In less than five months, Justin Halpern's Sh*t My Dad Says went from Twitter to TV. CBS picked up these funny rants as a comedy project just a month after HarperCollins acquired the book rights. All of which is interesting, but much, much less funny and outrageous than the voluble wisdom of Halpern's outspoken dad. Samples: "A parent's only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed." "Pressure? Get married when you want. Your wedding's just one more day in my life I can't wear sweat pants."
Sh*t My Dad Saysby Justin Halpern
"That woman was
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After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is "like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair," has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:
"That woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won't screw you. Don't do it for them."
"Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started fucking."
"The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two."
More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern's philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes. An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny's, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns' kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice.
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Shit My Father Says
By Justin Halpern
HarperCollinsCopyright © 2010 Justin Halpern
All right reserved.
"Well, what the fuck makes you think Grandpa wants to sleep in the same room as you?"
In the summer of 1987, when I was six years old, my cousin got married
on a farm in Washington State. My family lived in San Diego,
and my dad decided there was no way he was paying a thousand
dollars for himself, my mother, my two brothers, and me to fly up
"Why am I going to pay two hundred dollars so a six-year-old can
see a wedding?" he said to my mother. "You think that's a moment
Justin cares about? Two years ago he was still shitting in his pants. If
everyone has to go, we're driving."
And so we did. I squished in between my two older brothers
Dan, who was sixteen at the time, and Evan, fourteen and gangly
in the backseat of our '82 Thunderbird. My mom rode shotgun, and
my dad took the wheel as we began the 1,800-mile trip up to Washington.
We made it about four miles before my brothers and I started
tormenting one another, which mostly consisted of them hitting me
and saying stuff like, "How come you're sitting like a gay? I bet it's
'cause you're a gay." My dad dramatically swerved off to the side of
the road, tires squealing in our wake, and whipped his head around
to the three of us.
"You listen to me. I'm not going to deal with any of your bullshit,
understand? We will all behave like human fucking beings."
But we didn't. There was no way we could have. This wasn't
a situation that "human fucking beings" were built for. We were
three of us males under the age of seventeen, sitting
a half-inch from one another for sixteen hours a day as the seemingly
endless highway inched by. This was not a normal sightseeing
family vacation. It was like we were running from the law: We
drove all day and all night, growing more and more sweaty and on
edge by the hour, with my dad regularly making desperate comments
to himself like, "We just gotta fucking get there, it can't be
that much farther."
More than a day and a half later, after twenty-four hours of driving,
we made it to Olympia, Washington, where we met our extended
family in the lobby of a hotel. In total, about sixty of us Halperns were
staying there, including my ninety-year-old grandpa, my dad's father.
A quiet but tough guy, he hated when people made a big deal about
him. He had run a tobacco farm in Kentucky until he was seventy-
five, and just because he was older now, he wasn't about to start
accepting help where, in his opinion, it wasn't necessary.
My family had reserved a block of hotel rooms, each to be shared
by two people,
but no one had been assigned to a specific room yet.
My brothers quickly decided they would share a room with each
other, and my mom and dad would obviously share one, which left
me without a partner. For some reason, all my adult relatives thought
"it would just be so cute" if I shared a room with Grandpa. Grandpa
had stayed with us in San Diego before, and I remembered that he
always kept a bottle of Wild Turkey in his room, and would clandestinely
take a swig from time to time. Once when my brother Dan
caught him in the act, Grandpa shouted "You got me!" and then
laughed hysterically. I also remembered that he needed help getting
out of bed but got really angry when anyone tried to assist him. There
was no way I wanted to share a room with Grandpa, but I kept my
concerns to myself because I figured my family would hate me for
being so unfriendly.
So, like any six-year-old who doesn't want to do something, I
faked being sick, which attracted a lot more attention to me. Upon
hearing that I wasn't feeling well, my aunts hurried me down the
carpeted hallway to my parents' room and burst into it like it was an
episode of ER.
