A Toast to the New Year!

From left: Randy Rosenbaum, Walt Jaschek. Photo by Athena Hayes

Walt Now Creative, the advertising and marketing division of my global business empire, sends out this digital card as 2021 winds down. Next: goals.

Here are some of my goals for 2022.

  • Enjoy continued good health and a stronger body
  • Receive a pleasant jolt of good income
  • Make some mild to medium creative splashes
  • Make a big creative announcement on 2/2/22
  • Make an even bigger creative announcement on 4/4/22
  • Get in or create a group of younger creative people
  • Enjoy some fun and inspiring travel
  • Continue to be a force for healthy, happy living

What are your goals, creative or otherwise? Leave a comment!

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Close-Up: Marvel Library Spider-Man Vol 1

Unboxed and lovingly inspected on video, this high-end art book by Taschen (2022) shows high reverence for the Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Spidey run. Unboxing video and spontaneous commentary by Walt Jaschek. Enjoy Walt enjoying book! And laugh at him trying to open it. Want a copy of Marvel Comics Library Spider-Man Volume 1 … Continue reading Close-Up: Marvel Library Spider-Man Vol 1

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Question: Have I Just Been Insulted?

Humorist Walt Jaschek ponders the connection between a recent series of “unintentional insults” and his sudden desire to launch a memoir.

“Have I just been insulted?” I’ve been asking myself.

“No, wait, that was an unintentional insult,” I think.

In fact, a series of recent “unintentional insults” made me think it might be time to finally write a memoir.

How do these things connect? I’ll explain.

First, though, I ask: Have you ever been unintentionally insulted? You know, when somebody says something insulting to you, but they didn’t realize they were insulting you (probably,) so it sort of doesn’t count?

Here. Let me describe four situations, and you tell me. Intentional or “un?”

Seemingly Unintentional Insult #1.

This story begins with me grabbing a late-night dinner by myself after teaching a college class. It was an ethnic restaurant here in St. Louis County, and I won’t say which ethnicity, ’cause it doesn’t matter. Visualize your favorite.

I had just taken my seat, when the 20something, male server approached with a notepad. I could tell from overheard moments seconds before that perhaps English wasn’t his first language. That’s okay, too; I’m not a “Speak American” guy. I speak no other languages; I admire people who speak at least two.

He smiled big at me and said:

“Yes, Old Man, can I take your order?”

Old Man?

I choked back a laugh and said, “Yes, sure,” and proceeded to order.

For context, I’m a grey-haired 66 and look it. I don’t look much older, but I don’t look much younger, and I am every bit a proud Senior Citizen.

I was just struck by the non-ambivalent wrongness of whatever he thought he was translating. I truly believe he thought he was saying something else, such as, “Yes, Distinguished Gentleman, may I take your order?”  Or “Yes, Greying Wizard, may I take your order?”

But sure enough, when my meal was done, he approached again, and said, “Yes, Old Man, may I bring you the check?”

This time I just smiled and nodded. I paid the check, tipped well. I’m sure he didn’t mean the insult. It was unintentional. Right?

I mean, I don’t know what “Distinguished Gentleman” would translate to in his language. So how can I expect him to know?

Dinner was great, by the way.

Seemingly Unintentional Insult #2

A week or so later, I was checking out some items at the local grocery. It was early morning and I was gathering a few items pre-breakfast. I had some black tea bags, a bottle of orange juice, and a Wall Street Journal.

The very tall, middle-aged woman clerk scanned the items, noting, “Wow, you have your coffee; you have juice; you have your paper; you are ready for the kitchen table.”

“Yes, I am,” I said, smiling.

“You are going to be a happy little man,” she said, handing me my receipt.

Happy little man?

I know she was tall, but come on, I’m five-foot-ten. I’m not that little. I’m average.

She breezily went about her business.

My wife heard this story and got a kick out of it. Every once in a while, when she sees me engaged in stuff I love – eating oatmeal with granola while reading a comic book and listening to movie scores – she’ll say, “Look at you. You’re a happy, little man.”

