The Current, the student newspaper at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, did its own take on the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame thing. Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek met there, and were back-to-back editors-in-chief of the Current in the 1970s. Take a look at the fun article by Kat Riddler:
A partial playlist, actually. Here are five, funny, award-winning radio commercials, a few representative samples of literally thousands written and produced by Paul & Walt Worldwide. Enjoy.
“Laugh Catalog” | Funny Radio Commercial for George Schlatter’s Comedy Club
Our first Clio Award winner, for Best Use of Sound. Winner of LOTS more awards, too. Created for our good friend and long-time client Mike Mischler and King World, for the brand new and short-lived syndicated show, “George Schlatter’s Comedy Club.”
Written by Paul Fey & Walt Jaschek. Produced and Directed by Paul Fey, Engineered by Bill Schulenburg. VO Talent: Peter Jones, Steve Susskind, Bobbi Block, Susan Tolsky, Bill Martin. FUN FACTS: Paul was a huge fan of the BBC Radio production of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” and hunted down Peter Jones, the voice of “The Book” in that legendary series. Via a 3am telephone session from Paul’s hotel room at the Mondrian, he directed Peter in a London studio. Our “laughers” were chosen from dozens and dozens of auditions submitted by multiple LA talent agencies.
“Missing Persons” | Funny radio commercial for WCBS-TV and Matlock
One of our biggest award winners from the early 90’s. Created for WCBS-TV, and our great client and friend, David LaFountaine. Written by Walt Jaschek, Produced and directed by Paul Fey. VO Talent: Harvey Atkin, Tom Poston, Orson Bean. FUN FACT: Despite the great rhythm of this dialogue, none of the talent read with each other. Tom Poston missed the session due to a golf date with the king of Morocco (no kidding!) — and we had to record him separately and edit the dialogue together later. Harvey Atkin was recorded remotely from a studio in Toronto… and Orson Bean as the VO was recorded later in Hollywood.
“Robert Goulet” | Funny radio commercial for The Simpsons
One of our biggest award winners, including the $20,000 Radio Mercury Award for Best Comedy Spot in 1995. Created for our good friend and client, David LaFountaine at Twentieth Television, and the huge syndicated launch of The Simpsons. Writer: Walt Jaschek. Producer/Director: Paul Fey. VO Talent: Christina Belford, Robert Goulet. FUN FACTS: Walt originally wrote a script based on the idea of using the voice of James Earl Jones reading Bart Simpson’s blackboard writings. When it appeared James Earl Jones would be too expensive, Paul began exploring alternative celebrity voice ideas (including Kelsey Grammer, among others) — and finally, with the help of Elaine Craig Voice Casting, hit upon and made a deal with Robert Goulet. The rough production script included a list of dozens of Bart’s blackboard writings. Paul’s plans were to record all the lines, and decide later which ones worked best. He directed Robert Goulet over the phone from a studio in Las Vegas, where Goulet was performing at the time. Surprisingly, after many hours of postproduction, the spot simply wasn’t working — and was shaping up to be an expensive disaster. After dozens of unsuccessful edit attempts to make it sound funny… Paul tried adding various music tracks, which started improving the spot rapidly. The order of Goulet’s lines were ultimately completely swapped around to fit the final, classical track — which ultimately sounded as though it had been written for the spot.
“The Ballad of Judge Wapner” | Funny radio commercial for King World and The People’s Court
One of our biggest award winners from the early 90’s. Written by Walt Jaschek, produced and directed by Paul Fey, with music production by Matthews Griffith Music. VO Talent: Lance LeGault, Gene McGarr. FUN FACT: While we always enjoyed working with the late Lance LeGault, and loved his deep, western voice… we didn’t find out until the session that he had no sense of rhythm. His performance here was created with literally dozens of edits — practically every word and phrase was moved to fit the rhythm.
“Cellular Guy” | Funny radio commercial for Southwestern Bell
Part of a large, award-winning campaign we did for Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems and Simmons Durham Advertising. Writer: Walt Jaschek, Producer/Director: Paul Fey
VO Talent: Harvey Atkin, Townsend Coleman
Paul Fey (left) and Walt Jaschek of Paul & Walt Worldwide at agency launch in 1991.
The St. Louis Media History Foundation inducted 20 other individuals into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame that night, as well. More than 200 people attended a downtown gala at which the honors were bestowed. (The full list of the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame “Class of 2017” is below.)
Individually and together, Paul and Walt have reputations for creating high-impact, industry-admired advertising campaigns. They teamed up in 1991 to create Paul & Walt Worldwide, the radio commercial boutique agency and production company, and their work quickly won CLIOS, ADDYs and many other awards for national brands. Paul served as Paul & Walt Worldwide President; Walt served as Executive Creative Director. The agency had offices in Hollywood, California and St. Louis. Here they are in front of just a few of their industry awards.
