Pittsburgh Dad has taken YouTube and Facebook by storm with his 60-second YouTube sitcom. I literally see a Pittsburgh Dad video daily in my Facebook newsfeed and I crack up every time with the spot-on Pittsburghese and fatherly “old man” rants. Created by Curt Wootton and directed by Chris Preksta while shooting on an iPhone, Pittsburgh Dad hits home to many Pittsburghers. We sat down with Curt AKA Pittsburgh Dad to get an in-depth point of view on life, fatherhood and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Guy Manningham: How did you come up with the Pittsburgh Dad character?
Pittsburgh Dad: The character is heavily modeled after my own father, Keith Wootton with a little of my grandfather mixed in. I have been doing impressions of family members since I was a kid and during the filming of Chris Preksta’s “The Mercury Men” I would go into the Pittsburgh Dad character between lighting set ups (which can be lengthy) just to entertain the cast and crew. Then last October I was in Pittsburgh to discuss projects with Chris Preksta and we decided to simply film some bits with me as Pittsburgh Dad and the rest is history…
GM: Do you draw inspiration from any other “Pittsburgh dads” in you life?
PD: I draw a lot of inspiration from not just Pittsburgh dads but also all dads in America that are just trying to raise a good, respectable family but at the same time are in a never ending battle against their spouses, children and pets who are always seemingly trying to depreciate the value of their homes and possessions!
GM: Did you grow up around the Pittsburgh area?
PD: Though I was born in West Virginia, I was raised for the most part in Greensburg, PA. My mother was raised in Penn Hills and my father was raised in Bloomfield and Forest Hills, so I have been around Pittsburgh my entire life. I have been living in Los Angeles for the last 7 years which has made me more of a “Pittsburgh Homer” than ever! I wear my love for the city of Pittsburgh on my sleeve as all my west coast friends will attest to! (think it annoys them sometimes)
GM: You can take the man out of Pittsburgh, but never Pittsburgh out of the man. What are your favorite Pittsburghese phrases?
PD: I love all Pittsburghese, but I am very partial to saying the word “Yinz.” It was uttered by my family so much growing up that when you go away from it for a while you really start to miss it! “Bring Yinz Across America Campaign 2012!” Together we can make it happen!
GM: What advice does Pittsburgh Dad have about holiday shopping?
PD: You gotta be some kind of nut to go out there in that insane mess! Last year I parked my car at Target for two minutes before some jaggo let a a buggy right into the side of it! Can you believe that! Now my wife Deb does all the shopping cause I ain’t going! My kids have it so good anyway! They don’t need nothing! It’s like Christmas every day for them in my opinion!!
GM: Haha…no truer words have ever been spoken, my friend. It’s best to leave holiday shopping to the professionals (AKA the wife). Who are some of Pittsburgh Dad’s heroes?
PD: Anyone who helped the Black and Gold bring a championship to this town! The fine men and women who have served in our military! Sylvester Stallone cause he makes good movies and the Three Stooges…they are funny! Man do they make me laugh!
GM: Agreed. We are somewhat disappointed you have yet to mention chipped ham in a video. Your thoughts?
PD: Sooner or later the people get what they demand!
GM: You heard him, Pittsburgh. Let’s get chipped ham on the menu! We heard you shoot everything on an iPhone. True?
PD: This is absolutely true! The only downside coming when Chris would forget to turn the phone to “airplane mode” and he would get a call or text during filming and ruin a take!! (Thanks a lot Ashley Preksta)
GM: I would say the Pittsburgh Steelers fan video is my favorite Pittsburgh Dad clip thus far. Do you have a favorite?
PD: I really like all of the videos we have done. Yes I am partial to the Steelers episode mostly because it was so much fun to shoot. We shot so much footage and had to edit it down to under two minutes…rats! Maybe and extended version for the DVD!
GM: It was spot-on. You’ve become sort of a local legend around Pittsburgh. Do people recognize all the time as the “Pittsburgh Dad guy” yet? If so, have there been any awkward encounters you would like to share with the GM readers?
PD: I have been in Los Angeles since the frenzy began, but I will be back in Pittsburgh in a few weeks so I will let you know. I do look pretty different out of costume so I don’t anticipate too many encounters.
GM: My brother is about to become a Pittsburgh dad for the first time. Do you have any words of wisdom for the new dad?
PD: He needs to get himself a room that is HIS only! No kids! It is the only way to maintain sanity…that and a few Iron City’s!
GM: Any closing remarks?
PD: Now get ready cause we’re eating dinner over at Gram’s house! No, I don’t know what she’s cooking! You’ll eat it or you’ll just starve! Plain and simple!