I’m sorry to say it’s caught on.

Seemingly Unintentional Insult #3

Recently I drove my wife and me to a family gathering. It was very fun, very nice, and during it, a family member who saw how I had parked my car outside his house, said, “Who parks your car?”

I said, “I did.”

“Oh, my God,” he said.

We looked and I had parked poorly… like three feet from the curb, almost as if in the driving lane. This family member went outside, took a picture of my parking job, and texted it to another family member…. Can you believe this? Everyone seemed to agree this parking was so bad, it could be a meme.

This, therefore. might not count as an unintentional insult. Because:

(A.) My parking job was pretty bad.

(B.) There was nothing unintentional about these remarks. It was more like, giving me shit for something I should be given shit for. I can take that, I’m plucky!  So was it an insult at all, intentional or not?  Riddle me that, readers, and also, note: you shouldn’t ever ask me to park your car.

Very Quite Intentional Insult #4

This also involves cars, broadly.

Recently I was driving a winding country road, doing the speed limit, but being careful because after all, I am of a certain age.

Tailgated by a black truck in a big hurry, a wrap-around-sunglass-clad 30something at the wheel was not enjoying my driving-the-speed-limit thing. He flashed his lights. Navigating those curves, I had no room to pull over for at least a quarter-mile, when finally, some gravel on the side gave me room.

He showed me a scowl and a middle finger when he drove by.

Okay, okay, there’s no ambiguity there. That was of course an intentional insult. Almost a relief in its lack of ambiguity!

Plus, I am getting immune to the flip-offs, horn-honkers, cut-offers, no-signallers and general impatient craziness of Drivers on the Road Today.

[ Old Man Waves At Cloud ]

But there’s a bigger point here, and, honestly, believe it or not, it’s one of gratitude.

I am grateful for these intentional-or-not incidents. They’re content, baby! They mine comedy gold from otherwise mundane situations. 

I mean, if you are looking at life seeking out material – as a copywriter and “humorist,” I guess I always am – then these zingers, intentional or not, are like unexpected gifts from the Don Rickles and Rodney Dangerfields of the Great Beyond.

Conflict makes stories, and stuff like this has an internal conflict: even if it’s… “Should I be offended by that?”

Which makes me think: “Wait! Is this the beginning of a memoir? One in which I explain my quirky, funny life to at least myself?”

Sure!

Let’s call it… “Walt in Progress.” It’ll be about developing life resiliency and internal harmony by honing senses of humor. And coffee.

After all, I’m not getting any younger. Or getting to be any better of a parker.

So (A.) thanks for reading…

(B.) Thanks for commenting…

and (C.) Please be assured, I am indeed…

A happy little man.

Latest from the Blog

A Toast to the New Year!

Walt Now Creative, the advertising and marketing division of my global business empire, sends out this digital card as 2021 winds down. Next: goals. Here are some of my goals for 2022. Enjoy continued good health and a stronger body Receive a pleasant jolt of good income Make some mild to medium creative splashes Make … Continue reading A Toast to the New Year!

Christopher McKarton: Teen Detective (1971)

Amateur “action-thriller” film made by Walt Jaschek and friends as sophomores at Jennings High School introduces Walt’s long-time detective character, played by him. Jennings, Missouri. 1971. A quartet of juvenile delinquents makes a daring escape from a detention center and heads for a hide-out of gambling and drugs. When Christopher McKarton, teen detective, learns of … Continue reading Christopher McKarton: Teen Detective (1971)

“Big Mistake” | Funny TV Campaign for Channel 4 St. Louis (1985)

St. Louis media history rediscovered! Here are KMOX-TV Channel 4’s “Big Mistake” commercials from 1985, alerting viewers to an error in TV Guide magazine. Writer/director: Paul Fey. Guy on camera: me! Yes, that’s me, Walt Jaschek, at a studio in KMOX-TV (St. Louis,) performing on-camera in 1985. I recently found these spots on 3/4″ tape, … Continue reading “Big Mistake” | Funny TV Campaign for Channel 4 St. Louis (1985)

Christopher McKarton: Teen Detective (1971)

Amateur “action-thriller” film made by Walt Jaschek and friends as sophomores at Jennings High School introduces Walt’s long-time detective character, played by him.