Paul is now President and Chief Creative Officer of World Wide Wadio in Hollywood. Walt is now writing comedy and comics at Walt Now Entertainment. Both men are St. Louis natives and continue to collaborate frequently.
Here is the official release from the St. Louis Media Association:
LOUIS MEDIA HALL OF FAME INDUCTS 22 NEW MEMBERS
Line-up included George Noory, other legendary broadcasters, reporters, documentarians
ST. LOUIS, March 20, 2018 – Twenty-two legendary news reporters, editors, photographers, broadcasters, ground-breaking filmmakers, and shapers of public opinion were among the inductees into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 17. The inductions took place at a gala at St. Louis City Center Hotel in downtown St. Louis before 200 friends and family members of the inductees, who were presented with framed induction certificates. They were selected for their significant contributions to print, broadcast and digital media, advertising, and public relations by the St. Louis Media History Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that researches, collects, and archives regional media-related histories, artifacts and memorabilia.
Among the new inductees was longtime St. Louisan George Noory, host of Premiere Network’s Coast To Coast AM, who was recognized for transforming his late-night radio talk show into an entertainment powerhouse for millions of Americans.
Other inductees were:
Dave Dorr: Veteran St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writer (1966-2001)
Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek: Founders of Paul & Walt Worldwide, for their highly creative radio ads for CBS-TV, NBC, Comedy Central, and many other national broadcast and entertainment clients.
J.B. Forbes: Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for more than 42 years.
Tripp Frohlichstein: A former KMOV-TV news editor and founder of MediaMasters.*
Henry Hampton: Acclaimed filmmaker, who produced “Eyes on the Prize” for PBS and 80+ documentaries.*
Mary Lou Hess: The first female president of the Advertising Club of St. Louis.*
Cleora Hughes: The first African-American woman editor of an Entertainment section at the Post-Dispatch.
Bob Joiner: Veteran reporter for the St. Louis American, Post-Dispatch, and St. Louis Public Radio.
Jim Kirchherr: Award-winning producer, host and writer at KETC/The Nine Network.
Deanne Lane: Veteran news reporter/anchor at KSDK Channel 5 in St. Louis.
George “The G” Logan: A legendary Black radio DJ in the mid-1950s on KXLW, “The G” ushered in what would become “rock and roll radio” in St. Louis and across the country.*
Bill Miller Sr.: Reporter, editor and publisher of the Washington Missourian over 65 years, noted for fair and accurate reporting, and mixing country journalism with tough editorial stances on local and regional issues.
Rob & Sally Rains: Long time sports reporters and authors or co-authors of a combined 41 books, they moved into the digital world with StLSportsPage.com in 2011.
John Rawlings: A longtime sports writer and editor, Rawlings was a driving force in helping Major League Baseball and The Sporting News develop news portals and team websites in the early days of the Internet.
Brother George Rueppel, SJ: Founder of radio station WEW in 1921 with many “firsts” in radio.*
Al Schweitzer: Illustrator of the Post-Dispatch’s Weatherbird, America’s longest running newspaper cartoon.
James Roy Stockton: Legendary Post-Dispatch writer who covered St. Louis Cardinals baseball for 43 years, hosted a sports radio show for 15 years, and was part of the first telecast of a baseball game in St. Louis.*
Susan Veidt: Helped lead Fleishman-Hillard as it grew to become the world’s largest and most successful public relations agency.
Al Wiman: Award-winning TV medical and science reporter for 29 years, mostly in St. Louis, Wiman is known for his innovative medical series that prompted viewers to take better care of themselves.
(* – Inducted posthumously) The St. Louis Media History Foundation accepts tax-deductible contributions to develop and expand its collection of regional St. Louis media artifacts, its website, oral histories, local archives, and repositories. It also offers exhibits at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 3524 Russell Blvd., in St. Louis. For more information, visit the Foundation’s Facebook pages or its website, www.stlmediahistory.com.
This article by Dan Turner originally appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal on July 3, 1995.
Paul & Walt ad agency lands slew of awards for “Simpsons” commercials
Warning: Do not drink coffee in your car while listening to the radio in the morning. If Paul & Walt Worldwide ad for “The Simpsons” comes on, you might spit steaming java all over the dashboard.
The Hollywood-based advertising agency has won a suitcase full of awards for its radio campaign promoting the Fox-TV animated series “The Simpsons,” including the $20,000 Gold Award for Huor at the recent Radio Mercury Awards held in New York City.
In case you haven’t heard it, the ad features Robert Goulet reading from “The Writings of Bart,” which are the blackboard writings by Bart Simpson seen in the opening sequence of each episode. Over a background of classical music, Goulet’s dulcet voice recites such Bartisms as, “I will not Xerox my butt” and “I will not eat things for money.”
