Recently, the creators of the popular web series, Pittsburgh Dad, (Chris Preksta & Curt Wootton) visited my course, Digital Culture, which is an upper level Communication course that examines how the internet has changed the way society engages media.
They discussed topics ranging from their backgrounds to the genesis of the show to what is next for them. It was a terrific evening, and I really appreciate the time the gave to my students.
In honor of their visit, I wanted to list my top five favorite episodes of Pittsburgh Dad.
This is their magnum opus both in length and scope. It immaculately captures a day at Kennywood; a long day that moves too quickly. They brilliantly illustrate this feeling by showing a sweaty Pittsburgh Dad wrangling his family at the end of the night for his favorite ride, "the ride home." As he exits the park, we are reminded of the melancholy of leaving Kennywood, which signifies the end of every child's favorite season, summer.
It is also an episode for which they engaged their community of followers for ideas.
2. After Christmas
Their 11th episode finds them straying from the single location formula with Pittsburgh Dad jumping around the house in this tribute to post-Christmas malaise. This is their most tightly edited episode; Chris' razor-sharp edits emphasize Curt's machine gun-like quips over this fast-paced 1:47 video.
3. Dad Yelling on the Answering Machine
This episode is an ingenious diversion from the formula in that we never see Pittsburgh Dad; we only hear him. As we learned in class, they had to produce this episode remotely because Curt was in Los Angeles at the time of filming. It is a classic example of a restriction inspiring creativity.
Another diversion from the formula, this episode focuses on Jeffy, who serves as a Dennis the Menace to Pittsburgh Dad's Mr. Wilson. This episode shows a different side to both Jeffy and Pittsburgh Dad adding depth to their characters by literally showing life from Jeffy's point-of-view.
5. 4th of July
Another celebration of summer, this episode features my favorite line in Pittsburgh Dad history. It takes place at the 2-minute mark. Pittsburgh Dad scolds the kids for not throwing their used sparklers away without first dipping them into a coffee can filled with water.
He emphasizes his point by demonstrating, "You dip it in."