"Okay, everyone calm down, goddamn it. Now leave, so I can
check out the boy," my dad shouted. My aunts cleared out, leaving
the two of us alone. He looked me in the eye and felt my forehead
with his hand.
"You say you're sick, huh? Well, it looks like you've come down
with a case of bullshit. You ain't sick. What's the problem here? We
just drove a goddamned continent, and I'm tired. Spit it out."
"Everybody wants me to share a room with Grandpa, but I don't
want to," I replied.
"Well, what the fuck makes you think Grandpa wants to sleep in
the same room as you?"
I hadn't thought about that. "I don't know."
"Well, let's go ask him."
We walked down the hallway to the room Grandpa had staked
out. He was busy getting ready for bed.
"Look here, Dad. Justin doesn't want to share a room with you.
What do you think about that?"
I cowered behind my dad's leg, as he kept shoving me away
toward my grandfather to make me face him. Grandpa looked me in
the eye for a second.
"Well, I don't want to share a room with him, neither. I want my
own room," he said.
My dad turned and looked at me like he had just uncovered the
missing clue in a murder case. "There you have it," he said. "Apparently
you're no goddamned peach, either."
"You are four years old. You have to shit in the toilet. This is not one of those
negotiations where we'll go back and forth and find a middle ground. This
ends with you shitting in a toilet."
On My First Day of Kindergarten
"You thought it was hard? If kindergarten is busting your ass, I got some bad
news for you about the rest of life."
"I don't give a shit how it happened, the window is broken. . . . Wait, why is
there syrup everywhere? Okay, you know what? Now I give a shit how it happened.
Let's hear it."
On My Seventh Birthday Party
"No, you can't have a bouncy house at your birthday party. . . . What do you
mean why? Have you ever thought to yourself, where would I put a god-
damned bouncy house in our backyard? . . . Yeah, that's right, that's the kind
of shit I think about, that you just think magically appears."
On Talking to Strangers
"Listen up, if someone is being nice to you, and you don't know them, run
away. No one is nice to you just to be nice to you, and if they are, well, they
can go take their pleasant ass somewhere else."
On Table Manners
"Jesus Christ, can we have one dinner where you don't spill something? . . .
No, Joni, he does do it on purpose, because if he doesn't, that means he's just
mentally handicapped, and none of the tests showed that."
"I had no problem with you crying. My only concern was with the snot that
was coming out of your nose. Where does that go? On your hands, your shirt?
That's no good. Oh, Jesus, don't start crying."
On Spending the Night at a Friend's House for the First Time
"Try not to piss yourself."
On Being Teased
"So he called you a homo. Big deal. There's nothing wrong with being a
homosexual. No, I'm not saying you're a homosexual. Jesus Christ. Now I'm
starting to see why this kid was giving you shit."
On Feeling Comfortable in One's Own Skin
"It's my house. I'll wear clothes when I want to wear clothes, and I'll be naked
when I want to be naked. The fact that your friends are coming over shortly is
inconsequential to thataka I don't give a shit."
Excerpted from Shit My Father Says by Justin Halpern Copyright © 2010 by Justin Halpern. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Meet the Author
Justin Halpern is the founding editor of the comedy website HolyTaco.com and a senior writer at Maxim.com. Halpern is the creator of the Twitter page "Shit My Dad Says," which boasts almost two million followers, and is co-writer and co-producer of the CBS sitcom $#*! My Dad Says. He splits his time between Los Angeles and his parents' home in San Diego.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Absolutely hilarious ~ I couldn't read it without spontaniously laughing out loud thru-out the whole book. Also an interesting look at parent/child relationships and a reminder that love can be shown in many different ways.
