Can You Solve This “Missing Persons” Case Like Matlock?

“Missing Persons” is a funny radio commercial created by Paul & Walt Worldwide for the syndicated run of the TV series “Matlock” starring Andy Griffith. This spot, written by Walt Jaschek, produced and directed by Paul Fey, garnered many ad industry awards, including the Clio Award for “Best Radio Copywriting.” It stars voice talent Tom Poston, Harvey Atkin and Orson Bean.

Click and enjoy!

It’s also a good copywriting example. Here’s the script.

“Missing Persons”
:60 Radio
Script by Walt Jaschek

SFX: Telephone ring, followed by phone pick-up

TOUGH-TALKING COP: Missing Persons.

GOOFY GUY (phone filtered:) Missing Persons?

COP: Missing Persons.

GOOFY GUY: My wife is missing.

COP: Your wife is missing?

GOOFY GUY: My wife is missing.

COP: When did you last see her, sir?

GOOFY GUY: Four o’clock.

COP: Four o’clock?

GOOFY GUY: Four o’clock.

COP: Uh, where’s your TV, sir?

GOOFY GUY: The bedroom.

COP: Have you checked IN the bedroom, sir?


COP: She’s probably watching “Matlock!”

GOOFY GUY: “Matlock” is on at four o’clock?

STERN COP: Every weekday at four on Channel Two. Go check your bedroom, sir. I’ll wait.


[LONG SOUND FX STRETCH: Goofy guys puts down the phone. He walks down a hallway. He opens the bedroom door. We hear a few seconds of Matlock (“Your honor, I…”) The goofy guy closes the bedroom door. He walks back down the hallway. He picks up the phone.]


COP: I’m here.

GOOFY GUY: She’s watching “Matlock!”

COP: I thought so.

GOOFY GUY: I didn’t know “Matlock” was on at four o’clock.

COP: Every weekday at four on Channel Two.

GOOFY GUY: She really likes Andy Griffith!

COP: Of course she does.

GOOFY GUY: She was so busy watching “Matlock” that she forgot to tell me where she was!

COP: Tell her I understand.


SFX: The goofy guy puts down phone, walks down hallway again.

COP: Wait! I didn’t mean now! Sir? Sir?

SFX: Goofy guy opens bedroom door. Matlock is still playing.

GOOFY GUY: Hey! My favorite episode!

ANNOUNCER: “Matlock.” Weekdays at four on Channel Two. Because there’s nothing like a good mystery!

COP: I’m hanging up now sir. Sir?

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Published by

Walt Jaschek

Writer. Creator. Walt.

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