Screenwriter, novelist, professional storyteller, and SDSU School of Theatre, Television and Film alumnus Justin Halpern will speak to student on Feb. 5 at the Don Powell Theatre.
Halpern will talk about his work and take questions from students. The event is free and all are welcome.
Halpern grew up in Point Loma and attended Point Loma High School. He graduated from San Diego State in 2003, and headed for Hollywood looking for work as a writer. He wrote screenplays and waited tables, but success as a screenwriter eluded him.
By 2009, he moved back to San Diego and wound up living with his parents.
Halpern had always kept a record of his father’s salty comments. In August 2009, he started a Twitter feed, @shitmydadsays, just to have a place to store his father’s rhetorical gems. To his surprise he quickly gathered a large following on Twitter. His Twitter feed has more than 1.8 million followers.
He and his longtime writing partner Patrick Schumacker completed the book based on the comments of Halpern’s father in February 2010 and it was published in May. In June it topped the The New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover nonfiction, remaining number one for eleven weeks.
His work inspired a television show called $#*! My Dad Says (pronounced "Bleep My Dad Says"), with William Shatner in the title role. The pilot, written by Halpern and Schumacker, premiered on September 23, 2010.
Halpern said the series is about "the dichotomy of this older guy who says whatever he wants and this younger guy who is tiptoeing through life," careful not to offend anyone for fear of losing jobs or friends. The TV series was cancelled in May 2011 by CBS. His father's reaction was typically unprintable.
Halpern's second book, I Suck At Girls, was published May 15, 2012. The television rights have already been sold.