Dad Knows Best

Go inside the mind of YouTube sensation 'Pittsburgh Dad.'



"That wasn’t a mascot convention!” exclaims Pittsburgh Dad. “Them were furries!” There go the ultra-local, familiar jags in Pittsburgh Dad, a Web series created by Christopher Preksta and Curt Wootton. As the titular Dad, 33-year-old Wootton wears giant glasses and uncomely outfits as he humorlessly rants about everything from lawn care to movies. His monologues are short, breathless and punctuated by a sitcom soundtrack. Unlike Preksta and Wootton’s retro-science fiction hit Mercury Men, Pittsburgh Dad is statically shot on an iPhone 4S. Nevertheless, the makeshift series has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube, causing nearly every Pittsburgh native to cackle with familiarity. Wootton talked with us about life as an irate (fictional) father.

How did this whole thing come about?  
I’ve been doing impressions of my family since I was a kid. While we were filming Mercury Men, we entertained the cast and crew with an impression of my father and grandfather — just to keep energy up. So after the series debuted, Chris and I were searching for our next project, and he said, “Hey, let’s just film that character you were working on.” So we stopped at Goodwill and bought some corny glasses and some Dad-esque shirts, and threw a couple episodes on the Internet.

What’s it like going from Mercury Men to this?  
It’s a lot more laid back — not that I didn’t have a blast on Mercury Men, but we were always on a time crunch.

So, what’s your process?  
Throughout the summer, we have the titles of the shows we’re going to shoot. Then we write a couple of pages of little jokes. We’ll go and film. We do an improv round, which is where some of the gold comes from. Chris picks out the best takes, and then we add a laugh track and we’re done.

How did the laugh track come about?  
It’s been there since the beginning. Chris and I found a couple of laughs on his computer — you know, like stock laughs — and I said, “Why don’t you throw that onto the episode?” And it just works.

This show seems ripe for live performance.
My training is actually in theater. We are planning on doing a live stage show, sometime in the future. We’re just coming up with a viable script that is suitable for a stage production. We’ve mentioned it on WDVE. We haven’t officially announced it, but it’s something that seems fitting.



What’s ahead for Pittsburgh Dad?
We don’t want the show to get stale. We want to continue with this format, as long as the material’s fresh and we get a good response. We were even thinking about bringing in the characters we’ve been talking about, turning it into a sitcom.

How would you describe Pittsburgh Dad?  
He’s an everyman type father. He’s blue-collar — working class. He’s trying to raise a proper family, keep his property intact, and deal with the trials and tribulations of life in Pittsburgh. My father was raised in Bloomfield. He absolutely loves the show and is one of our biggest supporters. He still claims that he doesn’t act like this, but as anyone who knows him will tell you, it’s absolutely dead-on. I don’t think there was a Christmas where a cat wasn’t in the tree. We had pets the entire time growing up, mostly cats and dogs; my dad never wanted any of them. If he’s not yelling at animals, something’s wrong with the day.

Do you find yourself becoming your father?
I guess we’re all slightly doomed to become our parents — but I’m not to the extent that he is. ’Cause I don’t even have kids.

Are you looking into other ventures?
We are always on the lookout for the next project. It’s just so easy to go out there and do it yourself. If we can create another show, that’s great. I really enjoy drama. I really like action-packed roles, like sci-fi. And I totally adore comedy. I’ve written a lot of comedy. I’m a student of all aspects of acting. I want to stay in Pittsburgh. I love it here, except for the winter. The people are great; the city’s great. If I can make a career here as an actor, then I will.

