What this website’s about
This website started off a a blog to write about what I’m up to. Mostly for my mom to read. But now that she’s got Facebook for that, I’m posting entertaining content I make. Interviews with celebrities, interviews with businesses, comic strips, funny love songs, serious love songs, movie reviews. You know, that kind of thing. I also teach you how to do creative things the creative stuff I do.
What I’m about
I have a variety of careers, so I’ve written a general bio, plus mini bios for each career. It’s all below. You can click on these titles to skip down to that individual bio:
Advertising Copywriter | Voice Actor | Actor | TV Personality | Illustrator |
Newspaper Columnist | Stand-up, Sketch, Improv Comedian | MC | Eco-Comedian | Screenwriter | Singer/Songwriter | Radio Personality | Politician | Cupcake Judge
Before the individual bios with more details, here’s a general bio. It’s written in the 3rd person, so it’s easy for a newspaper to use. Because that’s how I roll.
Josh Rachlis is an actor, cartoonist, singer/songwriter, screenwriter, stand-up comedian, radio personality, filmmaker, politician. As Copywriter at Canada’s top ad agency, Leo Burnett, Josh created such award-winning work as the Visa campaign, “If life were like that, you wouldn’t need a Visa card.” By client request, he starred as the Scottish Mini Man in two commercials he wrote for Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Minis. As a voice actor, he was the voice of Dan The Chameleon in a commercial for Hubba Bubba Max that was animated by Oscar-winning Aardman Animation; he was a Scottish explorer in Time Warp Trio; he is a Topekan teenager in the video game Wasteland 2. His cartoons and columns have run in The Ottawa Citizen. He’s a graduate of the Second City Conservatory, has done stand-up at Yuk Yuk’s, founded a comedy troupe with Steve Patterson (who now hosts CBC’s The Debaters), and hosted 4 years of shows on Rogers Cable. He MC’ed the Ottawa Ad Awards and the Montreal Dialogue Group’s Jewish/Arab Peace Concert. The Toronto Star devoted a half-page to his pursuits as a green comedian, such as his hip hop marriage proposal to Laurie David that’s earned praise from Ed Begley Jr. and David Suzuki and was featured on The Comedy Network. His “Love Song For Elizabeth May” went viral during the 2011 federal election, landing Josh in the news across Canada and helping elect Canada’s first Green MP, and Yahoo! News named it one of Canada’s top ten political videos of the year. The 1st draft of his 1st feature film screenplay won the 2009 Script Showcase, and a short film he wrote premiered in the 2010 HollyShorts Film Festival, one of the world’s top 25 film festivals. He’s been a talk radio host on Newstalk 1010 CFRB, has appeared on the CBC Radio show “GO!”, tells stories on CBC Radio’s DNTO, and was a movie reviewer on CINA Radio 1650AM. He was a plaintiff on the TV show Judge Karen’s Court. He starred in Come Date With Me Canada. He hosted 3 years of an eco beauty product review show. He’s a regular on SiriusXM shows Humble & Fred Radio, What She Said Radio, and Ward & Al. He was the Green Party of Ontario candidate for Eglinton/Lawrence in 2011 and St. Paul’s in 2014, and is in the GPO Shadow Cabinet. He ran for Toronto Mayor in 2014 and was invited onto Breakfast Television to talk about his campaign. He ran for MP in Thornhill with the Greens in 2015. In 2015 he left Leo Burnett to build his own empire. He’s now a celebrity interviewer on red carpets, showing celebrities cartoons he drew of them. He’s starting the Celebrity Josh podcast to josh around with celebrities daily. And he’s starting a social media marketing agency, so he can interview entrepreneurs and businesses to give them celebrity-style promotion. Oh, and he’s starting to sell his cartoons on T-shirts and swimsuits.
As Senior Copywriter for 15 years at Leo Burnett, Canada’s most award-winning agency, I wrote ads for the biggest brands and companies in the world, like Kellogg’s, P&G, Bell, IKEA, VISA, Smucker’s, Robin Hood, Toyota, Tylenol. I turned Gain Detergent from a little known name into one of P&G’s rare billion dollar brands. When Leo Burnett was pitching for Zellers, the whole agency was working on it, and I came up with a mom-centred campaign that won the account. When VISA was desperate for an idea to rival Mastercard’s “Priceless” campaign, the whole agency was on the case, and I came up with the “If life were like that, you wouldn’t need a Visa card” campaign that won at Cannes and lasted for years. When Tide in Japan was struggling, Leo Burnett sent me to Tokyo to help out a sister agency there because I was known as the detergent expert and the P&G client had worked with me in the U.S. and loved my work. A creative director at Leo called me the agency’s “secret weapon” they would send in when nobody else could crack a project. Clients benefited from my multiple talents – I acted in TV and radio ads, filmed and starred in a web series for Orville Redenbacher (for which I came up with the name Celebrity Josh), drew award-winning illustrations, and even wrote songs for TV commercials. My copywriting work has won the top awards in the world, like One Show, Clios and Cannes.
Josh has voiced countless radio ads and TV commercials. He was the voice of Dan The Chameleon in a commercial for Hubba Bubba Max that ran in the U.S. and Europe. He also played Scotsman Birdie Bowers on the animated children’s show Time Warp Trio. Josh is a member of ACTRA, and is represented in Canada by AMI (Artist Management Inc.) in Toronto, and in the United States by Lori Lins Ltd. in Milwaukee.
