Could a 73-year-old Twitter sensation become a CBS-TV star?
If the creators of the sitcom "Will & Grace" can work their magic again, it just might happen.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Justin Halpern, the creator of the, Twitter hit , S***MyDadSays, now has a CBS option deal that would turn 28-year-old 's online record of his father's profane quips into a television comedy series.
The team behind "Will & Grace," David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, will reportedly executive produce and oversee writing for the comedy. Halpern and Patrick Schumacker will co-write and co-executive produce the Warner Bros. TV-backed project, the Reporter says.
Since August, Halpern has amassed more than 700,000 Twitter followers by posting daily doses of his 73-year-old father Sam's profanity-riddled reflections.
Commentary on the Everyday Attracts Thousands
At first glance, the "tweets" seem like snippets from mostly innocuous, slightly off-color family conversations:
"You need to flush the toilet more than once ... No, YOU, YOU specifically need to," reads one of the tamer posts on Halpern's Twitter page, which itself has a not-so-family-friendly Internet address. "You know what, use a different toilet. This is my toilet."
But Sam's crusty comments, even on subjects as mundane as a father-son breakfast, have managed to pull in readers by the thousands:
"Don't touch the bacon, it's not done yet. You let me handle the bacon, and i'll let you handle ... what ever it is you do. I guess nothing."
In addition to an impressive Twitter audience, Sam Halpern's musings have also won the attention of social media-savvy celebrities, big name blogs, book agents and publishers.
Celebrities, Blogs, Book Publishers Praise Dad's Musings on Twitter
"The Daily Show's" Rob Corddry told the Twittersphere that it is "the best thing ever." Kristen Bell, star of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," recommended that her followers read it, "unless you're allergic to laughing hysterically."
Halpern said he waited about a month to tell his dad, a retired doctor who grew up on a Kentucky farm, that he had thousands of fans on the Internet -- and in Hollywood.
"I really just put these online just to keep a record of them," Halpern said, adding that, as an "angsty kid" he used to keep journals of his dad's more infuriating comments.
Halpern Created Twitter Account Without Dad's Knowledge
As he grew older (and out of his tormented-teen phase), Halpern, who writes for Maxim magazine, entertained friends by posting his dad's juiciest gems on his Google chat status. Soon after he moved in with his parents earlier this summer, a friend suggested he preserve them on Twitter.
So he started choosing one winner a day to post online.
"I honestly didn't think anyone but the five people I sent it to who knew my dad would find it funny," he said. But he woke up one day to find 40,000 new followers. And then 100,000. And then 200,000. And the numbers kept climbing.
"It's super weird. It's cool," he said. "I was not expecting any of that."
Because he figured no one would read his Twitter feed and "all of my family is like Internet disabled," Halpern didn't see a need to inform his dad of his rapidly expanding fan base. As one of his best friends told him, no one in the Halpern family would read the page because "it's like you're writing a newspaper on Mars."
Book Deal Prompted Halpern to Tell His Dad About Twitter Fame
But when an agent from New York's Waxman Literary Agency asked him to sign with the firm, he realized it was time to fess up.
"I was super nervous. I was especially nervous because I talked to my brothers," Halpern said. His oldest brother, he said, laughed until he cried and then told him he should think twice before telling his dad.
But, good son that he is, Halpern realized he couldn't pursue a book deal without his father's blessing.
So he braced himself for the worst and started to explain their newfound Twitter fame. When his dad asked, "Do you have to start up the Internet to get on Twitter?" he knew he was in the clear.
After laughing for about 10 seconds, Halpern said his dad asked him to help find his cell phone.
"I felt better," Justin said. "He had moved on."
When he told his father about the book, Halperin says his dad had two stipulations: No interviews and no money.
"'I don't want any money. I have my own,'" Halperin recalled his dad's reaction.
Chris Brogan, president of New Marketing Labs, a new media marketing agency, and co-author of "Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust," said "emotional resonance" is at the core of why Halpern's Twitter page is so popular.]
"This thing is built on two really powerful switches," he said. "[It's] easily sharable with emotional benefits to it, and it reminds us, in a nostalgic sense, of a relative."
He said he can remember a family member who became a legend for her embarrassment-inducing level of frankness. And he said he suspects many other fans can too.
Amid all the noise on Twitter (tweets about what people ate, what they're trying to sell and what they want you to do), Brogan said Halpern's page is nothing but pure value. It makes people laugh, and it holds up an "emotional mirror," he said.
On Twitter, "we find something good, we raise it right to the top real fast."