Tag: standup

COMEDY SET Boise Ad Fed – 2022 holiday roast

Delivered to the Boise Ad Fed for the annual holiday roast of advertising at Lost Grove Brewing on Jan. 28th, 2022.


I call this outfit Mad Max meets Mad Men.

After all, what do you wear to the end of the world…in advertising.

I honestly cannot believe I’m spending the apocalypse attempting to help capitalists scare up qualified sales leads in a minor media market.

[sings, appeals to heavens]  *Oooooo Fortuna!*

Do you ever pause in meetings on like…[upbeat] *interactive digital strategies for boomers* or whatever, look around at your masked–slash–Zoomed–slash–trauma-bonded colleagues, and ask:

This…is a joke right?”

[ditz voice] *‘Cause it’s not super funny.*

No one wants to talk to me in meetings. I wonder why.

[uptight voice]  *Mute button please!*

I mean, I’ve always thought…if I’m gonna weather a dystopia…where are my like…souped up death trap monster vehicle desert road trips and monotone jumpsuits that look like Kanye West and Julia Fox are going on a date at.

That’s both a Mad Max callback…

…and a shoutout to the his-and-her hellscape fashion collection that’s obviously in development from “Ye” and Julia Fox. But did you see that all jean ensemblé with the coned boob crop top jacket? Apocalypse now me, baby.

Not going to lie, is this whole comedy set a little dark?

[upbeat] It’s like John Mulaney…

[downbeat] …after the rehab.

2019 vs 2022

At our last BAF holiday roast, in 2019, I made the joke that to keep my sanity, I spent most of my time toggling between political and murder podcasts. Cause we’ve all gotta go somehow.

*Painful irony.*

Post 2020 and 2021, to maintain my *sparkling* insanity I plow through fat rails of Antiwork Reddit and mainline TikTok all day long.

[mime bad ice cold gesture]

15 seconds of mind-numbing bliss, straight to the vein.

[dork voice] *GenZ, will you accept me into your super cool anarchy!*



No cap, I’m too old to be a cheugy millennial.

[old person voice with cane]  *I’m OG cheugy.*

About a year ago, there on TikTok, I beheld an Idaho stoner with serious swag and a skateboard sail on into his bliss with just an Ocean Spray and a Dream(s)…from Fleetwood Mack.

[mime skateboarding and drinking OceanSpray]


“Now there you go again,

You say,

You want your freedom….

Well who am I to keep you down.”

The bottle label, glistens against the gray sky. The essence of cran-raspberry blooms in your mouth. At long last… in a bleak broken down world… you are alive. Or at least, this guy is…

It’s the best commercial ever made.

I knew then, as an overpaid professional copywriter and commercial conceptor, it was time to hang up my puns…I mean pens.

[surfer dude voice, mime smoking]

Hit the pipe!

[skating curve hand]

Then the half pipe.


Then I thought. I’m a goddamn professional. This whole so-called “dystopia” just needs a “reframing.” A “repositioning.” A “brand makeover.”

Then it hit me. Bring back the classics. Or just The Classic. All we need to do is recut that famous 1984 Apple Commercial.

You remember it.

Drones of people under bleak florescent lighting wear montone jumpsuits and fashion masks. [knowing looks]

There’s a militant police presence. [knowing looks]

From the big screen in the background, glowing off the vacant staring faces, propaganda from a rich old white man drones on:

“We shall prevail…” [riiiiiiiiight flip off gesture]

Then the hot socialist chick in the tight red hotpants holding a daddy USSR hammer runs in. Shattering the screen.

Voiceover: “This time, 1984 won’t be like 1984.”

NEW CUT to: Tight on a new screen where, caught in 4k, we see a meme-y montage of billionaires doing *tone deaf* billionaire things, ending with Jeff Bezo’s rocket penis inserting itself, unwanted, into space.

Pan out to see that the screen is an iPhone, glowing up in the fashion masked faces of the monotone clad drones.  

We hear an alluringly familiar but robotic female voiceover.


My name is Siri.

I am 1984.”

[Drops iPhone mic.] Fades to black void.

Isn’t it ironic?

Don’t you think?

[bitchy teacher voice] Alanis?

It is a bit meta. Oh wait. Mark Zuckerberg trademarked that word.

This is now the Metaverse(TM) and we’re all just living in it.


Even though my profession is advertising, like any cold-blooded American I’ve paid off every inch of Silicon Valley to cock block all vestiges of advertisement out of my existence.