Paul & Walt was founded by Paul Fey, who added Walt Jaschek as a partner in 1991. Fey says he went into the niche of radio ads because most ad agencies were ignoring it, and the business was being controlled by a handful of old-fashioned firms.
“We kind of bill ourselves as the next generation of great radio,” says Fey, 39. “We give it a perspective that’s 20 years younger.”
The word about Paul & Walt is apparently getting out: the company has doubled in size in the last two years and is moving out of its old downtown L.A. office into a larger facility that includes two-state-of-the-art recording studios, Fey says.
– Dan Turner
This article first appeared in Call Letters, the member newsletter of the Southern California Broadcaster Association, in Fall, 1995.
Paul & Walt Worldwide just completed a Fall Sweeps radio campaign promoting CBS-TV, including hit show “Murphy Brown.” Candice Bergen and cast, above.
Paul & Walt Worldwide Converting Ears to Eyes
A Southern California ad agency with the unlikely name of Paul & Walt Worldwide created a “huge radio extravaganza” recently, included appearances by the Temptations, Candice Bergen, Connie Chung and the stars of Designing Women to help client CBS-TV score a major upset, winning its first Fall Sweeps ratings victory in Southern California in six years.
The radio “theatre of the mind” – which recently won a SUNNY for best television promotion – featured a cast of thousands and two CBS-TV sportscasters describing the action with Connie Chung playing the saxophone and the Temptations executing simultaneous backflips. The spots also featured the stars of Designing Women in a dazzling exhibition of synchronized swimming.
“This was a perfect opportunity,” says partner Paul Fey, “to make a major effort on radio and use the medium for what it does so well: utilize the listeners’ imaginations.
CBS-TV made a major commitment to win the Fall premiere week and sweeps battle with new programming and promotion after finishing poorly for several years. The company made the biggest radio campaign in history as part of the massive, multi-media drive.
To tie in with the television campaign, CBS-Tv saturated Southern California radio over Labor Day weekend. Paul & Walt produced eight related radio spots built around a fictional event: the “CBS Get Ready Weekend.”
The agency’s two principals, Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek, had separate, successful ad careers prior to joining forces as Paul & Walt Worldwide. Fey began his career at CBS-owned KMOX-TV, St, Louis, creating radio for the station’s audience promotion efforts. Jaschek was simultaneously working as Creative Director for a Colorado ad agency. By 1982 they were each winning national awards. Since then, they’ve won more than 300.
“Walt and I met in 1974 in college when we were both journalism majors and worked on the college newspaper together,: says Walt Jaschek. “Paul used to collect Dick Orkin and Alan Barzman radio spots, and I would ask him, ‘When are we going to great stuff like that?'”
When Paul Fey was writing and producing alone, he was getting job offers from CBS stations who were aware of his work for KMOX. “I didn’t really want to do the same thing in L.A. or New York,” he says. “I really wanted to hold out just enough, to go into business for myself and work for all them. I did that in 1985, and within a few months I was a one-man shop, writing and producing and doing most of my work in Los Angeles. The business was growing fast and needed some help.”
Fey’s school chum Walt, having moved back to St. Louis to become an advertising manager for Southwestern Bell, eventually realized his goal of free-lancing.
The two joined forces fives years ago when Paul got a huge assignment. Since that time Walt has become the full-time writer and Paul participates in concept work and takes care of the business and production end.
In addition to CBS-TV, the agency does creative work for King Word (distributors of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy”,) Warner Bros. and Anheuser-Busch.
“We love working in radio,” says partner Jaschek. “It lets us supply endless visuals and the listener completes the pictures we create.”
“The only downside to doing radio,” adds Fey, “is that you can’t convince the client that the radio spot has to be done on location in Hawaii like you can with a TV spot.”
2019 update: Paul Fey now runs World Wide Wadio in Hollywood, California. Walt Jaschek now runs Walt Now Creative in St. Louis. The two continue to collaborate on… radio. In the 2018, Paul & Walt were inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.
Two prophetic things happened to Walt Jaschek at the University of Missouri – St. Lous in the early 1970s. First, he met and became friends with Paul Fey, who, like Jaschek, served as editor the college newspaper, The Current. (See a story about that.) “We shared passions for media and marketing, and daydreamed about someday going into business together,” Jaschek says.
Second, he received a degree in Speech Communications. “At the time, I was set on becoming writer for print, and didn’t really think my career would have anything to do with my degree in a literal sense.”
After stint in corporate PR for Southwestern Bell Telecom, Walt realized his love of comedy and broadcast media was better suited for the world of advertising, which treasured humorous commercials that could stand out and sell products. He became creative director for advertising agencies in Colorado and his native St. Louis.
In 1988, Jaschek launched his own full-time freelance writing business, which led, through frequent collaborations with producer Paul Fey, to the formation of Paul & Walt three years later.
