Rediscovered! Rare, Star-Studded 1992 CBS-TV Holiday Spot

TV Commercials, TV Promotion

Scriptwriter Walt Jaschek finds rare, 1992 CBS-TV holiday spot with performances by dozens of TV stars of the day. And posts it.

Here’s a holiday TV blast from the past, never before seen on the internet, at least as far as we know.

In 1992, CBS-TV offered our agency Paul & Walt Worldwide the opportunity to write and submit scripts for its annual, big-deal, on-air holiday promo spot. The network had aired one annually since the dawn of the medium. Intended as a sincere gesture to express a sentiment on behalf of the brand, they’re seen and appreciated by tens of millions of TV viewers each year.

(Before it became a Paul & Walt client, the network had a long and happy relationship with Paul Fey, my partner; I wouldn’t have had a chance to work on any of these national campaigns if not for him.)

In submitting our stack of scripts, we included my holiday poem, “The Wish,” written specifically for the stars of the network’s hit shows of the day, and intended to be performed by them. Holiday miracle: our pals in the promo department bought it! And brought it to amazing life with their in-house production crew.

From Angela Lansbury (“Murder, She Wrote”) to William Shatner (“Rescue 911”) to Burt Reynolds (“Evening Shade”,) these iconic actors brought their holiday A-game to the performances. Thought lost to time, the 30-second spot showed up on a VHS tape in the bottom of a box at the bottom of another box. Yeah. I had it digitized.

Take a breath. Here are a dizzying array of 1990s TV icons. And their holiday wishes.

Script
CBS-TV
The Wish”
:30 TV

JAY THOMAS: We wish you the gift…

SUSAN DEY: That love can bring.

JOHN RITTER: The gift that keeps on giving.

BURT REYNOLDS: I wish for just one win this year!

ESTELLE GETTY: I wish to just keep living!

ANGELA LANSBURY: I wish you love and lasting joy.

DIXIE CARTER: We wish you a scrumptious diet!

WILLIAM SHATNER: I wish you hope and peace on Earth.

BOB NEWHART: Or at least some peace and quiet.

JANINE TURNER: We wish you warm and cozy nights.

MICHELLE LEE: And the greatest wish of all…

GERALD McRANEY: ..is a wish you make with your family.

CHARLES KIMBROUGH: No matter how big…

CANDICE BERGEN: …or how small. Happy holidays! ‘

© 1992 Walt Jaschek and CBS-TV

Shows represented: Love & War, Hearts Afire, Evening Shade, The Golden Palace, Murder, She Wrote; Designing Women; Rescue 911; Bob; Knot’s Landing; Major Dad; Murphy Brown.

We hope you have enjoyed this blast from the past.

And have a happy holiday future!

Radio Ad Script | The Ballad of Judge Wapner | People’s Court

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

Bonus! Here’s a :30 TV version of the ballad! What a 1990s flashback this is!

© 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!

Former Current Editors Walt Jaschek and Paul Fey Become a Story In Themselves

Press Coverage, Radio Commercials, Walt a Life

 

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Former Current Editors Inducted Into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

Walt Jaschek served as editor-in-chief of The Current, the campus newspaper of the University of St. Louis, in 1974-1975. Staffer and Walt’s new pal Paul Fey was editor in 1975-1976. Years after graduation, the two went on to form Paul & Walt Worldwide, an ad agency specializing in funny radio commercials for national entertainment brands. For this body of creative work, among others, they were recently inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame. And to bring it back home, their former creative meeting ground, The Current, ran a pretty funny article about the whole thing. Read the piece by Kat Riddler here.

The circle of life. It’s a thing!

It is to laugh: Walt Jaschek and Paul Fey inducted into St. Louis Media Hall of Fame

Awards, Radio Commercials, St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, Walt a Life

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It’s not a dream. It’s not a hoax. It’s not an imaginary tale.

Walt Jaschek and his long-time friend and creative collaborator Paul Fey, writers and producers of funny radio commercials, were inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame at a gala ceremony in downtown St. Louis on March 17, 2018.

The St. Louis Media History Foundation inducted 20 other individuals into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame that night, as well. More than 200 people attended the gala. (See the full list of the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame 2017 Inductees on LinkedIn.)