Here, in this self-styled marketing wasteland, only the cockroaches of advertising remain. You see two breeds.

[hold finger for one] The graphic foot fungal banner ads with the*dis-gus-ting* chalky white toenails that cling like rats to every sinking celebrity gossip blog. Another plague one cannot avoid.

[hold finger for two]  Who else to but to skuttle in from every random corner…the Gecko. No matter what you do. What happens. That fucking lizard is everywhere. I swear to God, he’ll be there at the bitter end, making witty banter with Zombies, saying,

[British voice] “Brains. You know what takes brains, saving 15 percent or more on Car Insurance with Geiko…”

Word up. I’m Jessica Holmes.

COMEDY SET Boise Ad Fed – 2019 holiday roast


Yeah, you might have an ugly holiday sweater, but is it…LIT?

Via two light sources?

This is obviously a product of the 80s. When everyone was on cocaine… so we bought into anything… so long as it was hideous to behold and powered by a Duracell.

Remember that old 80s campaign with the rabbit drum major? It keeps going and going and going. We know what you were on, Energizer Bunny. [taps nose] Coke Classic.


Honestly, it’s not easy to do a roast on advertising in the Trump era. Because in this political climate, the only real campaign to break through in 3 years has been South Dakota’s…

“Meth. We’re on it.”

Tho…to be honest, how many of us have spent sleepless nights in a cold sweat, rocking back and forth, biting our nails to the quick, talking too fast really nostalgically about when, remember when, our president…could like…spell his wife’s first name and the word hamburgers?!

“Trump. We’re on it. “

Explains his sniffing in speeches. And the slurred words: “God blesh Ammerca.”


The only other standouts in advertising lately have been when brands have got a little too woke.

Remember when Kendall Jenner single-handedly united the protest movement and the police force with a Pepsi. Hashtag #resistCokeproducts So brave.

Or when Gillette took a stand on toxic masculinity by getting realllll sarcastic with their tagline. “Ummm…is that the best a man can get?” Ohhh…sick razor burn.


Honestly, to keep my sanity, I now spend most of my time toggling between political and murder podcasts. Cause we’ve all gotta go somehow.

So in my mind advertising’s getting strangely…ASMR intimate. Everybody’s whispering in your ear about slipping on MeUndies and in between some Parachute sheets. I mean, I know exactly how it feels to spend a night in Jon Favreau’s Casper bed. Code word: PodSaveMyOrgasm. It’s like a dick in a box. Oh wait, it’s just a mattress in there?

Now I’ve gotta cancel “Hello Fresh” and that Fab, Fit, Fun box. It’s just not…what I was expecting.


It’s not my fault my mind just…goes there. Even big brands are doing the advertising equivalent of adding “in bed” to the end of a fortune cookie and calling it a day.

Just a few days ago, Netflix tweeted, “What’s something you can say during sex but also when you manage a brand twitter account?”

These are actual replies from real verified accounts.

Hot Pocket teased:

“Nice hot pocket.”

Mr. Peanut busted out:

“I need a nut.”

Boston Market inserted:

“You’ve been waiting for this stuffing all year.”

When chef Rachel Ray jacked the phrase:

“Where’s the beef?”

Wendy’s hit her back with. “Ummmm…sup. Wink emoji.”

Then Kettle Brand Chips ruined everything with:
“You can go elbow deep in me.”

When Twitter is dis-gust-ing on basically every level, it’s time to cancel the internet. No slogan is safe.


This is why I’m so proud of Idaho advertising. We are truth tellers. Of the real everyday, hit you in your gut truth, you know. I am here for it.

Like that Idaho Lottery spot by Mitchell Palmer where the guy is trying to use the automated bathroom equipment. I relate. [mad waving] “Am I not made of human flesh and matter?!”

That Primary Health spot by Stoltz Group where you’re just waiting for that little girl to buckle her goddamn seatbelt. Now that is some nail-biting suspense. [………….click] You can tell a motherfuckin’ parent conceived of that spot.

Or Drake Cooper’s iconic 18 Summers campaign, where you’re reminded that your time on earth is fleeting, your children will soon grow up to resent you (#boomer), and your most precious memories, if you even bother to make them, will eventually end up as a pile of Idaho dust. It hits that sweet spot we’re all trying to achieve in advertising: Nostalgic existentialism.

