Funny radio commercials: Beloved. Effective. Memorable.
Funny radio adverts will make audiences fall in love with your brand. Well-written and well-produced comedy spots get heard, get remembered and get results. They also improve the overall radio listening experience.
So please turn your volume up for the following, 15 great radio ad examples, written or co-written by Walt Jaschek and produced by Paul Fey, the team at Paul & Walt Worldwide. (Paul is now at World Wide Wadio and Walt has a YouTube channel dedicated to this stuff.)
If you’re in the advertising, TV promotion or radio biz, we hope these spots and scripts serve as helpful radio copywriting, voice acting and production examples. If you just love funny audio, we get that, too.
There are multiple ways you can enjoy and study these 15 radio ad examples and script examples.
You can settle in with this new compilation video of all 15 funny radio ad examples – just click, sit back and enjoy. Or you can scroll down to the individual funny radio commercial titles and descriptions, and follow links to the corresponding spots and script examples.
Ready, set, play!
From “Missing Persons” to “Vibrating Water Bed” – 15 funny radio commercials back-to-back.
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Individual Funny Radio Spots
Funny radio commercial #1: “Robert Goulet” for The Simpsons
Winner, $20,000 Mercury Award for Radio Humor. Starring the late, great singer/orator Robert Goulet as himself. Technique: a funny list structure, contrasting a serious, somber voice to the cartoon character’s juvenile, sarcastic sayings. Opening line: “And now, Mr. Goulet reads from the writings of Bart, the collected, after-school blackboard writings of young Bart Simpson.” Read the script.
Funny radio commercial #2: “Missing Persons” for Matlock
Winner, Clio Award for “Best Radio Copywriting.” Winner, National Addy Award. Technique: funny dialogue and theatre of the mind to demonstrate fan devotion. The staccato dialogue was written in the style of Jack Webb’s “Dragnet,” with the added benefit of the built-in repetition. Don’t miss the great sound design of the goofy caller walking down the hall and back. That’s radio, baby! Key line: “My wife is missing.” Read the script.
Radio writers: the “Missing Persons” commercial is a good example of the copywriting tip, “Keep one feature or benefit to a spot.” To illustrate: after listening, can you name what time Matlock is on?
Funny radio commercial #3 and #4: “Laugh Catalog 1 & 2” for George Schlatter’s Comedy Club
Winner, Clio Award for “Best Use of Sound.” Technique: “list” structure and contagious sounds of laughter. This video also contains the sequel, “Laugh Catalog 2.” Bonus trivia: these spots represent two of the first creative collaborations between writer Walt Jaschek and producer Paul Fey. When Walt heard the incredible sound design Paul and engineer Bill Schulenberg brought to the spots, he thought, “This radio thing. We might be onto something here.” Key line from the spot: “Guffaw With Wheeze.” Read the script.
Funny Radio Commercial #5: “Beat-Yourself-Up Hotline” for Smartship.com
Winner, National and Regional Addy Awards. Technique: funny dialogue and very human, relatable self-recrimination. (“I am so stupid! I can’t believe how stupid I am!” The spot imagines a call-in hotline for just such a thing. This spot is one of the most listened to and liked radio commercials on our YouTube channel. Maybe’s it’s biceps on the guy in the thumbnail? Key lines: “Wow, you beat yourself up very well, sir.” “Thanks!” Hear the spot, read the script.
Funny Radio Commercial #6: “Cellular Guy” for Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems
Winner, National Addy Award, Radio. Clio Award, Best Radio Copywriting. Technique: “quick cut” structure of comic one-liners. This is a technique Paul and Walt used many times throughout the years: Walt loves it because “it’s sort of like writing a stand-up set.” Also note the slight self-deprecating the client allowed. Very rare these days. Key line: “Southwestern Bell Mobile is trouble-free. But then, trouble is always free.” Hear the spot and read script.
Funny Radio Commercial #7: “The Ballad of Judge Wapner” for The People’s Court
Winner, Promax Muse Award and a National Addy Award. Technique: music parody with lots of internal rhymes and inside-joke show references. It’s a spoken-word “ballad” honoring pop culture icon Judge Jospeh Wapner, original judge on the TV series “The People’s Court.” Come on: are there funnier songs about reality TV? Key line: “He talks and he laughs / his voice full of gravel, but the bad guys just gasp / when he bangs his big gavel.” Hear the spot, read the script.