Jennings, Missouri. 1971. A quartet of juvenile delinquents makes a daring escape from a detention center and heads for a hide-out of gambling and drugs. When Christopher McKarton, teen detective, learns of their escape, his ire is raised. These are the same delinquents that earlier involved McKarton’s girlfriend in a kidnapping scheme. So for the teen detective, recapturing these delinquents isn’t just his job. This time, it’s personal.

That’s the summary of the first, pilot episode of “Christopher McKarton: Teen Detective,” a film shot on 8mm by Walt Jaschek, Marc Stephenson, Rudy Johnston, David LaChance and Bill LaChance, based on Walt’s script for his original character.

All players were sophomores at Jennings High School in St. Louis County.

Walt Jaschek as Christopher McKarton


Credits

Starring
Rudy Johnston
Bill LaChance
David LaChance
Marc Stephenson
With Walt Jaschek As Christopher McKarton
Written By Walt Jaschek
Directed By Anybody Who Held The Camera

Filmed With The 8mm Camera Marc Recovered From a Trash Can In Jennings
(True Story)

Filmed On Location In
Downtown St. Louis, Missouri
Jennings, Missouri
The LaChance Residence

Original Film: Lost in a Box in the Basement Until Now!



A little backstory from Walt:

In 1971, my high school buddy Marc Stephenson found a working 8mm movie camera in an outdoor trashcan in Jennings, Missouri, where we lived and went to high school. (That would be Jennings High.) This, we decided, was an omen. We would make a Movie. Or at least a TV Pilot. We scraped together allowances and chore money to buy and process 8mm film (expensive for 15-year-olds,) then gathered friends and spent a few weeks across North County and St. Louis City running around, dodging traffic, stunt-fighting and shooting… “Christopher McKarton: Teen Detective.” The original 8mm reels were shown on a projector in my parents’ basement, and groups of high school friends enjoyed this “action/thriller” – well, at least those of us IN it did. But shortly thereafter, the already well-used film was lost to time, and only recently (here in 2021,) did I find a few reels in the bottom of a box marked “High School.” I had the film converted to digital (this is as good as these faded 8mm scenes can look) and tinkered in iMovie to add some titles and music to the original silent movie. Yes, shooting this at age 15 was Great Fun. What a blast. David, a year older, already had a car, and he shuffled us to multiple locations. (That’s the pink Cadillac I’m shown driving, even though I didn’t have a license. Or permit.) As per the parenting morays of the day (“be home when the streetlights turn on,”) we were mostly left to our devices, playing in traffic, popping out of underground pipes, climbing down buildings and bridges, and being blissfully careless. The only time we caught any attention is when we threw a dummy off the bridge by Northland Shopping Center. That drew a Jennings Police Officer to the scene: when he learned what we were doing, he laughed, asked for a ticket to the movie, and left. Missing from reels I recovered, alas, was one flashback scene involving McKarton, his high school girlfriend, and one of the “delinquents” delivering her back to McK in a kidnapping scheme. Or something like that. Suitably ridiculous, I know. But no more ridiculous than any of the rest of the “plot.” But the missing scene helps to explain why McKarton turns into such a vengeful, Dirty Harry-like killer near the end of the first episode… Ooops! Spoiler! Thanks for watching, and remember: Christopher McKarton will return.

Christopher McKarten did return – in 1974, as a comic strip by Walt in the UMSL Current, the student newspaper at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.

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Question: Have I Just Been Insulted?

Humorist Walt Jaschek ponders the connection between a recent series of “unintentional insults” and his sudden desire to launch a memoir. “Have I just been insulted?” I’ve been asking myself. “No, wait, that was an unintentional insult,” I think. In fact, a series of recent “unintentional insults” made me think it might be time to … Continue reading Question: Have I Just Been Insulted?

