Eat'n Park cookies a tribute to Pittsburgh Dad show's success
Andrew Carnegie and Andy Warhol never had their faces etched in frosting on an Eat'n Park Smiley Cookie.
The distinction eluded famous Pittsburgh personalities such as polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, Hollywood superstar Michael Keaton, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson and legendary Steelers defensive lineman Mean Joe Greene. (His chances might have been handicapped by his on-the-field disposition, which seldom involved smiling.)
No individual's face has appeared on the signature edible of the venerable Western Pennsylvania restaurant chain. That finally changed on Tuesday, when Eat'n Park revealed the initial batches of Pittsburgh Dad Smiley Cookies to help aid Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
“This is the first time we have created a Smiley Cookie specifically in the image of a Pittsburgh icon,” Eat'n Park's Becky McArdle said. “It's a monumental day.”
In the unlikely event you're a local who hasn't heard of Pittsburgh Dad, the quintessentially yinzer fictional character has his own Web series. The episodes are a joint effort of actor Curt Wootton, 34, of Greensburg and director Chris Preksta, 32, a Munhall native.
When the online sitcom debuted in October 2011, neither of them envisioned their low-budget offerings would garner more than 13 million YouTube views in two years. Neither thought the merchandising options for the character would one day include DVDs, posters and nearly four dozen T-shirt varieties available on the pghdad.com website.
Nor did the duo anticipate Full Pint Brewing Co. in North Versailles introducing a Pittsburgh Dad beer. To promote its debut in July, they made a video in which Wootton rhetorically asked, “Is it a craft beer? If yinz want crafts, go down to the church fair with your grandma.”
They didn't expect Pittsburgh Dad to be as wildly popular as he has become. As Preksta put it, “Every step of the way has been shocking.”
That would include the Smiley Cookies, an idea that originated in discussions Wootton and Preksta recently had with Eat'n Park officials.
“We didn't set out to get a Pittsburgh Dad Smiley Cookie made,” Wootton said. “We just knew we wanted to eventually do a Pittsburgh Dad episode in a restaurant, and there's really no better place to do that in Pittsburgh than an Eat'n Park.”
All of the proceeds from the sale of the limited-edition cookies will benefit Children's Hospital through Eat'n Park's Caring for Kids Campaign. The cookies can't be purchased in Eat'n Park restaurants but are available online at smileycookie.com.
What's next for Pittsburgh Dad? About the only certainty is that Wootton and Preksta won't stop producing new episodes anytime soon.
“The show really seems to have become a part of Pittsburgh lore,” Wootton said. “The support it's received has been fantastic.”
Or as the dad himself might put it, yinz seem like yinz like it.
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7857 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Jewish congregations dwindling, forced to mull viability of worship sites
- Pirates notebook: Taillon headed for surgery, Richard traded
- New Penguin Kessel’s shot is what makes him special
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- Floating homes offer ‘affordable’ option in San Francisco area
- Bethel trio of siblings celebrate 150 years of marriage
- Early turnout strong for Pittsburgh’s Fourth of July festivities
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- America’s path to freedom reflected in region’s numerous historic sites
- Business gallery: July 5, 2015
- Man fatally shot in East Liberty; police investigating 2nd shooting