Imagine that you’re a junior creative at your first job, thrown immediately into the snake pit of a large ad agency where every week, you’re competing with 10 more experienced teams to pitch ideas for the same brief.
In a sense, that was Gary Kroeger’s experience as a cast member for three seasons on “Saturday Night Live” in the early ’80s. Coming into this interview, I had a theory that there were parallels in the creative process between the famed comedy sketch show and ad agency creative departments, and we explored this idea on Ad Chatter.
Gary is not only an actor and performer, he’s an Iowa native who worked as Creative Director at Mudd Advertising in Cedar Falls, Iowa for 16 years. And he’s run for political office. He kindly appeared on Ad Chatter and touched on all of these experiences.
Today, Gary is CEO of Outlier Creative Solutions, where he provides presentation training and branding services to clients and agencies all around the world.
During this show, we discussed:
• Chicago as a comedy proving ground
• The SNL creative process (and why Larry David struggled there)
• The critical importance of presentation skills
• Advertising to, and in, the “heartland” of America
• How the Democratic party should compete in red states
I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Gary, and I hope you’ll enjoy our conversation.
Here’s “Needleman the Dentist,” one of Gary’s more outlandish SNL sketches:
Gary completely improvised the dialogue when he played a weatherman on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”