7 Oct: TV’s Greatest Salesman

Ron Popeil, inventor of The Pocket Fisherman, the Amazing Smokeless Ashtray, and the Inside-The-Shell Egg Scrambler, was (satirically) awarded an Ignoble Award for Consumer Engineering on 7th November, 1993.

But the ‘Infomercial King’ had spun an enviable career from his talent for selling; from humble beginnings shilling vegetable choppers on the shop floor of Woolworth’s to establishing Ronco, a $55 million ‘As Seen On TV’ company that eventually went bankrupt. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider Popeil’s pathological hatred of runny egg whites and reveal an award-winning way to collect samples of whale snot. But wait, there’s more! They also talk about the magic price point for Popeil’s inventions. It’s just $19.99, so ACT QUICKLY…

Further Reading:

• Popeil interviewed by CBS Sunday Morning (2000): 

• ‘All Ronco Product Commercials (Internal Reel)’ (1970s-1980s): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfcIPuvZE9I

• Homepage of the Ignoble Awards: https://www.improbable.com/