Lentils, Lentils, Lentils! (Radio, Radio, Radio!)

"The National Lentil Festival...It's a Gas!"

The National Lentil Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary on August 17th and 18th.

I’ve had the pleasure of creating many of the festival’s radio commercials over the years. We’ve always tried to make them entertaining and fun, like the festival itself, and more than a few of them have received recognition and awards from various festivals and events trade associations.

To commemorate this year’s milestone anniversary, I suggested to NLF director Britnee Packwood that it might be fun to revisit some of these older commercials, and she agreed.

Selecting snippets of spots from previous years, I used an old audio contrivance to connect them all: someone changing radio channels, each “station stop” landing on a different festival-related sound bite. The suggestion, of course, is that everyone is talking about The National Lentil Festival.

Just for fun, here are some of my favorite commercials from previous years. Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson has been the principal voice for most Lentil Festival spots since 2000, when he took to the airwaves to reveal how he likes to unwind on a Friday night, after a long, hard work week.

2001: “History on the March” and “A Lentil Alone…”


2002: Since it was a mid-term elections year, we felt it important to acknowledge the realities of party politics…


2003: A breaking news story, August on the pastoral Palouse, and a recipe for lentil chili…


2004: An ode to the many ways of cooking a lentil…

2005: “You Can’t Please Everybody”


2006: “Counting Lentils”


2007: “Tase T. Lentil Song” (my debut as a country singer)


2009: “Turning 21” (possibly the first-ever use of the word “squiffy” in a radio commercial)

2010: “Miles Around” (a conversation between Mayor Johnson and a visitor from Miles Around)


2013: For the 25th anniversary of the NLF, I collaborated with the spunky Ms. Darci McPherson (whom some may remember as the hilarious spokesperson for Video Quest) in creating a series of quiz-show spots, “How Much Do You Know About the National Lentil Festival?”

It’s been a lot of fun to work on these over the years. In fact, it’s been a gas.


P.S.  Dr. Dan David of Pullman’s Family Eye Clinic gets into the spirit of the Lentil Festival with this spot:

About Rod Schwartz 43 Articles
Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He became sales manager for the Pullman Radio Group in 1979 and served in that position until 2006. He continued to serve clients in the region as the stations’ senior account executive until his retirement in December 2022, having spent 43 of his 50 years in radio advertising here. In 1991, Rod and his family started Grace Broadcast Sales, creating short-form radio features which were syndicated to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at PalousePics.com.