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March 05, 2016
Roasting Jock Brandis

Roast Jock Brandis. 

'But I’ve never even met Jock,' I thought. 'Won’t people think it rude? What if he doesn’t think it’s funny? What if no one laughs?’ 

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The Universal Nut Sheller, signed by President Jimmy Carter.

All those thoughts were running through my mind as I was preparing to emcee the Full Belly Feast, a charity event that supports the group that Jock started after making a promise to a woman in Mali, who had bloody hands from shelling peanuts to make money. The promise: he’d come up with a better, faster way to do this. The solution: The Universal Nut Sheller, which shells 125 pounds of peanuts in just one hour. And that’s how Full Belly was born.

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With the fascinating and inspiring Jock Brandis.

When my husband and I got to the event at the Coastline Convention Center, I thought, well, I better meet Jock before I roast him in front of a crowd of hundreds. When I met him, was warm, kind and passionate about the work of the Full Belly. 

I told him I found it absolutely fascinating that he invented a game-changing product - and instead of selling it and making money, he’s giving it away! Jock joked that Donald Trump wouldn’t be very impressed with his business plan. He says his version of the ‘Art of the Deal’ is negotiating who is going to pay for shipping when the Full Belly Project sends the Universal Nut Sheller for free to communities around the world. 

Jock explained his background, that he came to Wilmington with Dino De Laurentiis, who started the film studio which is now EUE Screen Gems. Jock was tasked with helping make Stephen King’s films. He also is known for dying in every movie he’s ever been in, including Maximum Overdrive and Scanners.

Then, Jock told me about his next passion project, a way to rid foods of aflatoxin, a fungus, which can cause cancer and also weakens the immune system of those who exposed to it. IMG_7196

I could have talked to him all night - but I had to emcee the event…and he had a few hundred guests there, so it would have probably been pretty selfish to hog all of his time.

I still had my doubts about roasting such an inspirational and kind person. Fortunately, although it was my first time meeting Jock, I met his son and daughter-in-law a while back. I was able to run the roast by them before the program started and got their thumbs up to what Full Belly Executive Director Daniel Ling wanted me to say.  

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Jock Brandis at the Full Belly Feast

So, along with some glowing statements about Jock, mentioning his 2008 Purpose Prize, his nomination as a CNN hero, etc., I also highlighted his work on what is "widely considered to be the worst movie ever made": Death Bed – The bed that eats.  

I asked people to raise their hand if they saw this film. About a dozen did. Most of them were Full Belly volunteers.

Jock also suited up 200 Dachshunds in rat costumes for the "thankfully forgotten film RATS.”

When I asked who saw that one, no one raised their hand. 

While some of Jock’s movies will be “thankfully forgotten” - Jock’s contributions around the world won’t be. 

For more about the Full Belly Project, head here: http://www.thefullbellyproject.org/ 

Seriously though, watch a few of the clips for Death Bed:

It even caught the attention of comedian Patton Oswalt - and I believe the “carpenter” is Jock (warning graphic): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01l1WIC9mBo

Copyright 2016 AshleaOnAir. All rights reserved.

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