In 1991, after separate successful career tracks, Jaschek and Fey teamed up as Paul & Walt Worldwide, a company specializing in funny radio commercials. “Amazing!,” says Jaschek. “Paul and I get to work together on a daily basis — and I have actually have a job that involves speech communications.”
Jaschek is partner and head writer of the firm, scripting many of its campaigns and participating in its marketing and development. As the company’s awards stack up, Walt is most proud of a CLIO Award for “Best Radio Copywriting.” It went to the agency’s spot “Missing Persons” for WCIX-TV.
Though he lives in St. Louis, Jaschek “commutes” to the company’s Los Angeles headquarters via phone, email, and sometimes plane. His scripts are now included in advertising copywriting textbooks, and he is an adjunct professor of advertising at Webster University in St. Louis.
Regarding the mission of Paul & Walt Worldwide, Jaschek says:
“We position ourselves as the next generation of radio specialists, picking up the mantle from those creators who inspired us in our college days,” Jaschek says. “We are trying to keep the tradition of great radio alive and take it places it’s never been before.”
In his spare time, Walt writes copy, content and comics at WaltNow.com, where he declares himself “Director of Fun.” Fun: it’s a running theme for Paul and Walt. Since those college days and beyond.
Walt’s latest project: Attorneys in Space!™
Behind Radio’s Zany Commercials
by Dee McVicker
Widely acclaimed for their sharp sense of humor, the team is nationally recognized as the creative genius behind a number of radio spots promoting the seasonal lineup of shows for TV networks.
Their client list includes King World, Warner Brothers Television, 20th Century Television and CBS Television Network.
“If a commercial is boring and doesn’t hold their attention, we can’t blame them if they reach up and hit the button on the car radio,” said Paul Fey, founding partner of Paul & Walt Worldwide. “We want to stop them in their tracks.”
Fey and Jaschek have been on the laugh track since high school, winning some 400 awards for excellence in commercial production, including three Clios and two regional Emmys. The team walked award with the five Ollies in one evening, setting a record for the most awards won by one company in the Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s annual presentation.
One Ollie was presented for a Paul & Walt commercial, “Auditions,” in which Patrick Stewart is among the voices trying out for the part of Jean Luc Picard in “Star Trek.”
Of all the awards (which stream in at a rate of 50 a year), Fey is most partial to the team’s first Clio. Fey aspired to win a Clio since his high school years, and recalls vividly the magic feeling of creating the spot.
It was a radio ad featuring a “catalog” of types of laughter. “The whole spot was kind of invented on Walt’s front porch. It just sort of came out… It wrote itself,” he said.
What keeps this team on the leading edge? “We never want to get satisfied with doing the same thing,” Fey said, pointing out that too many comedy teams rely on formulaic humor.
“Once upon a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, funny dialogue radio spots were what broke through the clutter. Now, I feel that funny dialogue spots are becoming the clutter, because there is so much of it out there,” Fey said.
Radio in particular lends itself to production-oriented spots, where a hybrid of audio effects, humor and dialogue work together. “It’s much easier to do a gigantic-scale production on radio because a lot of it is letting people’s minds fill it in,” he said.
A recent Paul & Walt commercial for a cellular telephone carrier, for example, camped up the Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” with a polka beat accompanied by amusing dialogue, delivered in a deadpan voice:
“I get around, so I signed up for voice mail. I used to leery about sending voice mail. I wasn’t sure if I was putting enough stamps on it.”
As the music cut in and out abruptly, the deadpan voice again speaks up:
“Voice mail is easy. Think of it as rolling up a yellow sticky-note, jamming it into your cellular phone, and having it pop out somewhere else.”
Life begins for a Paul & Walt spot with an idea, either dreamed up by Fey, the production genius of the team, or Jaschek, the primary writer. Fey works from the Paul & Walt Worldwide office in Los Angeles, while Jaschek works from his office in St. Louis, the city where they both grew up.
They communicate through faxes and computer modems to tighten ideas, copy and production of radio ads.
The spot takes life in the imagination long before it is committed to tape. “It’s no exaggeration for me to say that I know exactly what a spot sounds like before it’s recorded,” Fey said. “The key is trying to put on tape what’s in my head.”
Paul & Walt fleshes out the characters, relying on a pool of creative talent from an audio studio in the same building as its Los Angeles office.
“People get accustomed to thinking of radio in a certain way,” said Fey, who claims the company owes its success to breaking those conventions. The plan for the future is to continue carving out new niches in radio commercials.
Paul & Walt Worldwide is now working on a project that Fey hopes will set a new milestone in how people perceive radio. He was mum about who the client is and the product, saying only that he is not bound to the conventions of 30 or 60 seconds for the spots.
“We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can do with radio,” he said.