Grumpy Old Tweeters

Aerosmith feud plays out on Twitter as an old man's musings spur a "twitcom." When did social media get invaded by cranky guys?

You wouldn't think the breakup of a legendary rock band and the cranky mutterings of a 73-year-old man would have much in common.

But they’re both part of the invasion of the grumpy old tweeters.

Steven Tyler, as those who care and even those who don't certainly know by now, briefly left Aerosmith, telling the press before his bandmates. The mess exploded onto Twitter, where guitarist Joe Perry ripped his former pal and announced the band is looking for a new frontman.

“aerosmith is positivly looking for a new singer to work with. You just can't take 40 years of expiriance and throwitinthebin!” wrote Perry, obviously too upset to worry about his spelling.

Tyler, meanwhile, declared he was too busy "working on the brand of myself: Brand Tyler" to be bothered with the group that made him a star. Never mind that last night he showed up at a concert by Perry and made peace.

The exchange would seem laughably childish if not for Perry being 59 and Tyler 61 – and their band four decades old.

Meanwhile, the unintentionally hilarious remarks of another man getting up there in years reportedly are fodder for what could be called the world's first "twitcom." The popular Twitter feed “S--- My Dad Says," in which 29-year-old Justin Halpern scoops up and recycles his 73-year-old father's brain droppings, will be turned into a CBS sitcom by the creators of "Will & Grace," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Among the more family-friendly of the elder Halpern’s often-profane musings (note: it helps to say them aloud in a Frank Costanza voice):

  • Just pay the parking ticket. Don't be so outraged. You're not a freedom fighter in the civil rights movement. You double parked.
  • Remember how you used to make fun of me for being bald?...No, I'm not gonna make a joke. I'll let your mirror do that.
  • You worry too much. Eat some bacon... What? No, I got no idea if it'll make you feel better, I just made too much bacon.

Twitter is being used in ways no one could have predicted – but who knew it would become a forum for middle-aged and older guys to get stuff off their chests? Bill Cosby recently joined (“Parents are not interested in justice, they're interested in peace and quiet”). Danny DeVito signed on in September, and told his followers, “Happy Labor Day B----es” (his tweets seem to channel his “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” character).

The planned CBS show marks another example of social media and the Internet providing fodder for old-school media: At least one other Twitter-inspired program is in development; the web gave Comedy Central "Secret Girlfriend"; and Will Ferrell's "Funny or Die" video site is being reimagined as an HBO show.

While Justin Halpern used his father’s rantings to get a TV program, Mia Tyler reportedly took to Twitter to defend her dad. “They are in their 60s now," she noted. "Let them do what they wanna do! & can someone please tell (Perry) that gossiping on Twitter is uncalled (for)!"

Hmm, two aging rock stars feuding on Twitter. Sounds like it might make a good sitcom..

Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.

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