I just bought this book and am only about 4 chapters into it and already I have laughed so hard my sides hurt. I have read some sections to my wife and she too has laughed a lot. This book isn't for anyone who does not like bad language but if you don't mind it this book will crack you up. My mother was a lot like the writers dad. What ever hit her brain often came out her mouth spiced with curse words. I loved my mom for her honesty and that you always knew where you stood with her. This guys dad is like that and I think I would love hanging around this out spoken and hard working man. It would remind me of home. The writing is done in a very friendly way. That is to say you can almost hear the writer's voice in your head telling you these stories and picture him rolling his eyes and blushing at the antics of his outspoken dad. It is a very fun read that is just for laughs. But if you read closely you can also tell that this outspoken man loves and supports his family 100% and no one is more on their sides than he is. Reminds me of my folks again. But if you don't want to get too deep into the meaning of the stories but just need a laugh then this book is great too. I can see myself rereading this book for a good laugh when I feel like I need one and telling friends about sections of it. By the way this is my first book review ever. I love books and reading and figure I often like reading what others have to say about a book and thought I would finally put my two cents worth in on something I liked.
This book has inspired me to reconnect with my father after three years of pointless feuding. Humor has been the only thing to connect us and this book reminds me og our relationship. After I finished the book I gave my dad a call and suggested that he giive it a look. A week passed and my dad called to tell me how much he was enjoying the book. We met up for the first time in three years just to talk about the book. Thanks Justin!!
I just finished the book this morning. It was a bathroom book that got read in bits and pieces which suited the format perfectly. For 5 days my wife kept hearing me actually laugh out loud and wondered what I was up to in the "john." As I read hilarious after hilarious anecdotes about the author's Dad, I just kept thinking "this guy is a piece of work!" I sure hope his Dad turns into a fictional character in a move or TV series because if what is in the book is not exaggerated or made up (and who cares if it was - it's FUNNY) his Dad is a better character than any sitcom writer could dream up. As a (very) mild warning, the foul language comes early and often as it seem his Dad has a real potty mouth to say the least. But frankly, it only added to my vision of the hilarious quips this guy "carpet bombed" his kids with as they grew up. Finally, amidst the laugh out loud family stories, the author (son) really expresses the back-assword type of love and caring his Dad had for his kids, even if he expressed it in unbelievably crass and funny ways. I'm so happy I happened across this while on a biz trip last week ... I'll be laughing with buddies reciting quotes from this book for years. Nice work Mr. Halpern(s) - both Father and Son.
When Justin Halpern was 28 years old he was dumped by his girlfriend and needed a place to live, so back to his parents he went. Working from his home, as a writer for a Magazine, gave him the time to see his father through adult eyes. The terror that he had felt when he was young, due to his father's hold nothing back bluntness, began to be replaced by admiration and awe for the only person that he had ever known who really spoke his mind without censorship. It was only then that he began to see the wisdom in his dad's observations and began posting them on his Twitter page with the same title as this book. This is just adorable and heartwarming! I think we all know someone like this!
For those meek and timid souls who're easily offended by explicit, flowery, illustrative, and sometime graphic adjectives, I'd suggest you move on after the title. For the rest of us who grew up in the real world, this book is rib-tickling and hilariously funny. This could well have been MY dad and my daughters tell me it could have been me (which I take as extremely complimentary). I've recommended it to my peer group and asked them to pass it along to theirs. There's no "theme" or "story line" but rather an autobiographical view of the authors surely colorful upbring in a loving family. From the subjects obvious popularity, I'm not the only one who feels this is a must read. Now I have to join Facebook and Twitter for a continuum.
I came from as strange a family as many of the reviewers here and the author. So I get the humorous side of the topic of families and things parents say. But this book just really wasn't that funny. After the fiftieth time you read that Dad said something goofy and then SWEAR SWEAR SWEAR.....It was just the same thing over and over again. I know the other reviews said LAUGH OUT LOUD.....I really didn't. Sorry. And, it was only 112 pages...but actually that was enough as it became VERY repetitive.
I won't tell you about the book. I'll tell you that I picked it up, opened to page 5 and read the quote on "Accidents". Well, I started to laugh and keep myself from laughing at the same time which of course makes you look like a complete idiot. I honestly had tears streaming down my face and had to tell my 6 year old to not yell for anyone I was fine through choked laughter. It took me past checking out to get control of myself and I bought 6 copies, 1 for myself and the rest for guys for father's day. This book should seriously have a warning.
