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The Internet Meme Hall of Fame: Exploiting Your Relatives for Fun and Book Deals
Five blogs built off familial weirdness.
By Chris Mathias
The internet has recently offered a feast of familial eccentricities in blog form, and the response has been huge — book and TV deals, merchandising and TV appearances, thousands of fans and followers. So the next time your drunk uncle is telling slurred stories about his night in Atlantic City, remember, put it on a blog! Here are five examples to get you started.
1) Shit My Dad Says
By far the most successful family-weirdness blog around: last summer, Justin Halpern moved in with his parents and began documenting his seventy-three-year-old father's hilarious and blunt diatribes on Twitter. The sage and profanity-laced wisdom of this grumpy geriatric has generated a Twitter following of over 700,000 people and led to a TV show on CBS... starring William Shatner.
2) Tiny Art Director
Artist Bill Zeman asks his five-year-old daughter to critique his work. She's harsh, very specific, and generally feels most of the work would be improved by the addition of dinosaurs. Her commissions often include instructions like, "I'm going to tell you what to draw. Draw a dragon sneaking up on a girl. She's picking flowers." Zeman has documented all of this on his blog, and a book is due out later this spring.
3) Sleep Talkin' Man
A British woman records her husband's musings... in his sleep. Often hilariously self-aggrandizing ("Awesomeness now has a name. Let me introduce myself") and heavy on violence toward small animals ( "Don't move a muscle. Bushbabies are everywhere... Kick 'em!"), this guy's ramblings have appeared on NBC's Today Show and ABC's World News Tonight; the couple is now selling merchandise on the website as well.
4) Emails From My Mother
Started as a simple tribute to founder Chloe Jankowitz's mom, Emails From My Mother has grown into a great online repository for reader-contributed emails, voicemails (including the legendary "You're starting to look like a dyke"), and AIM chats of mothers being mothers — concerned, technologically illiterate, fierce, and loving.
5) My Parents Were Awesome
You may think your parents are the uncoolest people on Earth, but they too were once young, hip cats just trying to have a good time. My Parents Were Awesome is a user-submitted web base for old photos of parents from back when they were more like, well, you.