In early 1996, under the assignment of the late-great UW-Superior Professor John D. Munsell, I was tasked with creating a 60-second television commercial for a Direction of Talent in Media class. Since psychic hotline ads were common on cable TV, and I grew up in a house with a rec room and a Magic 8-ball, I opted to produce this spoof.
What brings it all together is the voice over by Roger Johnson, one of the all-time greats in local broadcasting. He had returned to UWS at the time to pursue a master’s degree, and I was thrilled to be able to work with him a few times, having grown up listening to the “R.J. & Dave” morning show on WAKX, which he hosted with Dave Strandberg. R.J. went on to teach broadcasting at Lake Superior College until he lost a battle with heart disease in 2005.
Also among the deceased in this video is Suzie Bednar-Munsell, UWS Communicating Arts Department secretary at the time. I remember Suzie needed a bit of cajoling before she agreed to play a part in this video. She was shy about acting, but ultimately too nice to say no to a one-line part. She died in 2014 at age 53 — much too soon.
The full cast in order of appearance:
Kim Hamsher, Dan Śinger, Margo Abramson, Paul Lundgren, Rochelle Luoma, Joe Kaufenberg, Betty Lundgren, Suzie Bednar-Munsell, Rebecca Nelson, Kate Koepke, Barrett Chase and Liz Zissos.
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