Satin Brass™ Now on Kindle Vella

Walt serializes his new comic book script on the new Kindle Vella platform. It’s the pilot episode for action hero Satin Brass™, Overdue Accounts Collector. You can read the first three chapters for free on Kindle Vella. Then purchase tokens from Vella to unlock more chapters! Satin Brass is a high-tech bounty hunter in a … Continue reading Satin Brass™ Now on Kindle Vella

Walt “calls in” to St. Louis Media Hall of Fame Ceremony

The St. Louis Media History Foundation asked Walt to add some comedy to its 2021 Hall of Fame video. This “Zoom call” is the result. Congratulations to the new honorees in the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame, which due to The Current Situation is a video celebration only, archived on YouTube.Ken Ohlemeyer Jr., producer … Continue reading Walt “calls in” to St. Louis Media Hall of Fame Ceremony

“Big Mistake” | Funny TV Campaign for Channel 4 St. Louis (1985)

St. Louis media history rediscovered! Here are KMOX-TV Channel 4’s “Big Mistake” commercials from 1985, alerting viewers to an error in TV Guide magazine. Writer/director: Paul Fey. Guy on camera: me!

Yes, that’s me, Walt Jaschek, at a studio in KMOX-TV (St. Louis,) performing on-camera in 1985. I recently found these spots on 3/4″ tape, transferred them to digital, and asked Paul to remind us why this campaign existed and how it came to be. Here’s what he said!


The VP Parade was an extremely important local programming event for Channel 4… not only for the major revenue that would be generated from a local program, but because it also indirectly served as powerful cross-promotion for its news team, who would be heavily visible while covering the event.

A “Big Mistake” occurred when TV Guide did not correctly include the listing for the VP Parade coverage, and instead left the normal weekly listing for Family Feud. Without a crucial TV Guide listing (which was actually a big deal in those days), Channel 4 had missed a major opportunity for exposure, and all felt lost. The magazine was already in print. There was no way to get the incorrect listing changed by the time it was discovered, only a few days before the event.

Out of sheer frustration and in order to amuse himself (this was NOT an assignment), Paul Fey wrote the campaign later that night after the irretrievable “Big Mistake” was discovered. He pitched it to General Manager Allan Cohen the next day. Allan loved it, and Paul enlisted friend Walt Jaschek as the on-camera talent.

The Creative Services team launched into action. shooting it, produced it, and putting it on the air within about 24 hours. The three spots ran heavily over a total of 3-4 days leading up to the day of the actual event.

Even without the correct TV Guide listing, Channel 4 handily won the time slot anyway.

Afterward, Allan said this: “You guys somehow always manage to find a way to turn chicken shit into chicken salad. This time, you turned chicken shit into Chicken Cordon Bleu.”



What are we doing now? Paul runs World Wide Wadio in Hollywood, California.,

Walt runs a YouTube channel and the entertainment empire, Copywriters In Love.

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You can read the first three chapters for free on Kindle Vella. Then purchase tokens from Vella to unlock more chapters!

Satin Brass is a high-tech bounty hunter in a glistening city of the near future. She’s is beautiful yes, but also tough: like satin brass, the golden, metallic alloy for which she is named. She’s half-Italian (Dad) and half-Latina (Mom,) and her light brown skin sheens. But never sweats.

Clad in thin, chain-mail fabric armor; steampunk-like goggles for enhanced perception; and fingerless gloves with circuits controlling her tech, Satin Brass is brash. An athletic 26-year-old with ninja training, Satin’s strength and agility are enhanced with injections of Martian vitamins given to her by her Mars-born lover, D’Arx D’Rax. Satin is known as the most persistent finder in the field. She doesn’t like the term “bounty hunter,” though. She prefers to call herself an “overdue accounts collector.”

