With more than 700,000 fans and fewer than 80 tweets, Justin Halpern, creator of the popular Twitter account Sh*t My Dad Says (warning, many tweets are NSFW), has landed a TV deal. According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS has picked up a comedy project based on the account and enlisted the Will and Grace co-creators to produce and help write the show.
Lemons Into Lemonade
Halpern was forced to move back in with his parents in August and decided to launch the Twitter account based on the often-hilarious quotes offered up by his father. The quotes range from “The baby will talk when he talks, relax. It ain’t like he knows the cure for cancer and he just ain’t spitting it out,” to topics that are far more profane. The account quickly grew in popularity as people began retweeting almost all of Halpern’s posts.
As far as instant Internet celebrity goes, Halpern nailed it. He came up with a simple, creative idea, and took advantage of a viral-ready platform to help give it life. I won’t pretend that he was incredibly strategic in his approach – I seriously doubt he set out to ink a TV (and book) deal – and obviously there’s no formula for recreating his success.
But stories like these (this is the second Internet meme to be offered a TV pilot this year) showcase the increasing influence of new media tools, and, perhaps, the growing desperation of traditional media outlets.
If you’ve been ignoring this shift in media, it’s time to start paying attention. These tools are a viable, affordable option for communicating your simple, creative ideas.
And who knows, you may even get a TV deal out of your efforts.