning of a leap in his career. Year by year, he did so well and kept getting promotions that he finally became vice president in 2019. For your information, Justin holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard.

Also Read: Who is Matthew Jay Povich? Untold Facts About Maury Povich’s Son

His Daughter-in-law Is A Famous Comedian

Ken’s daughter-in-law, Ali Wong is a renowned comedian. She started stand-up comedy right after graduating from college at the age of 23. Soon she moved to New York to pursue her career as a comedian. Wong has appeared in so many comedy shows as well, like The Tonight Show, John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show, and Dave Attell’s Comedy Underground Show.

Wong is also an actress, but she is more famous for her comic skills. She even made jokes about her miscarriage prior to having her first daughter, claiming that her action had helped her cope with the situation.

Ali Wong never took a rest from her work, not even during her pregnancy. She was seven months pregnant with her first child, when her first Netflix stand-up special, “Baby Cobra,” was released. In 2017, she was again seven months pregnant during the release of her second Netflix standup special, “Hard Knock Wife.”

While being asked whether she wants her children to be comedians just like her on a talk show with Ellen Degeneres, Wong denied it stating that comedy is a difficult job. “Don Wong” is her third standup special, released in 2022.

Ken Hakuta's daughter-in-law, Ali Wong    with Actor Keanu Reeves
Source: [email protected]

His Son and Daughter-in-law Recently Separated

Justin Hakuta met his life partner, Ali Wong, in 2010 at a common friend’s wedding reception. Ali Wong is an American actress, comedian, and author by profession. Two of them felt an instant connection and started liking each other. After dating for four years, the couple finally decided to tie the knot in November 2014 in San Francisco. Together, they have two beautiful daughters; the first is Mari, who was born in 2015, and the second is Nikki, born in 2017. The two were an example of a power couple.

Everything was going perfectly in their married life. But suddenly, in April 2022, there was news of their decision to split. The news came just a couple of months after Wong’s comedy special, Don Wong, in which she joked about wanting to cheat on her husband now that she is rich and famous.

The manager of Wong confirmed the news of the divorce while talking with PEOPLE stating, “It’s amicable, and they will continue to co-parent lovingly.” We need to wait to find out the reason behind their separation, as they haven’t made any statements regarding their divorce. For now, they are mutually co-parenting their two adorable kids.

Ken Hakuta's son Justin Hakuta with wife Ali Wong having food
Source: Instagram @jhakuta

Ken Hakuta Net Worth

Ken Hakuta is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the ’80s. His toy, Wacky WallWalker was sold over 240 million units, netting him $80 million. Furthermore, he has made a decent earning from his career in TV. As of 2022, the inventor has an estimated net worth of $50 million.

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