Thursday, May 20, 2010

Justin Halpern: Shit My Dad Says



Justin Halpern is an ordinary guy who curates an extraordinary Twitter page. In less than a year it's garnered over 1.3 million fans who follow Justin simply to keep track of the latest and greatest shit his dad says. Justin's talent lies in realizing the aforementioned shit was of a superior quality to that emitted from other dad's mouths. He also has a knack for conveying the underlying heart behind his father's seemingly harsh witticisms.


Raised on a farm in Kentucky, Justin's dad, Sam Halpern, is a man of few words - who knows how to make every syllable count. The exact opposite of passive-aggressive, Halpern, Sr. has never been backwards about coming forwards with his often-unsolicited opinions and words of advice. Growing up, this brutal honesty was difficult to deal with, but now Justin is reaping the rewards. His @ShitMyDadSays Twitter page has spawned a hilarious yet surprisingly touching book of longer vignettes -- brilliantly retold by Justin -- and a TV sitcom produced by Warner Brothers for CBS starring William Shatner, which was co-written by Halpern, Jr. in association with the team behind Will & Grace.


The @ShitMyDadSays phenomenon was precipitated by a very humbling experience for Justin. As the founder of the Holy Taco comedy site, a Maxim.com contributor and an aspiring screenwriter who was free to work wherever is laptop rested, he decided to move back from Los Angeles to his hometown of San Diego to share an apartment with his girlfriend who also happened to reside there. Things didn't go to plan however; Justin's love interest broke up with him the day they were supposed to start cohabiting. To add insult to injury, having already given up his LA apartment, at 28 Justin had little option but to move back in with his folks. Fortunately his story, or at least this chapter of it, has a happy ending.


I caught up with Justin, who now splits his time between Los Angeles and San Diego, to find out more about the upside of living in close proximity to your grumpy old dad (and the fun that can be had with irritable bowel syndrome).


Read my interview with Justin Halpern at SuicideGirls.com.

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