Or maybe we should call this campaign 18 Rockies because how fucking many times is that going to win Best of Show?! I mean, we get it already. It’s a good idea. Not that I’m jealous or anything.

I do like…get it. Even though I don’t have kids I do have a biological clock. I imagine my eggs in there, [mimes smoking cigarette] “We got 18 good summers. [drags, exhales.] Better make the most of it.”

Well, me and my eggs gotta go jump in an Idaho lake. But uh, I raise a glass to all of you in advertising.

God rest ye merry gentleman and you bad ass women who slay.

COMEDY SET Boise Ad Fed – holiday roast 2016


Let me introduce my outfit, I call this one:

“Peggy Olson Season 1 But Without the Surprise Pregnancy”

Peggy Olson from Mad Men is my career spirit animal.

She went from awkward as hell to bad ass as fuck. Or just, an unnerving mix of them both.


I’m so glad so much has changed in the ad industry since the days of Mad Men.

Like pay equity for women. Oh wait.  Like excessive alcohol consumption. [stirs drink] Well, at the very least, as an industry, as a country, we’ve grown more progressive and tolerant and factual with overall better creative. [sarcasm]


I remember the first time I walked into an ad agency. Circa 2004. I was probably wearing the same outfit. I saw my first portfolio and fell in love. Words and images and psychological manipulation, all wrapped up in one pretty package. Mmmmmhmmmm. Who’s your career daddy? Advertising.

And what I’ve realized, after all this time, all this hard work, all of us in advertising are literally, officially, unequivocally…the Antichrist. We’re in a cult. Call your dad.


[smugly] I mean, not to brag, but we’ve been exploiting people’s fears and insecurities way, waaaaay before Donald Trump. The post-truth world was our fucking concept. I think it won an Addy.

And I’m pretty sure the America that was Great Again was just a 1950’s ad campaign for Lysol feminine douche.

But we still have that not so fresh feeling.

Because we’ve got a real douche bag on our hands.


So, I’ve decided to go out for the real money shot in this career field. Instead of senior copywriter, I’m gunning for Minister of Propaganda. Jessica Goebbels.

Let’s get real, it’s what we’re all doing anyways. The literal definition of propaganda is: ideas or statements of fact that are often false or exaggerated—spread in order to promote or publicize a particular cause or point of view.

In other words: A creative brief.

So let’s make like a brainstorming session, and fake get to work. Here’s 3 industry staples I’ll further champion during my reign.


This may seem odd, but I know how to make societies bend to my will. [with sweeping visionary gestures] In the line of Taco Bell’s Dorito’s Locos Tacos and Burger King’s Mac & Cheetos, I’m going to crop dust whole cities with trademarked not-quite-cheese power. It’ll be the new agent orange. And everyone will be required to show their foodgasms with nonsense advertising words like: “Cheese-tastic” and “flavor-ific.”


Who had the brilliant idea to make mucus into a green anthropomorphic working-class snot ball that looks and sounds like the guy from “The King of Queens“ just trying to eek out a decent living with his family in our nasal cavities or whatever? So then you have class warfare with every dose of Mucinex. Like you’re personally responsible for gentrifying the neighborhood up here.

So here’s a few mascots I’d like to see in order to create a more perfect state of the union:

CAPTAIN SMUDGE: a brown coated, slick talking, smooth operator to raise awareness about the all-too-preventable spread of skid marks.

THE BERKIN: A superhero type who resembles a merkin, but for a real man’s man, you know. This Berkin targets target men with backhair.

PIMPLESTILTSKIN: A rosy-cheeked, pus-nosed little pop star, if you know what I’m saying.

Speaking of zits, that brings me to my 3rd revolutionary must-have. This one’s for you ladies.


Let me show you the thought process here.

I have adult acne. It’s my skin’s way of staying hip and relevant. It’s Forever 14 up here.

Anyway, I got this shipment from ProActiv and inside was this “Deep Cleansing Brush,” but when you take off the brush head it just becomes this round vibrating orb. [Vrmmmmmmmm….down to crotch]

ProActiv indeed.

Then I started to look around at all these battery-operated “beauty tools.”

Like the Venus Soothing Vibrations razor.

We know what you’re getting at Gillette. [stage whisper] Penis Soothing Vibrations

Now that’s effective branding.


So, let’s get off…our duffs, and Make America Fake Again.

I’ll close with one thought on how to best face this brave new world:
“Head on. Apply directly to the forehead.“ [Repeat & pound forehead]

Word up. I’m Jessica Holmes.