LINKS: • Voice Acting Playlist • Voices.com page
Josh has acted in plays, short films and commercials. By client request, Josh played the angry Scottish Mini Man in a commercial he wrote for Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Minis. This got a lot of media coverage, as Josh was perhaps the first Copywriter to also act in his own commercial. The commercial was so popular that he was asked to write and star in a sequel, which became Mini Lawyer.
LINKS: • Acting Résumé
Josh produced and hosted four Rogers Community Cable TV shows (Garage Sale, I’m Game, Conflicting Interests, The Loft) from 1994-1997. Josh was flown to L.A. to appear on the U.S. TV show Judge Karen’s Court. Josh starred in the premiere episode of Come Date With Me Canada, a reality dating and cooking show that launched in Canada and was such a hit it was picked up by Cooking Channel in the US.
Josh’s cartoon illustrations appeared for years in The Ottawa Citizen newspaper. He drew the Frosh Week T-shirts for his school, Glendon College. He had an ad up on Craigslist through which he was hired to draw greeting cards for people and was hired to do a number of cartoons for the displays of The Soap Works. And at Leo Burnett Advertising, where he was Senior Copywriter, he was asked to draw the James Ready Beer newsletter for another creative team, and it won at the London International Ad Awards.
LINKS: • Illustration Portfolio
Josh has written comedic columns about his life for The Ottawa Citizen, and humourous takes on the ad industry for Strategy Magazine.
LINKS: • Newspaper Columns
STAND-UP, SKETCH, IMPROV COMEDIAN
Josh has taken all levels of Second City improv classes, including the year-long Second City Conservatory. He’s had an improv team at TheatreSports, has done stand-up comedy at Yuk Yuk’s amateur nights and years ago founded the comedy troupe 3-Speed Walking Stick with Steve Patterson (who is now winner of the Canada Comedy Award for Best Stand-Up Comedian and host of CBC’s The Debaters).
Josh has MC’ed the Ottawa Advertising Awards twice, the Ottawa Youth Film Festival, the Montreal Dialogue Group’s Jewish/Arab Peace Concert, and weddings for his sister Diana, his parent’ friend Peter and his friend Philip.
Josh’s short film An Inconvenient Ruth won the Eco-Comedy Film Competition. He acted in Eco-Man and Planet Boy, a radio series he played when hosting talk radio on Toronto’s Newtalk 1010. He wrote and starred in An Inconvenient Proposal: A love song for Laurie David, his eco hip hop marriage proposal to environmentalist Laurie David that’s earned kudos from everyone from Ed Begley Jr. to David Suzuki and was featured on The Comedy Network. He created My Life Is Garbage, a funny web series about his troubles trying to be green. He wrote and sang Love song for Elizabeth May that went viral during the 2011 federal election, landing Josh in newspapers and on radio and TV news across Canada, such as on CTV Newschannel, and helping elect Canada’s first Green MP. Josh has reprised his Enviroman character from the Laurie David video in videos for the City Of Toronto’s Live Green Toronto Awards. See all the videos at his Eco-Comedy Playlist.
The first draft of the feature film screenplay that Josh wrote, Focus Group, won the LA-based, international 2009 Script Showcase contest. He was interviewed about the win on MovieBytes.com. A short film he wrote, 3 Dates, was selected for the 2010 HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood.
Josh has written love songs that have wooed girls and then wooed them back after a breakup. He’s written songs for his short films, like No Longer Blue for the movie Terry Cloth. This movie was shown on CBC TV and right afterward Josh got emails from teen girls around the world asking for a copy of the song. Josh has written songs for Cheer Detergent commercials, one of which won a public vote that he had the idea to put on the Cheer website. At Leo Burnett, the ad agency where Josh is a write, another creative team asked Josh to write one of his funny love songs for Bick’s Pickles. Josh was filmed playing the song to the client, and then the team gave that video to a sound house, who had a girl perform it in the final video. The sound house told Josh the song was great and asked if he has other songs.
LINKS: • YouTube Music Playlist • iTunes page
Here’s a 3-minute demo with clips from some of my radio appearances:
I’ve been on the radio as a talk radio host, filling in several times for Jim Richards doing live 3-hour call-in shows on Canada’s most listened to radio station, Newstalk 1010 CFRB in Toronto.
I’ve been a storytelling guest on CBC’s GO and DNTO, SiriusXM’s What She Said and Humble & Fred. I was a political commentator on Sarah Thomson’s #TOPoli on CIUT 89.5 FM. And I was a weekly movie reviewer on CINA Radio 1650 AM.
I’m a recurring personality on SiriusXM’s Humble & Fred Radio, where I tell funny stories about my life, and SiriusXM’s What She Said Radio, where I’m the expert on men and relationships.
I’ve got a cassette tape I made in the 80’s, of me at 10 years old, hosting a radio show I recorded on my cassette recorder, interviewing my younger sister as my guest. Clearly, it’s always been my dream to be on the radio.
Listen to samples of me on (links to come)
• CFRB Newstalk 1010
• CBC Radio DNTO and GO!
• #TOPoli with Sarah Thomson
• What She Said Radio
• Humble & Fred Radio
Josh ran for MPP with the Green Party in 2011 and 2014, and was asked to be on the Green Party Shadow Cabinet as Consumer Affairs critic. During the 2011 campaign, he was asked to be on a panel on TVO’s The Agenda. He ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2014, and was one of only two fringe candidates out of dozens who was asked onto Breakfast Television to talk about his campaign.
LINKS: • Political debates