Jodi Adler ’84 (Journalism) was at a Halloween party in 2013 when someone asked what her sign was. The California State University, Northridge alumna and radio personality didn’t care much for the zodiac. Dressed up as a flapper, sporting beads, a feather headband and a fake cigarette in a long holder, she gave a teasing, sassy response. That night, Auntie Jodi was born.
“Auntie Jodi just sprung up from the outfit and attitude that goes with it,” Adler said of her alter ego and the “voice” of her recent book — her first for adults — Auntie Jodi’s Helpful Hints.
“The book is about toying with people, but it’s all in good fun,” Adler said.
The humorous author, who graduated in broadcast journalism at CSUN in ’84, said she honed her media chops at the campus radio station, KCSN 88.5-FM.
“It was so much fun putting news together,” she said, adding her closest friends worked at the news station with her.
Working as a student journalist helped her find her voice and prepared her for future jobs and projects, Adler noted. During her studies, she learned that broadcast journalism is “the perfect combination of being able to use your (thinking) brain and creative side at the same time,” she said.
After graduation, she moved on to KFWB 980-AM, working as a news reporter and anchor for the CBS affiliate. She covered stories ranging from the Northridge earthquake in 1994 to elections and the O.J. Simpson trial — as well as lighter fare such as consumer news, film reviews and entertainment. As a radio personality, she earned several awards, including Golden Mikes from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.
At KFWB, she discovered her funny side. Her friends at the station praised her funny, offbeat remarks. Eventually, she tried standup comedy.
According to Amazon, Auntie Jodi’s Helpful Hints is a piece of “not-so-serious advice for living,” and Adler said she agrees with the review.
From the perspective of her fictional character, Adler gives snarky advice on how to stand up for oneself. The book is for “smart and well-educated people, who don’t have time for craziness, but have a good sense of humor,” she said.
The comedian said she wants to convey the message that people can be “nice and polite, but also edgy and funny” at the same time.
“I enjoyed writing [the book], but being an author requires a lot of discipline and commitment,” she said.
Adler put herself on a writing schedule, committing at least 15 minutes every day to writing, no matter how busy she was with teaching at a local high school, reporting at KFWB or doing voiceover work. She even wrote on vacation.
Creating her character, Auntie Jodi, lent freedom to her writing, Adler said. She also has written a series of children’s books featuring the fictional character Ginger, a “sweet and unknowingly naughty little girl.”
Adler’s next book, How Dare You? Staying Sane in an Insane World, will be released this year, before Christmas. “It might develop into a sitcom,” she said.
In the meantime, Adler said, she is working on several voiceover projects and “attaining world media domination.”