Ron Popeil an American inventor, business man and marketing genius. He died yesterday at the age of 86. No cause of death was given.
Popeil became famous not only for his inventions but more so in the way he marketed them. He began with television ads promoting his Chop-O-Matic vegetable slicer calling it “the greatest kitchen appliance ever made.” Popeil’s claims were over the top but he made them with enthusiasm and likability. He followed the Chop-O-Matic with the Veg-A-Matic which could “slice a tomato so thin it only has one side.”
His company Ronco continued to put out ads marketing their products: The Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone, The Bedazzler, Hair in a Can Spray, The Kitchen Magician, Mr. Dentist, and The Smokeless Ashtray were just some of the products you could find Mr. Popeil hawking in television ads. Ronco also branched out to Ronco Records to release compilation albums featuring popular songs from a few years ago now at popular prices.
In addition to his grandiose product claims, Ron Popeil was the first to use the catch phrase used in most late night television commercials hawking products, “Wait… There’s more!” Ron Popeil’s enthusiasm for his products and his unabashed hucksterism made him a popular culture celebrity. He was parodied on everything from Saturday Night Live to the Simpsons. Even Gallagher’s most popular bit, The Sledge-O-Matic could be traced back to Ron Popeil.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ron Popeil’s family, friends and fans.