Said the Foundation: “Individually and together, Paul and Walt have reputations for creating high-impact, industry-admired advertising campaigns. They teamed up in 1991 to create Paul & Walt Worldwide, the radio commercial boutique agency and production company. With offices in Hollywood and St. Louis, their work quickly won CLIOS, ADDYs and many other awards for national brands.”

Paul is now President and Chief Creative Officer of World Wide Wadio in Hollywood.  Walt is now writer of comics and comedy here at Walt Now. Both men continue to collaborate frequently.

See Paul Fey’s profile in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

See Walt Jaschek’s profile in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

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Bonus scenes from the night of the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame ceremony:  Walt and what he calls his “Hall of Fam:” From left, son Adam; Walt’s wife Randy; and Adam’s fiancé Bernie. Below, Walt’s Hall of Fame plaque.

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Hear funny radio commercials by Paul & Walt | Walt Jaschek home

Paul & Walt Help CBS-TV to Fall Sweeps Success

Press Coverage, Radio Commercials, TV Promotion

This article first appeared in Call Letters, the member newsletter of the Southern California Broadcaster Association, in Fall, 1995. Paul & Walt Worldwide had just completed a national, Fall Sweeps radio campaign promoting CBS-TV, including hit show “Murphy Brown.” Candice Bergen and cast, above.

Paul & Walt Worldwide Converting Ears to Eyes

A Southern California ad agency with the unlikely name of Paul & Walt Worldwide created a “huge radio extravaganza” recently, included appearances by the Temptations, Candice Bergen, Connie Chung and the stars of Designing Women to help client CBS-TV score a major upset, winning its first Fall Sweeps ratings victory in Southern California in six years.

The radio “theatre of the mind” – which recently won a SUNNY for best television promotion – featured a cast of thousands and two CBS-TV sportscasters describing the action with Connie Chung playing the saxophone and the Temptations executing simultaneous backflips. The spots also featured the stars of Designing Women in a dazzling exhibition of synchronized swimming.

“This was a perfect opportunity,” says partner Paul Fey, “to make a major effort on radio and use the medium for what it does so well: utilize the listeners’ imaginations.

CBS-TV made a major commitment to win the Fall premiere week and sweeps battle with new programming and promotion after finishing poorly for several years. The company made the biggest radio campaign in history as part of the massive, multi-media drive.

To tie in with the television campaign, CBS-TV saturated Southern California radio over Labor Day weekend. Paul & Walt produced eight related radio spots built around a fictional event: the “CBS Get Ready Weekend.”

The agency’s two principals, Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek, had separate, successful ad careers prior to joining forces as Paul & Walt Worldwide. Fey began his career at CBS-owned KMOX-TV, St, Louis, creating radio for the station’s audience promotion efforts. Jaschek was simultaneously working as Creative Director for a Colorado ad agency. By 1982 they were each winning national awards. Since then, they’ve won more than 300.

“Walt and I met in 1974 in college when we were both journalism majors and worked on the college newspaper together,: says Walt Jaschek. “Paul used to collect Dick Orkin and Alan Barzman radio spots, and I would ask him, ‘When are we going to great stuff like that?’”

When Paul Fey was writing and producing alone, he was getting job offers from CBS stations who were aware of his work for KMOX. “I didn’t really want to do the same thing in L.A. or New York,” he says. “I really wanted to hold out just enough, to go into business for myself and work for all them. I did that in 1985, and within a few months I was a one-man shop, writing and producing and doing most of my work in Los Angeles. The business was growing fast and needed some help.”

Fey’s school chum Walt, having moved back to St. Louis to become an advertising manager for Southwestern Bell, eventually realized his goal of free-lancing.

The two joined forces fives years ago when Paul got a huge assignment. Since that time Walt has become the full-time writer and Paul participates in concept work and takes care of the business and production end. 

In addition to CBS-TV, the agency does creative work for King Word (distributors of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy”,) Warner Bros. and Anheuser-Busch.

“We love working in radio,” says partner Jaschek. “It lets us supply endless visuals and the listener completes the pictures we create.”

“The only downside to doing radio,” adds Fey, “is that you can’t convince the client that the radio spot has to be done on location in Hawaii like you can with a TV spot.”

Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek of Paul & Walt Worldwide.

