Walt Jaschek (born September 2, 1955) is an American writer, humorist and performer. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Walt’s creative ideas have propelled comic book series, movies, zines and ad campaigns.
“Life is worth laughing, that’s my motto,” says Walt, who declares his mission as “info-taining the world with smart fun.” Humor, he says, enables empathic human communication and emotional relief. “It’s also a funny way to make a living,” he adds.
Here is some of his featured work, by category.
Walt came to prominence as a copywriter specializing in funny, award-winning ads and commercials for national brands, including CBS-TV, Budweiser, King World, 20th Century Fox, and AT&T. He wrote thousands of radio spots produced for broadcast in the years 1988-2010, many in collaboration with director Paul Fey, a former St. Louisian later based in Hollywood, California.
Branded as Paul & Walt Worldwide, their agency’s work attracted hundreds of industry trophies; was covered in Adweek, Ad Age, St. Louis Business Journal and more pubs; was dissected in advertising textbooks; and drew invitations for the duo to guest-speak to advertising and business groups around the world.
Examples of their work includes “Missing Persons,” a spot for the TV series Matlock and a Clio-winner for radio copywriting; “Laugh Catalog,” a spot for the TV series George Schlatter’s Comedy Club and Clio-winner for best use of sound; and “Robert Goulet,” a spot for the TV series The Simpsons and winner of the $20,000 Mercury Award for Radio Humor.
For this body of work, the St. Louis Media Foundation in 2018 inducted Paul & Walt into the prestigious St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. Declaring he is “not history yet,” Walt is still offering turnkey radio scriptwriting and production services.
Walt is the author of the three-issue comic book mini-series The Golden Adventures of Brett Hull, published as a joint promotion of the St. Louis Blues, Coca-Cola and McDonalds, and sold at regional McDonalds.
He is the writer and co-creator (with Don Secrease) of Mel Cool: Mall Cop, a zealous security guard first published in indy comics in 1994-1999.
Walt is the writer and artist of the long-running, humorous webcomic Dang Gnats, starring “two outspoken insects with too much time on their wings.” The comic has more than 2000 followers on Facebook. It has retained its simple gif format since 2001.
Also with Don, Walt co-created The Herobots, a superhero team for early readers, and launched a coloring and activities book still available.
Many of Walt’s creator-owned comics, including the satire Corp Rut, superhero parent Danger Dad™ and the daring Attorneys in Space, were collected into the two-issue comic book mini-series Slightly Bent Comics, distributed in comic book stores in 1998. Smirk Du Jour, a collection of panel cartoons, was included in the second issue.
Walt’s latest comic strips and comic scripts are at Tapas, a leading site for comics and novels, at https://tapas.io/waltjaschek.
Walt performed the comedy lead in the slightly NSFW comedy video “Offices in the Raw” on nationally syndicated television. The Rick Zahradnik-helmed video imagines a clothes-optional office, and Walt gets down to red underwear in the end.
He appeared as the doomed-to-be-killed by zombies Harold Pilgrain in the feature film “Spirits of Jupiter,” also known as “Planet Gone Mad.” Walt did his own stunts in the Colorado-base action-comedy, including jumping out of a moving plane on the runway.
He also starred as mad scientist Doctor D’Ablo in the cult black-and-white Western serial, “Sons of the Saddle.” This is the Don Secreae-directed episode, “The Invisible Ray-ders.”
He has a bit part in the ad agency satire “How to Kill a Pitch,” which he wrote in collaboration with studio Mercury Labs.
In 1970, at age 15, high schooler Walt inherited the editor role at the comics-focused fanzine GRAFAN, also the newsletter of the Graphic Fantasy Society of St. Louis. He edited multiple issues of that zine and its sequel, SON OF GRAFAN, from 1971-1975.
Walt served in 1974-1975 as editor-in-chief of The Current, the University of Missouri-St. Louis weekly newspaper. He also served as a feature writer on the paper for years. Leaning into his interests in comics, he wrote long features about the Censored Doonsebury Comics of the 1970s, and interviewed ascendent and influential Marvel Comics writer Steve Gerber. (“Steve Gerber is Smoking.”)
Articles & eBooks
Walt is currently writing for the St. Louis “positive news” website STL Made. Stories include profiles of local high-tech time-keepers; innovative, “not so odd” intergenerational roommates; and the national Horseshoe Hall of Fame.
Walt is also writing an eBook on his experiences maintaining a career as a freelance, home-based creator. The introduction to Freelance Copywriting: Profit and Prosper Without Pants is posted.
Walt has recently appeared at comic book and pop culture conventions cosplaying Dr. Hank Pym, the labcoat-wearing mentor to Scott Lang Pym in Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man 1 and 2. In those films, Pym is portrayed by actor Michael Douglas.
Walt maintains a curated portfolio with copywriting samples in all media. It includes taglines, websites, award-winning healthcare advertising campaigns, and content of all kinds. For his copywriting work, Walt has won many ad awards. He says his secret to winning them is his “lucky red underwear.” It’s a running joke.
Walt is a 1973 graduate of Jennings High School in St. Louis County, Missouri. In 1978, he earned a BA in Speech Communication from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Walt says: “I loved my time at both Jennings and UMSL. Best yet, there was a time later in my career, when I was cranking out the hundreds of radio commercials, that I realized I’m actually doing work in speech communication. Truth in degree naming!”
Media articles on the endeavors of Walt and his associates include:
Radio’s Word Magic | Colorado Springs Sun, 1983
Positioning + Creativity + Guts = Success | Colorado Springs Business Journal, 1984
Freelance Writer Steals Show | St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1989
St. Louis V.I.P.: Jaschek Wins With Humor | Advertising Age, 1989
A Big Hand for the Little Agency | Adweek, 1989
Funny You Should Ask About Jaschek | St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1989
Walt Jaschek and His Basement Humor | St. Louis Business Journal, 1991
Paul & Walt Worldwide Converting Ears to Eyes | Call Letters Magazine
The Men Behind Radio’s Zany Commercials | Radio World, 1993
Southtown Resident Generates Worldwide Laughs | Southtown Word, 1994
One-Minute Jesters Court Laughs and Listeners | Los Angeles Radio Guide, 1994
Paul & Walt Help CBS-TV to Fall Sweeps Success | Call Letters, 1995
Green Drinks: Cold Beer, Cool Talk About the Environment | Webster Kirkwood Times, 2007
Award-Winning Copywriter “Lets Loose the Large” | UMSL Daily, 2012
Paul & Walt Inducted Into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame | Columbia Missourian, 2017
Former Current Editors Inducted Into Media Hall of Fame | UMSL Current, 2018
Walt is on:
Do you have a little something you need to write? An email draft? A list of headlines? A longish Tweet? In his latest video, Writer Walt Jaschek invites you to 11 minutes of deep focus writing. Did any of the tech in this video catch your eye or imagination? Check current prices on Amazon for…
This post transcribes an interview with me from Advertising Age in 1989, when my taste in funny advertising exceeded my taste in ski sweaters. That photo, oy! Did I not own a normal shirt? Article transcribed from the version published in Advertising Age magazine, March 19, 1989. BY JUDITH VANDEWATER ST. LOUIS – Walter Jaschek…
“Positioning + creativity + guts = effect.” That was my formula for successful advertising, as quoted in this 1984 article from the Colorado Springs Business Journal by Ron Wallace. I was 29 years old. The Ad Vantage: On Words And Up Words“Positioning + creativity + guts = effect”By Ron WallaceColorado Springs Business Journal, January, 1984…