Funny Radio Commercial #8: “Viva La Volvo” for Volvo
Winner of a National Addy Award. Technique: quick cuts of relatable, comic one-liners with rocking, musical “black-outs.” This is another of the stand-up-comedy-style spots polished by Paul & Walt, as heard in the Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems spot above. This time our droll wit is a woman and fierce Volvo lover. Key line: “A friend of mine asked me to tell him about my Volvo. ‘Hey,’ I said, “That’s just between me and my gynecologist.,” Hear the spot, read the script.
Funny Radio Commercial #9: “Star-In-Your Own Radio Commercial” for Budweiser
Technique: funny dialogue, theatre of the mind, and a “game” of listener participation.(“Whenever you hear this sound – DING! – insert your name.”) The target audience of this spot is men, but we wrote a version for women with the roles reversed. Key line: “Sometimes there aren’t enough hours in the day to be a neurosurgeon AND a swimwear model.” Tell us about it. Hear the spot, read the script..
Funny Radio Commercial #10: “Put Your Tongue on the Radio” for Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels
Techniques: theatre of the mind and a “game” of listener participation. A little bit of outrageousness to match the personality of the star. Gene Simmons is the founder of Kiss and star of the “Family Jewels” family reality TV series on A&E. He’s also famous in rock culture for having a verrrrrry long tongue. Hence the inspiration for this tongue-focused spot. Key line: “It’s the rock-meets-reality TV series that licks them all.” Hear the spot, read the script.
Funny Radio Commercial #11: “I’m Shaving My Head!” For Star: Trek the Next Generation.
National Addy Award winner. Technique: parody of fan/cult behavior to express popularity of show. This spot, part of an entire “Shaving My Head” campaign, was reimagined by Channel 6 Miami into a very funny TV commercial with people all over South Florida shaving, what else, their heads. Key line: “I’m shaving my head!” Hear the spot, read the script..
Funny Radio Commercial #12: “Mister Rippemoff” for NewsCenter 7 Wastebusters
Winner, Promax Award for local news promo. Technique: funny dialogue and theatre of the mind. A corrupt businessman gets a visit from NewsCenter 7 Wastebusters, and he has only one option. (Yes, that’s Walt standing in for Mister Rippemoff, above.) Key line: “Tell them I went out my window, down the fire escape, and booked down the street screaming like a madman.” Hear the spot, read the script.
Funny Radio Commercial #13: “Vibrating Water Bed” for Jeopardy Tournament of Champions
Promax Award for syndicated TV promo. Technique: funny dialogue, theatre of the mind, funny sound effects. This spot, one of a series of “Larry and LaVerne” commercials created by Paul & Walt for Jeopardy and its distributor, King World, featured very funny performances by legendary comedians Lorenzo Music and Patti Deutsch. Hear the spot, read the script.
Funny Radio Commercial #14: “Albert Einstein” for CreativeWorks
Technique: funny dialogue; use of historical figure of import and intellectual capacity to contrast the simplicity of the offer. In it, “Dr. Albert Einstein” announces he’s working on a “brand new theory,” but is looking for help in “marketing” it. He’s pointed to CreativeWorks, a “one-stop shop for marketing solutions.” “Even for a genius?,” the good doctor asks. “Especially for a genius,” he is reassured. A couple of funny actors having a good time with this one! Hear the spot, read the script.
Funny Radio Commercial #15: “Subliminal Seduction” for Baron’s Saloon Restaurant Chain
Technique: parody the concept of “subliminal advertising” by making the “subliminal” part overt, in funny contrast to the somber announcer. Although this spot wraps up our playlist of funny radio commercials, it’s actually one of the first radio ads Walt Jaschek ever wrote. Its success for the brand and his agency early in his copywriting days helped accelerate Walt’s entire career. Bonus trivia: that’s Walt himself as the “subliminal” voice! Key line: “Come to Baron’s.” Hear the spot, read the script.
Bonus: Press Coverage of Funny Radio Commercials
Here are links to a few articles in the media by others about funny radio commercials: their creation, their effectiveness, and their role in the media. If you are an advertiser, a copywriter, or a student of funny radio adverts, they might give you additional perspective on the importance and impact of well-written and well-produced audio ads in marketing and pop culture.
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
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
Award-Winning Copywriter “Lets Loose the Large” | UMSL Daily, 2012
Paul & Walt Inducted Into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame | Columbia Missourian, 2017
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See also: 30-Second Radio Ad Script Examples
Walt’s YouTube channel has a lot of stuff like this.
Walt Jaschek is a writer of comics, comedy and copy for big brands. For his work creating funny, award-winning ad campaigns for the entertainment industry, he was inducted in 2018 into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. Declaring “I’m not history yet,” Walt is writing away on his original I.P. at last. Netflix gets first look.
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