Keep reading Satin Brass on Kindle Vella

Satin Brass is a trademark of Walt Jaschek and is © 2021

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Christopher McKarton: 1974 comic strip debut

Walt Jaschek’s first published comic strip: Christopher McKarton, dramatic thriller, serialized weekly in The UMSL Current, Fall, 1974. Script and pencils: Walt. Inks and letters: Gary Hoffman. It was a dramatic debut for Christopher McKarton, my rookie homicide investigator called to an ominous and familiar location. Here are the first four panels as they appeared … Continue reading Christopher McKarton: 1974 comic strip debut

Is Paul Blart: Mall Cop Based on Mel Cool: Map Cop?

The short answer: not as far as we know or can legally prove. In fact, bless that Paul Blart. Somebody had to be “the” Mall Cop in pop culture. He won. But here’s a longer Q&A with Walt Jaschek about that, originally published in 2009, when the movie was coming out but more than a decade … Continue reading Is Paul Blart: Mall Cop Based on Mel Cool: Map Cop?

New Sponsor: Fructose Pies™

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How to Kill a Pitch: Comedy Short, Script by Walt

“How to Kill a Pitch” is a short ad biz satire written by Walt, directed by Angie Lawling, shot by Chris Lawling, produced by Mercury Films.

Oh, creatives! Don’t fall on that sword over your favorite idea. Client not loving your latest idea? There’s another one, you know. Come up with it and live, damn it!

Spoiler: look for a cameo by Walt himself in the final scene, amid the “agency in waiting.” Full credits on IMDB.

Bonus: For those who like to read this sort of thing, here’s…

“How to Kill a Pitch”: The Shooting Script
by Walt Jaschek

Characters:

Jon / Creative Director – Agency
Jeanette / Account Director – Agency
Bernard / Chief Marketing Officer – Client
Brooke / Marketing Manager – Client
Ethan / Office Assistant – Client

Extras: The next agency in line to present / 3 people, non-speaking, cameo

BLACK SCREEN

Fade in title: How to Kill a Pitch

Fade up sound of a small group laughing. Title fades out and the laughter bridges across the CUT TO:

INT – CLIENT CONFERENCE ROOM

Jon and Jeanette are wrapping up a presentation to clients Bernard and Brooke. It’s obviously gone well. The laughter is dying down. Jon puts the last of a series of foam core boards face down on a stack.

JON:  And with that final, funny scene, this spot serves as climax to a completely integrated, cross-platform marketing campaign that is “locked and loaded.” Let’s pull that trigger.

JEANETTE:  And from a strategy perspective, it is right on strategy. Right. On.

BERNARD:  Well, Jon, Jeanette: this is fantastic work. Wonderful. A home run. Hilarious, memorable, unforgettable, really. I was totally entertained every second.

Brooke is agreeing with her boss via a series of verbal cues:  “Right, Uh-huh, it is, yes.” The agency people are beaming. Bernard, though, has one more card to play.

BERNARD:  But…

Uh-oh. The agency people trade glances. It’s the “but.” The client’s demeanor changes to a concerned scowl.

BERNARD:  I worry. Is it TOO entertaining? TOO engaging? If we go on the air with something this noticeable, this excellent, will the spot wear out faster? Will people get tired of it? Will we have set a standard of being “excellent” that we’ll have to meet each time?

He gives the word “excellent” air quotes, of course.

Jon and Marcy are completely drained by this exasperating reaction, which they’ve obviously heard before.  It’s just too much.

JON (to Jeanette):  Will you just kill me now?

JEANETTE:  I’m sorry?

JON:  Will you kill me? Right now? Here? On the spot.

Jeanette considers this with sobriety.

JEANETTE: Well, hmmm, yes. Yes, I will. But only if you kill me simultaneously.

JON:  Simultaneously? 

JEANETTE:  Yes.

JON:  That’s a deal.

JEANETTE: Let’s do it.

JON:  I’m in.

Jon pulls a pistol from his sock.  Jeanette pulls a pistol from a Coach handbag.

The clients seem to be bemused by this. But sure enough, the CD and AE point the guns at each other.  Creative director counts down:  “3… 2…. 1…. now.”

