“Ballad of Judge Wapner” Honors TV Legend on 100th Birthday | Song + Lyrics

Funny Stuff, Music, Radio Commercials

Grab your gavels for a big birthday: the late Judge Wapner would have turned 100 this month. It’s true. November 19, 2019 will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Albert Wapner, legendary TV judge and pop culture icon.

Britannica reminds us of his significance: “Born November 15, 1919, in Los Angeles, California. Died February 26, 2017, in Los Angeles. American jurist and TV personality who presided (1981–93) over The People’s Court, an immensely popular syndicated TV show in which plaintiffs and defendants from California small claims court argued their cases and accepted the judge’s ruling.”

Back in the early 90s, Paul Fey and I were creating (as Paul & Walt Worldwide) a lot of radio and TV content for King World, the show’s syndicator. When we were tasked with finding a fresh approach for promoting it, I wrote the script (below) for “The Ballad of Judge Wapner,” a funny, 60-second radio commercial celebrating what fans loved about the show.

Here it is, voiced by the late Lance LeGault. It’s now captioned with lyrics, also posted beneath.

Lyrics by Walt Jaschek

MUSIC: COWBOY BALLAD-STYLE, UNDER

COWBOY: He sits in judgment
He stands for the law
Kinda looks like a hero
And sounds like your Pa

BACK-UP SINGERS: WAPNER!

MUSIC: HARMONICA WAILS

COWBOY: He smiles and he laughs
His voice tinged with gravel
But the bad-guys just gasp
When he bangs his big gavel

BACK-UP SINGERS: WAPNER!

COWBOY: Judge Wapner.

BACK-UP SINGERS: JUDGE WAPNER!

HARMONICA WAILS

COWBOY: When neighbors brawl
When lovers refute
When suppliers and buyers and liars dispute 
Wapner won’t let those lawbooks get dusty 
Got a buddy named Doug
And a sidekick named Rusty

BACK-UP SINGERS: RUSTY!

COWBOY: With Wapner.

BACK-UP SINGERS: JUDGE WAPNER!

HARMONICA WAILS

COWBOY: Doesn’t do it from towers
Doesn’t do it from steeples
He does it in court
A court called “People’s”

ANNOUNCER: Judge Wapner rules on “The People’s Court”

BACK-UP SINGERS: SONG OVER!

COWBOY: Song over.

HARMONICA WAILS, OUT

© Paul & Walt Worldwide

See also: 15 Funny Radio Commercials to Inspire More of the Same

Walt Jaschek is writer of comedy, comics and copy. Follow, like, comment!

“Refresh” | Missouri Tourism Commercial | Country/Western Jingle with Lyrics by Walt Jaschek

Jingles, Music, Radio Commercials
“The Refresh Song” | Lyrics by Walt Jaschek | Produced by Paul Fey | Music by Mathews Griffith

“The Refresh Song” is a country-western-style jingle promoting “the magic of Missouri,” with lyrics by Walt Jaschek. It was commissioned by the Missouri Department of Tourism, and ran on radio stations throughout the midwest, promoting Missouri vacations. Walt’s repeated use of the syllable “re” makes for an engaging, ear-pleasing hook. (One person on the department’s staff commented: “Gee, that’s a lot of ‘re’ words.”) Take a listen, and read:

“The Refresh Song” lyrics

Refresh, come on and rediscover
Recharge and rewind;
Retreat, rekindle and recover
Restore your store of mind!

Replay, recreate a memory,
Relax your cares away,
Return to the magic of Missouri
And make your getaway!

Revive, get recuperated,
Reap your reward;
Rejoice, get rejuvenated,
Just beyond your own backyard.

Reach out, grab your lovin’ family
Take time off and play
Return to the magic of Missouri
And make your getaway!

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A Miracle and Wonder: Happy Birthday, Paul Simon!

Heroes, Music, Sketches

paulsimon-by-waltjaschekI sketched my hero, the transcendent Paul Simon, a writer whose lyrics enter through the heart and remain in the brain. Thank you, sir, for all the music and the otherworldly journeys they provide. In the song “Boy in the Bubble,” Paul Simon wrote:  “These are the days of miracles and wonder.” He is both.

Today, October 13, 2017, he turns 76. Happy birthday, Paul, and keep having them.

Walt Jaschek