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