I've seen the tweets but thought that an entire book of them would be too much... I was wrong. Sh*t My Dad says is a brilliant and hilarious look at family life. If you are looking for a good laugh, and aren't offended by colorful languarge, this book is a must read. I can't wait to see the tv show adaptation!
I loved this book! I was laughing out loud even crying sometimes from laughter throughout this book. Justin's dad is such a character. Even though he says it like it is you can tell he really loves and respects his family. Such a great, unique book!!
I have NEVER read a book that had me crying from laughing so much. I was telling a friend of mine about this book at dinner last night and was laughing so hard she couldn't understand a word I was saying. You will NOT be disappointed with this purchase. This is a keeper and one I will read over and over again.
There were so many wonderful things his father said that I could relate to, and that part of the book I enjoyed. However, I could not get past the language his father used around his children. For a man, as educated as his father was, it was hard for me to overlook the language his father used. Marci
The book was full of non-stop hilarity. Having a father who also "swears like a sailor", this hit close to home. I could completely relate and I enjoyed every page. I was reading snippits every few minutes aloud to my family. I recommend this to everyone who would not be offended by language content. :) Awesome!
I managed to read through this book in two sittings, which comes to show how easy it is to follow. It wasn't a bad book in every sense of the word. I've read plenty of those, but it certainly could've been better. The writing, as far as craft goes, wasn't as polished and well-manipulated as that of Burroughs or Sedaris (since I think they all fall in the same genre), and sometimes it felt like the chapters would just abruptly end when there could've been more to them. That's not to say that Halpern was in any way claiming to be as good as Burroughs and Sedaris anywhere in the book. Even his father couldn't believe that he had a book deal. However, I just felt he had excellent material for what could've been a touching, yet hilarious story. Which brings me to the next point: the comedy. At first, it had very funny moments. I especially liked one near the beginning when his father is pointing out their dog's anus, explaining how its dilating which means its about to defecate (in his dad's vocabulary, of course), but halfway through the book, it just starts to get repetitive and seems like the only thing of shock value is the use of profanity. I personally would either check it out at my library, or just read it for free at a Barnes and Noble store if you have a Nook.
There are parts of this book that made me laugh so hard I started crying. I would not recommend reading this book in public as people will look at you weird for all the snorting you will be doing from trying not to laugh out loud like a crazy person. I highly suggest this book to anyone who needs a good laugh.
I found little funny or of any value in this book - quite a disappointment.
I loved the playfulness of this story, while at the same time I could see how Dad's philosophies impacted the lives of his kids. A very warm, engaging short story.
Absolutely loved this book! I believe it touches every human emotion with unabashed honesty. Thank you for laughter through tears.
It wasn't nearly as hilarious as some other reviews I have read, but it wasn't the worst book ever.
Not sure how our Book Club got this one~ pass, the kid is funny, but the language is rough
The title is a good clue to the limited vocabulary of his father dispite his having a MD.
You can go to the fb for it for free. And the sample is just the intro.
Crying laughing funny.
I'm suprised this author grew up with any self worth or self esteem. His father, Sam, was extremely verbally abusive. Small parts of this book were humorous, but the rest was just disgusting. The television version of this book was watered down so as to be almost unrecognizable.
What more can I possibly say than allof these fantastically overwhelming five star reviews? Anyone who gives it a bad review only reveals the lack of a sense of humor about themselves. Behind each perfectly hilarious phrase there lies the heartwarming lesson, (without being mushy), and the more than obvious caring factor. I know everyone who has read this has identified with this character because we all know someone just like this, a father, an uncle, brother, a husband, that we have hesitated to take them to an important function for fear of what was going to come out of their mouths. Then when it happens we are the first to be laughing about the stories as we share the precious memories with our friends and families forever after. Yes! This is the perfect gift for anyone, male, female, related or not, sick, well or depressed, for a boatload of heartfelt memories and laughs to perk them up and make them see the good in life. Majority rules!