On Project Dad, three celebrity fathers put their careers aside to get more in touch with their children.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Project Dad - Pittsburgh Dad - Netflix
Pittsburgh Dad is an online series of short films featuring the observations of a “blue-collar” father from Pittsburgh who speaks with a thick Pittsburghese dialect.
Project Dad - Background - Netflix
The Internet show was created by Chris Preksta and Curt Wootton. Preksta, a native of Munhall and a graduate of Point Park University and Pittsburgh Filmmakers, serves as director. Wootton, a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania who graduated from West Virginia University, plays the “Pittsburgh Dad”. Wootton and Preksta met on the set of the 2005 web series Captain Blasto. They later collaborated on The Mercury Men for the Syfy network, where Wootton entertained the crew with a character based on the character “Greg” from the web series and TV show Greg and Donny and his own father, Keith, emulating the thick Western Pennsylvania accent of his youth. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette describes the character as “Archie Bunker from Dahntahn or S'Liberty or Little Warshington,” referencing Pittsburgh locales. Dan Gigler of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette praised the portrayal, saying, “This is supposed to be a parody but it's practically a documentary. Pure genius. De Niro has nothing on Curt Wootten [sic] for method acting. This is a dead on portrayal of like, every single one of my male relatives.” The first several episodes were recorded “just for fun” on an iPhone, with the intended audience only the two men's families and friends. It quickly became an Internet hit, generating 3 million YouTube views within 6 months. The series appeals to both current and ex-Pittsburghers, many of whom relate to the character's speech patterns and temperament. Each episode lasts about two to nine minutes and opens with a piano theme song reminiscent of the intro to another Pittsburgh-based program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Each show features the Pittsburgh Dad delivering soliloquies on topics including “grass clippings,” “freeze pops,” and “jag-offs in Baltimore/Philadelphia,” all punctuated by an exaggerated laugh track, which would eventually be removed. The idiosyncrasies of the Pittsburgh dialect plays a large role in the show, including such regional words as “yinz,” which means “you (plural)”; “nebby”, which describes a nosy person; and “redd up”, an idiomatic phrase (imported from Scots into regional American English) which means to clean up and/or to make a space orderly. Pittsburgh Dad was one of three finalists for the 2012 Steeltown Film Factory award. In 2011, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named it the 3rd best internet video of the year. In November 2012 both Pretska and Wootton were hosts and guests of the annual Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has published guest columns written by “Pittsburgh Dad,” including one for Father's Day 2013. In October 2013, Pittsburgh restaurant chain Eat'n Park issued a special edition “Smiley Cookie” bearing Pittsburgh Dad's face; the cookie, which was to raise funds for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, was the first ever Smiley Cookie to feature the likeness of a living person. On December 19, 2014, WPXI aired a Pittsburgh Dad-themed Christmas special, Pittsburgh Dad's Guide to Christmas. Hosted by WQED personality Rick Sebak, the special showed Pittsburgh Dad's previous Christmas specials, as well as debuting a new one at the end. The 1960s-era NBC “Laramie Peacock” made a cameo appearance at the beginning of the special. On July 14, 2015, Pittsburgh Dad aired a special Back to the Future-themed episode in tribute to the first film's 30th anniversary, complete with a DeLorean time machine. The episode showed Dad (all in a “what-if” cutaway) going back to 1989 just to shop at Hills, 1988 where he “appeared” in the WQED production Kennywood Memories to visit attractions “before they tear them out”, to 1972 to watch the Immaculate Reception in person and buy beer for $0.75/bottle while at the game (as well as telling the fans “not to hold their breath” on construction on upgrading Pennsylvania Route 28 to a freeway that didn't eventually end until late 2014), and to change Tom Brady's future from being a star with the New England Patriots to owning an automotive detailing business. Based on the mention of Hills in the Back to the Future-themed episode as well as several episodes of Dad wearing Hills-themed attire, a Pittsburgh-based candle company released a “Pittsburgh Dad's Hills Snack Bar” scented candle that is supposed to replicate the smell of the popular snack bar from the now-defunct chain. Starting with the 2016 NFL season, Pittsburgh Dad now airs a weekly recap of the most recent Pittsburgh Steelers game in addition to regular episodes. On July 19, 2017, Pittsburgh Dad aired his first short film, Street Light Stories. The special detailed what family life was like in Pittsburgh circa summer 1987. The film, while having the characters from Pittsburgh Dad, is considered by Wootton to be non-canon to the main Pittsburgh Dad series. The August 15, 2017 episode has Dad drive his family “six hours round-trip” to the nearest Rax Roast Beef location, not telling his family what their trip is until they arrive. Rax had been previously mentioned by Dad in a previous episode of him watching the Week 15 game between the Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals during the 2016 season when he said that “The only reason you drive to Cincinnati, because I heard there's a Rax somewheres [sic] around there, in the general vicinity. Well I'll find it.” Pittsburgh Dad aired an episode bidding farewell to Kennywood's Log Jammer ride on its last day of operation, September 17, 2017.
Project Dad - References - Netflix