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Pittsburgh Dad


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CHRIS PREKSTA (director/cocreator) is a film and web series director whose credits include Pittsburgh Dad, the sci-fi series The Mercury Men, which premiered on the NBC Universal/Syfy digital network, and the award-winning online sitcom The Guild. Chris grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

CURT WOOTTON (Pittsburgh Dad/cocreator), a film and stage actor, turned an impression of his actual father into a nationally known character with the introduction of Pittsburgh Dad. His credits also include the online series Captain Blasto and The Mercury Men. Curt grew up in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Chris and Curt are currently writing and developing Pittsburgh Dad as a feature film.

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street

New York, New York 10014

USA | Canada | UK | Ireland | Australia | New Zealand | India | South Africa | China

A Penguin Random House Company

First published by Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 2015

Copyright © 2015 by Christopher Schnur-Preksta and Curt Wootton

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorised edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Photographs by Chris Preksta



Preksta, Chris.

Pittsburgh dad : everything your dad has said to you / Chris Preksta, Curt Wootton.

pages cm

ISBN 978-0-698-18218-9

Wootton, Curt. I Pittsburgh dad (Internet television programme) II Title.

PN1992.2.P46P84 2015




Thank you to:

Curt’s girlfriend, Kaitlin, for putting up with being called “Deb.”

Chris’s wife, Ashley, for her endless support of a nerdy husband. Jane and Catherine, for making Chris an actual Pittsburgh Dad.

Linda and Dave Urbaniak, for allowing their actual home to become a TV studio once a week.

Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, and Sally Wiggin, for graciously helping our audience to grow larger than just our families.

Nicholas Yon and Turner’s Dairy for their consistent partnership.

Coach Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers for allowing us to be a part of the family.

Editor Becky Cole for guiding two first-time authors.

George Ruiz and David Sedelmeier for working to make sure we can both create AND pay our bills.

All the fans, for watching and sharing their own memories with us over the years. Without them, you’d be holding a blank book.

The city of Pittsburgh, for being the best city on the planet.



In October 2011, just to kill some time one afternoon, we decided to film Curt doing an impression of his often-cranky father, complete with his thick Pittsburgh accent (down is pronounced “dahn,” house = “hahs,” for those of yinz who’ve never heard it). We grabbed some old glasses from a thrift store and quickly shot a forty-second video on Chris’s iPhone:

“Did yinz warsh your feet off in that little bucket by the pool ladder before yinz got in that pool. I don’t want grass clippings clogging up my filter. And no I ain’ Just go get some freeze pops in the cellar.”

We added an All in the Family–style sitcom intro and fake studio laughter to make it appear as if Curt’s father was a TV dad from the ’70s or ’80s. We were just doing it to make our own parents laugh. When we uploaded the video “Meet Pittsburgh Dad” onto YouTube to share with our families, we expected a total of 50 views. That first day, we had 1,000. Within just a few months, we had more than 1 million views. National news outlets began sharing the episode, and we were flooded with hundreds of messages and comments from around the country all saying similar things: “My dad is EXACTLY like this!” “It’s scary how accurate this is.” “It’s as if you secretly recorded my family growing up!”

It seemed like everybody’s parents said the same things to them when they were growing up. Was there some class that taught all dads to yell about not pressing your face against the screen door. Do you automatically start guarding the thermostat the moment you become a parent. At what age do we suddenly start regulating how much milk is poured into a cereal bowl.

Over the past three years, that single video has led to more than 100 additional episodes capturing the nostalgia, funny phrases, and frustrations of growing up in a blue-collar, middle-class home—coming home when the street lights go on, catching lightning bugs, and not being allowed to play in the “good” living room.

What you’re holding is a collection of our favourite jokes and stories written for the show, collected from our personal experiences and memories of growing up. But you’ll swear it was your own dad speaking.

And if you picked up this book wondering what the hell it is, or why you should care about some dad from Pittsburgh, you can see the show for yourself at Millions of views later, we still film on Chris’s iPhone.

We hope yinz enjoy it!


The food tastes the same in all the chairs. Warsh your hands and sit the hell down!

Can you have a Happy Meal.! You should just be happy you’re even getting this meal.

Can we eat dinner at IKEA tonight.! Why don’t we grab hors d’oeuvres down at Roomful Express while we’re at it.

What’s city chicken.! It’s pork. If you don’t like it, just close your eyes and pretend it’s chicken nuggets.

It’s clean, for crying out loud. You won’t eat fruit until we soak it in Purell and run it through the dishwasher.

Take that wrapped Arby’s sandwich outta the microwave before you blow up my house!

Hey, what’s the number-one rule in the house. “Always use a Chip Clip.”

Quit eating all the Little Debbie snacks! Those are for your lunches.

No, I don’t want no craft beer. I don’t even like their mac and cheese.


You have to eat it ’cause there’s kids starving in China. Send it to them, then.! How’s about we just send you, instead.

You’re a vegetarian. Since when did Cinnamon Toast Crunch become a vegetable.

No, this ain’t like eating in a prison. They complain less there.

Quit feeding the animals under the table.

Hey, Mum, stop throwing all that leftover bread to them filthy birds. It’s starting to look like a damn Hitchcock movie out there.

Can we make you something else.! Sorry you ain’t happy with tonight’s selection at Mom’s Diner. Let’s see what else we have on the menu. Oh look, a hot plate of nothing with a delicious side of grounded.

Whaddya mean Dr. Oz says we should use sea salt instead. Since when are we taking health advice from a wizard. Is Dr. Oz gonna pay our grocery bill.

Them rumours about Mountain Dew ain’t true!


I found this Sopranos DVD box set in the five-dollar bin, so all I’m paying is five dollars.

Wait in line for hours to see the “Cake Boss”.! Yeah, Deb, I’d love to explain that to my real boss.

Nah, Mum will have to take yinz shopping down that Hollister’s. You need a lantern and a map to shop at that place.

Yeah, Mum “bought” yinz book covers. They’re in the kitchen and say Giant Eagle on them.

You have a dime. Quit asking the penny-candy lady about your Swedish Fish and Flying Saucer “options” like you’re buying a new SUV.

Where’s Gramme. Over there talking to the self-checkout machine.

No, we ain’t buying yinz Lunchables. There’s bread and chipped ham in the fridge. I don’t care if only the ends are left, them are just as good. And quit eating all the Pepperidge Farm cookies. Those are adult cookies.


No, I ain’t ridin’ yinz to the movies. It’s raining, it’s slippy out there. We are in for the night. And don’t bother asking Mum, ’cause she has night blindness. She’ll end up over an embankment ’cause yinz had to see Gravity. She’s gonna feel gravity when that car rolls down a hill.

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