If Pittsburgh Dad were real, would you hang out with him?  
No. (Laughs) He’s the type of character who can never relax; he could be lying on the beach, and he just couldn’t relax. He’d be thinking of something that he should be doing. It would be very unnerving.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space form more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

The Strip District eatery overcomes tumult and once again is one of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Oscar-Winning Actor Chosen to Portray Andy Warhol in Biopic

Oscar-Winning Actor Chosen to Portray Andy Warhol in Biopic

The movie is the first non-documentary to focus solely on the pop artist’s life.
How to Build a Playground in Pittsburgh in Less Than a Day

How to Build a Playground in Pittsburgh in Less Than a Day

The state-of-the-art playspace is expected to keep more than 100 children entertained.
Funny: Sofia Vergara Describes Life with Steelers-Fanatic Hubby

Funny: Sofia Vergara Describes Life with Steelers-Fanatic Hubby

Joe Manganiello's wife told Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” that she's learned to accept his Steelers' obsession but also admits “in the beginning it was kinda weird.”
Why Steelers Chose Christmas for New Uniform Reveal

Why Steelers Chose Christmas for New Uniform Reveal

It will be the first time the Steelers have worn all black uniforms.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

The 10 Brands That Built Pittsburgh

From glass and aluminum to ketchup and candy, Pittsburgh has made its mark, thanks in large part to the instantly recognizable brands that remain etched not merely on its buildings — but on its DNA. We look at 10 of those brands and explore how they helped to establish and define the Steel City.
Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Wheels Up? What's Next for PIT

Under a new CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport heads into its 25th year while attempting to woo flyers and flights and leave its empty, post-hub days behind
Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Pittsburgh's Connection to an Out-of-This-World View of Space

Three men at NASA serve pivotal roles in maintaining the Hubble Space Telescope, which has been taking high-resolution photos of deep space form more than 25 years. And they're all from Pittsburgh.
Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

Dish Review: Bar Marco's Turnaround

The Strip District eatery overcomes tumult and once again is one of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants.
Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

Talk of The Tahn: Weird Things We Do that Make Pittsburgh Wonderful

The things that are best about us? They’re not things. They’re ways.
Chris Kunitz: The Penguins' Unassuming Hitmaker

Chris Kunitz: The Penguins' Unassuming Hitmaker

Chris Kunitz wants to dish out a couple hundred more hits, play a couple hundred more games and win a couple more Cups.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Oscar-Winning Actor Chosen to Portray Andy Warhol in Biopic

Oscar-Winning Actor Chosen to Portray Andy Warhol in Biopic

The movie is the first non-documentary to focus solely on the pop artist’s life.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Dinette's Sonja Finn to Helm New Restaurant at Carnegie Museums in Oakland

Dinette's Sonja Finn to Helm New Restaurant at Carnegie Museums in Oakland

Finn and chef de cuisine Becca Hegarty to bring salads, sandwiches, house-baked bread, wine and more to the refurbished Café Carnegie.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

6 Best Restaurants for College Students in Pittsburgh

Easy access from universities, wallet-friendly prices and really good food make these our favorite choices for the university set.

Comments


Drinks With Some Spirits at Harmony Inn

Drinks With Some Spirits at Harmony Inn

The historic (and purportedly haunted) Harmony Inn is a fine stop for drinks and food.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pens Look Back and Ahead to Cap ‘Summer of Stan’

Pens Look Back and Ahead to Cap ‘Summer of Stan’

The puck drops for the opening of training camp on Friday, and once that happens the Penguins must transition from “champions” into “defending champions.”

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Work It

Work It

A new handbag from Sandra Cadavid’s is perfect for work — or play.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
If All Remakes Were as Good as Magnificent Seven, We'd Really Love Remakes

If All Remakes Were as Good as Magnificent Seven, We'd Really Love Remakes

Reviews of the "Magnificent Seven" remake and "Storks," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

A Laid-Back Love: Kelly McHolme and Bob Stasa

This Pittsburgh couple wanted their guests to be just as content as they were at their wedding.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
This Weekend: Annual Wilkinsburg House & Garden Tour

This Weekend: Annual Wilkinsburg House & Garden Tour

Also: If you’re looking to redo a room to invite relaxation, PPG Paints promises a wide variety of soothing colors for 2017.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Duquesne University Inaugurates New President with Deep Pittsburgh Roots

Duquesne University Inaugurates New President with Deep Pittsburgh Roots

Ken Gormley began his new tenure by delivering good news to University employees.

Comments