2019 update: Paul Fey now runs World Wide Wadio in Hollywood, California. Walt Jaschek now runs Walt Now Creative  in St. Louis. The two continue to collaborate on… radio. In 2018, Paul & Walt were inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

From Radio World: The Men Behind Radio’s Zany Commercials

Flashbacks, Press Coverage, Radio Commercials

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This article on our audio-drenched days as funny radio commercial creators Paul & Walt Worldwide was written by Dee McVicker, and appeared in Radio World®, Vol. 17, No. 23, December 8, 1993.

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Paul & Walt: Behind Radio’s Zany Commercials

by Dee McVicker

LOS ANGELES  

It has been said that a radio station is only as good as its commercials. That axiom has served Paul Fey and Walt Jaschek well.

Widely acclaimed for their sharp sense of humor, the team is nationally recognized as the creative genius behind a number of radio spots promoting the seasonal lineup of shows for TV networks.

Their client list includes King World, Warner Brothers Television, 20th Century Television and CBS Television Network.

“If a commercial is boring and doesn’t hold their attention, we can’t blame them if they reach up and hit the button on the car radio,” said Paul Fey, founding partner of Paul & Walt Worldwide. “We want to stop them in their tracks.”

Fey and Jaschek have been on the laugh track since high school, winning some 400 awards for excellence in commercial production, including three Clios and two regional Emmys. The team walked award with the five Ollies in one evening, setting a record for the most awards won by one company in the Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s annual presentation.

One Ollie was presented for a Paul & Walt commercial, “Auditions,” in which Patrick Stewart is among the voices trying out for the part of Jean Luc Picard in “Star Trek.”

Of all the awards (which stream in at a rate of 50 a year), Fey is most partial to the team’s first Clio. Fey aspired to win a Clio since his high school years, and recalls vividly the magic feeling of creating the spot.

It was a radio ad featuring a “catalog” of types of laughter. “The whole spot was kind of invented on Walt’s front porch. It just sort of came out… It wrote itself,” he said.

What keeps this team on the leading edge? “We never want to get satisfied with doing the same thing,” Fey said, pointing out that too many comedy teams rely on formulaic humor.

“Once upon a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, funny dialogue radio spots were what broke through the clutter. Now, I feel that funny dialogue spots are becoming the clutter, because there is so much of it out there,” Fey said.

Radio in particular lends itself to production-oriented spots, where a hybrid of audio effects, humor and dialogue work together. “It’s much easier to do a gigantic-scale production on radio because a lot of it is letting people’s minds fill it in,” he said.

A recent Paul & Walt commercial for a cellular telephone carrier, for example, camped up the Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” with a polka beat accompanied by amusing dialogue, delivered in a deadpan voice:

“I get around, so I signed up for voice mail. I used to leery about sending voice mail. I wasn’t sure if I was putting enough stamps on it.”

As the music cut in and out abruptly, the deadpan voice again speaks up:

“Voice mail is easy. Think of it as rolling up a yellow sticky-note, jamming it into your cellular phone, and having it pop out somewhere else.”

Life begins for a Paul & Walt spot with an idea, either dreamed up by Fey, the production genius of the team, or Jaschek, the primary writer. Fey works from the Paul & Walt Worldwide office in Los Angeles, while Jaschek works from his office in St. Louis, the city where they both grew up.

They communicate through faxes and computer modems to tighten ideas, copy and production of radio ads.

The spot takes life in the imagination long before it is committed to tape. “It’s no exaggeration for me to say that I know exactly what a spot sounds like before it’s recorded,” Fey said. “The key is trying to put on tape what’s in my head.”

Paul & Walt fleshes out the characters, relying on a pool of creative talent from an audio studio in the same building as its Los Angeles office.

“People get accustomed to thinking of radio in a certain way,” said Fey, who claims the company owes its success to breaking those conventions. The plan for the future is to continue carving out new niches in radio commercials.

Paul & Walt Worldwide is now working on a project that Fey hopes will set a new milestone in how people perceive radio. He was mum about who the client is and the product, saying only that he is not bound to the conventions of 30 or 60 seconds for the spots.

“We’ve barely scratched the surface of what we can do with radio,” he said.

Update, 2019: Paul currently runs World Wide Wadio in Hollywood. Walt runs Walt Now Entertainment in St. Louis. They both continue to collaborate on… radio.