When I was a kid, I listened over and over to a record of musical parodies by the late great Stan Freberg, who, coincidentally went to high school with my mom. He was kind of the “Weird Al” Yankovic of the ‘60s and ultimately went on to produce incredible radio and TV campaigns. No doubt some of that schtick rubbed off on me.
Click on the thumbnails, close your eyes and enjoy a front row seat in the Theater of the Mind.
My thanks to Kathy Valenti who gave me a chance to contribute to a fun campaign she started at Ralston 360 for the City of Bend. Again, radio is the only place where you could create a disaster movie featuring blades of grass under attack by an out-of-control sprinkler. Killer sound design courtesy of Tim Underwood.
During the real estate boom of the 2000s, every major network had a prime-time drama about a forensics expert. So I figured why couldn't there be one on the radio who was obsessed with making sure home shoppers weren't being taken in by false advertising and superlatives. Barry McCann was the perfect voice for our bumbling hero, Dirk Wingnut, indirectly named after my mother-in-law. Superb production by Tim Underwood.
Dr. Laura was a popular self-help talk show host syndicated all over the AM airwaves until she switched to Sirius a few years ago. Here, the erudite voice of Jane Monroe captured the Dr.'s cool reserve perfectly. The other characters were practically real as well.
CORPS OF DISCOVERY
I had a blast putting a contemporary spin on the Lewis & Clark saga with my pal Elicia Putnam. Radio is the only medium where you can get away with something like this. Great sound design, as usual, from Tim Underwood.
This is one of those spots that must've struck a chord, because the client would always bring it back year after year. The young voice talent, who had an interesting lisp when we recorded it, must've hated hearing it by the time he was in college.
This spot is dedicated to my wife whose first career was in the travel business back in the days when we all didn't book vacations from our laptops. The client, of course, couldn't focus on just one San Diego attraction. So we had to weave in several. This was my one opportunity to work with the late great producer Jim Kirby, who provided his unmistakable voice.
Rearranging a popular song with my parody lyrics is risky business. But Bad Animals in Seattle pulled it off for us with some great sound-alikes. This campaign for Farmers & Merchants Bank won several awards for Ralston 360 (before it became Citrus, before it became HMH).