This Day In Internet History – November 9, 2009: CBS Announces It Will Televise $#*! My Dad Says

Shit My Dad Says
(Twitter/shitmydadsays)

“Twitter got me a sitcom deal.”

Dads say weird stuff. It’s a universal truth. Most of us just get embarrassed in front of our friends, but writer Justin Halpern capitalized on the bizarre crap coming out of his dad’s mouth by creating a Twitter account called @ShitMyDadSays. To his surprise, the account quickly became a viral phenomenon and gained the interest of executives at CBS when it achieved massive popularity.

Read on to see how it all crumbled to bits!

The Main Event

On November 9, 2009, CBS announced it was developing a television sitcom based on the Twitter feed @ShitMyDadSays. After its premiere on September 23, 2010, the series, starring William Shatner, was immediately maligned by critics. Check out these hilarious headlines:

The Pile of $h*! That Was ‘$h*! My Dad Says’ – SplitSider

CBS Quietly Admits the Shit My Dad Says Pilot Was Shit – Gawker

And take a peek at this brutal review, from Slant Magazine’s Kris King:

$#*! My Dad Says is a dismal show, harboring the worst qualities of every lame, four-camera, laugh-tracked sitcom on television. The jokes are painful, the acting is hammy, the characters are flat, and it simply isn’t funny. Ever.

God, I love journalism!

Remember, before it was one of the worst television shows of the modern era, @ShitMyDadSays was actually a wildly successful Twitter account, loved by millions. Let’s trace its rise from obscurity.

A Brief History Of Shit My Dad Says

In August of 2009, semi-employed comedy writer Justin Halpern moved back in with his parents and started Shit My Dad Says simply as a way to document his septuagenarian father’s profanity-laced, oddly wise musings.

It wasn’t long before word got out, thanks in part to comedian Rob Corddry tweeting out the link to a wide audience. Within a month, tweets from Shit My Dad Says were mentioned on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. Halpern’s follower count grew into the millions.

Idea-starved executives took notice. First came the book deal. In October of 2009, Halpern signed a deal with HarperCollins Publishers. Upon release, the book topped the bestseller list for six weeks. Then came the jump to TV. CBS approached Halpern for a television deal just a couple of months after the Twitter account was launched.

The move by CBS represented a newfound willingness for traditional media outlets, like television, to incorporate intellectual property from new media, such as Twitter. Speaking of… has anyone at CBS seen my tweets? They’re worth at least $2 million each, don’t you think? Uh, I’m willing to negotiate.

Where Are They Now?

As I might have mentioned above, the television series wasn’t exactly a homerun. After 18 episodes aired, $#*! My Dad Says (yes, the name was censored) was unceremoniously replaced midseason. It was not renewed.

Perhaps part of the problem was that CBS insisted on making it a multi-camera sitcom with a laugh-track, which didn’t exactly scream “new and innovative storytelling!” Or perhaps it failed because tweets are typically short, pithy, self-contained thoughts–often without an overarching narrative. Whatever the reason, it fucking tanked.

You can still visit @ShitMyDadSays for cranky, profanity-laced rants from Justin’s father, although it is rarely updated these days. At the time of writing, the most recent tweet was from May 9, 2017.

And Justin Halpern was savvy enough to leverage the failure of  $#*! My Dad Says as a platform to launch a successful screenwriting career, with credits on Surviving Jack, Cougar Town, and Powerless.

So happy anniversary to the day a hilarious Twitter account got turned into an unfunny television show. Do I sound bitter? I swear, I’m not bitching.

Son Surprises Ailing Dad With Tickets To College World Series

Father’s Day is a special time to celebrate your old man, and show him how much you appreciate the role he’s played in your life all these years. Especially since, as we get older, our dads do too, and they may not have many Father’s Days left.

Matt Lea recognized that this Father’s Day, and so went out of his way to make it a memorable one, for both him and his father, both former college baseball players who bonded over the game as Matt was growing up.

Matt’s father Billy suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, and the symptoms have been accruing rapidly. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for more memories, and Matt used the latest Father’s Day as an opportunity to do just that. The 36-year-old drove 12 hours, from Florida to Mississippi, and surprised his parents at their doorstep on Sunday.

He was bearing gifts as well, bringing his dad the jersey of his favorite baseball team, Mississippi State. But that wasn’t all. Matt brought tickets too, to see the College World Series in Omaha in person.

In video of the exchange that Matt posted on Twitter, his dad was clearly taken by surprise.

“I figured it’s probably not good enough just for us to watch the game here,” Matt says in the video as he produces the tickets. “How about we go to Omaha? Do you want to go up to Omaha and watch the College World Series together?”

“Golly,” an emotional Billy responds. “You’re gonna break my heart, here.”

Matt’s gift for his dad received a rapturous response from Twitter, where it’s been liked 46,000 times and retweeted 11,000 times.

Matt seemed as surprised by the response as his dad was by the gift, as everyone who celebrated Father’s Day yesterday knows, there’s nothing better than sharing meaningful memories with your dad, which is exactly what Matt did. An article on Omaha.com details Billy’s baseball past, the initial diagnosis of his Alzheimer’s, the VIP experience Matt treated him too over the weekend.