Reaction shot of the clients as the creative director and account executive shoot each other in the heads.  BLAM! BLAM! The clients get a little splattered blood on them. We see the bodies of the CD and AE slump to the floor.

But the clients aren’t really disturbed. Brooke turns to Bernard with a studied earnestness.

BROOKE: I don’t think he knew how to answer your question.

Bernard nods. This is the right response from his subordinate. The onus is on the agency, which obviously flaked out.

KER-CHUNK! The client assistant, Ethan, opens the door to the conference room.

ETHAN THE ASSISTANT: Shall I send in the next agency?

Bernard and Brooke straighten, gather papers.  Brooke smiles up at Ethan.

BERNARD:  Certainly.

BROOKE:  Yes, please do.

CUT TO: EXTERIOR HALLWAY

Ethan, holding the smile, turn and looks down the hallway.

REVERSE ANGLE – HALLWAY – ETHAN’S POINT OF VIEW

A group of anxious, smiling people from the next agency, all holding their presentation materials, looking to Ethan for the “come hither” signal.

REVERSE ANGLE – Back to Ethan

With a small hand gesture, he beckons the next agency to advance.

CUT TO BLACK

CREDITS SEQUENCE

Quick single-screen credit cuts and scroll over a lively, jaunty “Ragtime” tune.

“See?,” the music seems to say. “It was all in good fun.”

THE END

Walt Jaschek home

Christopher McKarton: 1974 comic strip debut

Walt Jaschek’s first published comic strip: Christopher McKarton, dramatic thriller, serialized weekly in The UMSL Current, Fall, 1974. Script and pencils: Walt. Inks and letters: Gary Hoffman.

It was a dramatic debut for Christopher McKarton, my rookie homicide investigator called to an ominous and familiar location. Here are the first four panels as they appeared on September 12, 1974, in the weekly newspaper distributed to 7,000 students of the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL.) It garnered some fans.

Christopher McKarton™ Week 1

By Walt Jaschek and Gary Hoffman

Keep scrolling for Week 2 of Christopher McKarton.

Bonus feature: Here is how this comic appeared as published in the September 12, 1974, issue of The UMSL CURRENT. It is, in fact, issue #200.

Christopher McKarton is © 1974 – 2022 Walt Now Studios.

Christopher McKarton Week 2

Christopher McKarton Week 3

Who is the mysterious intruder who has taken over UMSL’s administration building? Why is he demanding to see the University President? And who is… the hostage? Watch for more of Christopher McKarton — as soon as I find more of the art!

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Cooler Heads Prevail in this Beer Promo Pitch

Copywriter Walt Jaschek recalls a college poster campaign concept he pitched to the Budweiser team at Anheuser Busch. Did the Cooler Heads prevail?

Happy first day of Summer! Here’s a seasonal flashback from back in the day, when I was invited by the Budweiser promo team to pitch ideas for a college poster campaign with a summer thme. I concocted characters called “The Cooler Heads” who would “prevail” until school resumed in Fall.

The group laughed…

But didn’t buy it.

Oh, well. Truth is, when I rediscovered this pencil layout and the Anheuser-Busch name badge still stuck to it, I remembered: Even when not every idea we pitched was bought… we were having too much fun.

As for The Cooler Heads, they deserve to appear somewhere. Beer clients? Water clients? Cooler clients? Gimme a shout. This idea has legs!

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The lost art of the panel cartoon came roaring back when comedy writer Walt Jaschek teamed with illustrator Tony Patti for Smirk Du Jour, a series of gags about life, love and laughs. These New Yorker-style panel cartoons originally appeared in Slightly Bent Comics #1, an American humor series distributed to comic book stores in … Continue reading Smirk Du Jour: Slightly Bent Panel Cartoons

Corp Rut: Funny Comic About Careers

Misery, they say, loves company. Here’s the company it loves the most. Corp Rut™. It’s not just a place to languish for decades. It’s the subject of a funny, two-page comic book story by Walt Jaschek and Tony Patti, as it appeared in the second issue of Slightly Bent Comics, 1998. Buy Slightly Bent Comics … Continue reading Corp Rut: Funny Comic About Careers

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

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

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.