Matt’s Twitter account showcased the rest.

Happy Father’s Day!

Amazing Street Artist Uses Everyday Objects As His Canvas

(Twitter/tombobnyc)

Artist Tom Bob doesn’t see the world like other people. Where you and I might see sewer grates or metal pipes, he sees ghosts and saxophone players.

Check out some of the amazing ways he’s transforming parts of New York City into works of art.

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Check out more of Tom Bob and his unique artwork here.

Father Figures: Heroes

“On February 2, 2011, my daughter was born. The whole thing started pretty normally about 2:30 am or so, my wife woke me up and said, ‘Honey, it is time to go,’ so we went to the hospital in a snowstorm.

That was the easy part.

When they put the belly monitor on her they noticed that the babies heart rate would drop to low whenever my wife would have a contraction. She needed emergency C-section, but the doctor could not make it due to the storm, and when he finally arrived it was rush rush rush!
Well when my daughter Emily did arrive, she had internal bleeding throughout her body, which included two grade 4 brain bleeds. We could not touch her because she would bruise and start bleeding.
They had to life-flight her to the university, where she spent 5 1/2 weeks in the NICU, which left her (you may want to sit down) deaf/blind, with hydrocephalus, a shunt, cerebral palsy, and seizures (at age 6, she needed a baclofen pump because her CP got too bad to handle without it). She is doing great today. She is happy, loves life, and everyone who meets her says that she makes their day and she is beautiful.
To pay back our little community, I became a first responder, mostly a firefighter, but I did help with EMS. Never got my certification, but that is where I found out that in the U.S. we do not have any training for first responders to deal with children with special needs.
I have made it my personal mission to teach first responders about kids with special needs.
I have taken to Emily to every EMS/Fire station in the five counties around me. I have taken her to the police and sheriff’s departments to train them, and now I have a waiting list to get trained.
I don’t know if I am the hero here, but I needed to tell the story.”

– Mike Kuyper

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Low Cost Cosplay Guy Makes The World A Better Place

(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)

Anucha “Cha” Saengchart, the genius behind “Low Cost Cosplay,” has amassed millions of followers with his incredible reimaginings of famous fictional characters.

Whether you’re planning on portraying your favorite anime character or a Marvel superhero, this guy can show you how to do it effectively and on a string budget.

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Can’t get enough? Check out more creative cosplay on his Facebook page.

Dad Turns Photos Of Daughter Into Kickass Album Covers

(Instagram/rfosterdesign)

When graphic designer Ryan Foster spotted a somber, black and white photo of his daughter, Harper Lou, it instantly reminded him of a blues album cover. He couldn’t help but throw some graphics onto the image to create her first “album” cover himself.

This has led to a series of album covers featuring Harper Lou, many of which look pretty damn legit. She may not be making actual records yet, but her dad will definitely be ready when she does.

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You can find more awesome album covers as well as other design projects by Ryan on his Instagram.

The 5 Hottest Father’s Day Tech Gifts Your Dad Will Ask To See The Receipt For

(Getty)

Mother’s Day is in the rearview and our annual celebration of everything Dad is fast approaching. Sure, he loved those grilling tongs and Three Stooges boxsets you got him last year. But if there’s one things all dads love, it’s being assured that they’ve genetically passed on their cheapness. Here are 5 Father’s Day gadgets your dad is definitely going to demand the receipt for.

1. A smart speaker

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Source: Amazon

These have become relatively expensive in recent years. This, of course, isn’t going to stop your dad from assuming it set you back several thousand dollars. Your dad just figured out how to make a Facebook profile. He’s gonna need a minute on talking AI servants.

2. A streaming stick

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Source: Roku

“So yeah, you just plug this Roku stick into the TV and you can pretty much watch anything you want.” That’s you. That’s you telling your dad you just spent a boatload of money on a piece of technology. “Instant access to every movie ever made” is your dad’s cue to ask you to retrieve the Best Buy receipt crammed in the console’s cupholder.

3. A dashcam

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Source: Amazon

These are great to have in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, your dad is still under the impression it’s 1999 and all digital cameras cost ten million dollars. Be sure to keep this receipt in your wallet, because this thing’s going right back to the store if it ran you how much he thinks it ran you.

4. An e-reader

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Source: Amazon

What a lovely thought. Your dad, sitting up in bed, every book he could possibly want at his fingertips. What will he read first? A book about World War II? The biography of Henry Ford? The answer is, of course, the receipt for this fancy reading tablet that probably set you back three mortgage payments.

5. A yearly-subscription to a music streaming service

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Source: Spotify

You just want him to be able to listen to the Doobie Brothers whenever he wants. But by his math, if buying a single song on iTunes costs $1, and Spotifly, as he calls it, gives you access to over four million songs, you’ve essentially just bankrupted your family. Good job. Be sure to keep that receipt handy to prove to him that he can still see his grandkids attend college one day.