Copywriting Freelance: Profit and Prosper Without Pants | Intro

This is the intro to an eBook I am writing about the joys and challenges of freelance copywriting. I love writing freelance. Have made a good living at it. And want to help others do the same.

“Can I thrive, even survive, as a freelance copywriter?,” you ask. Yes, you can.

You can make a difference with your writing powers.

You can move minds, heal hearts, invoke smiles, and sometimes unleash an unexpected laugh.

And you can make a real living at it. Not buy-a-small-country living, but buy a cool house living, and gosh darn it, aren’t all our homes our small countries?

Best of all, day and night, you can concentrate on the work, not the illusions and kabuki theatre of work, like, say, status meetings.

You know. “Huddles.”

You can stay home. And jam in your jammies.

It’s a little thing I like to call…

Copywriting freelance.

And I’m here to walk you through it.

Hello.

I’m Walt Jaschek, AKA Walt Now.

And I’ve had a long career as a freelance copywriter, profiting and prospering without pants.

But let’s talk about you.

Perhaps you are sitting in ad agency, working already as a copywriter. Sure, you love exposed brick as much as anybody. And that glow-in-the-dark pool table is a fun distraction. But you’d actually like to write.

You know Steve in traffic? You know how he shows up at 4 p.m. and asks for the status of your copy? And then asks your to list your favorite Zombie movies in alpha order? Steve is the obstacle to Deep Work.

Steves are always the obstacles of Deep Work.

Perhaps you are already a freelance copywriter by choice.

Or perhaps you are already a freelance copywriter by circumstance.

Congratulations to the former for seeing the light and making that jump. Leap and the net will appear, I say. Or somebody said, and I agree.

And if you’re a “circumstance” freelancer, relax. You’ve got this. I promise that, with the right mindset, you will get more done at home then you could ever accomplished in a cube.

And with that higher productivity comes the ability to (1) charge more for your hours, and (2) bill for more of them.

But we’ll get to that.

Perhaps you are a student in the realms of marketing, advertising, communications, creative writing or languages, starting to define yourself as a copywriter. You wonder if freelancing might extend the life of a student into the world of work.

Ha! It so will. My home office is half dorm. Step around that rebounder.

But to you, grads and undergrads, I say do not go directly into freelance writing as a career. You must first taste the Corp Rut. I mean, corporate. You must experience the office, as in, The Office, to make the kind of human connections you will need when you go rouge.

You will also develop a sense of agency-as-absurdity that will help you when writing like a caffeinated commander at your kitchen table.

So this book, students, is for you to read when you’re already in That First Job. Or Second. Scroll it on your phone as you savor Sauce on the Side.

To existing copywriters then, this book is dedicated. Congratulations on being a keyboard wizard, for using your powers to turn letters into words, words into sentences, heads into the stratosphere, and hearts into mush. (I see you, Ms. Senior Writer at Hallmark.)

If you are curious about the perspective of a copywriter who has managed to freelance almost exclusively for more than 30 years…

Who has put a couple of kids through college, funded multiple mortgages, bought tons of comic books yet managed to save for semi-retirement…

And who now wants to find the right mix of encouragement and practical advice for you on your freelance copywriting journey…

Here we go.

Can I really do this?, you ask. To repeat my central theme:

Yes, you can.

Next: All it takes is talent. And luck.

“Freelance Copywriter Steals Show.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February, 1989

Walt Jaschek is a champion of great copywriting. As creative collaborator, mentor, and freelance copywriter, he pushes to craft memorable stories with humor, pizazz and verve. For his award-winning, national ad campaigns for global brands, he was inducted by the St. Louis Media History Foundation into the city’s advertising and PR Hall of Fame. A life-long freelancer, he is declaring “I’m not history yet,” and is still open to juicy writing and consulting assignments, especially for friends and family.