But Wait! There's No More...
July 29, 2021 3:28 AM   Subscribe

 
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posted by Faint of Butt at 3:41 AM on July 29


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posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 3:48 AM on July 29 [5 favorites]


As Rudy Giuliani recently demonstrated, there was no better way to embarrass yourself permanently than to sweat off your bald spot cover spray. A true marketing genius, made for television, at a time when there was absolutely nothing on at 3 a.m.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:55 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Tried a vegimatic once, it didn't work very well. Nothing could surpass the dorkiness of the Mr. Microphone commercial, though. Life before ad blockers.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:06 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Thinking of Weird Al’s song tribute from way back…
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:24 AM on July 29 [22 favorites]


I worked for a few years at a super swanky hotel (Delano) in South Beach when it first opened. Mr. Popeil would stay there from time to time and his name would pop up on the VIP list (I was a room service waiter). I always wanted to take food to his room, but he never ordered when I was working. This was around '95-'99... I was from Chicago and knew his name, but most of my co workers had never heard of him. I even remember staying up late and watching the Bass-o-matic sketch on SNL. Anyway, his ads were a part of my childhood and that's my Ron Popeil story. I sort of wanted a Pocket Fisherman when I was a kid. RIP.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:41 AM on July 29 [13 favorites]


Man alive. End of an era.

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Another “.” absolutely free
posted by jquinby at 4:45 AM on July 29 [17 favorites]


Two things:

1) Nice work on the headline, chavenet.

2) "When his father died at 69 in 1984, his obituary in The Times noted that his second wife, Eloise, had been convicted of trying to have him murdered. After she served a 19-month sentence, the elder Popeil remarried her." (From the LAT article above.)
posted by Paul Slade at 4:46 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


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posted by Thorzdad at 4:52 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Archive.org link for the Gladwell article Previously.
When I was in Ocean Township, visiting Arnold Morris, he took me to the local Jewish cemetery, Chesed Shel Ames, on a small hilltop just outside town. We drove slowly through the town's poorer sections in Arnold's white Mercedes. It was a rainy day. At the cemetery, a man stood out front in an undershirt, drinking a beer. We entered through a little rusty gate. "This is where it all starts," Arnold said, by which he meant that everyone--the whole spirited, squabbling clan--was buried here.

We walked up and down the rows until we found, off in a corner, the Morris headstones. There was Nathan Morris, of the straw boater and the opportune heart attack, and next to him his wife, Betty. A few rows over was the family patriarch, Kidders Morris, and his wife, and a few rows from there Irving Rosenbloom, who made a fortune in plastic goods out on Long Island. Then all the Popeils, in tidy rows: Ron's grandfather Isadore, who was as mean as a snake, and his wife, Mary; S.J., who turned a cold shoulder to his own son; Ron's brother, Jerry, who died young. Ron was from them, but he was not of them. Arnold walked slowly among the tombstones, the rain dancing off his baseball cap, and then he said something that seemed perfectly right. "You know, I'll bet you you'll never find Ronnie here."
posted by zamboni at 4:55 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


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posted by Mitheral at 4:55 AM on July 29


I remember once marking the passage of time while waiting for an important phone call during the overnight hours by counting how many times one of his infomercials had repeated on some cable channel.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:56 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Also, for a while in the early 1990s, Ron Popeil was the face of late-night hospital waiting room television.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:00 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


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posted by MrGuilt at 5:06 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


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, + / ÷ ∆ • ° included gratis
posted by k3ninho at 6:14 AM on July 29 [8 favorites]


Growing up with no cable meant the hot hours of summer days were spent inside choosing between 3 soap operas or the infomercials. I asked for a food dehydrator several years in a row for Christmas.
posted by nestor_makhno at 6:29 AM on July 29 [11 favorites]


I respect the hustle. Godspeed, Ron.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:37 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


Yet another occasion to miss Steve Goodman.

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posted by fedward at 6:38 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


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posted by Gelatin at 7:07 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


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posted by Splunge at 7:23 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


In all my life I never ever saw anyone actually use a Popeil Pocket Fisherman. But it looked cool in the commercials.
posted by tommasz at 7:31 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


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posted by oozy rat in a sanitary zoo at 7:39 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Now how much would you pay?



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posted by nubs at 7:57 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Though your phone puts a huge number of powerful tools in your pocket, it will never put a fishing rod there. We have lost a real technology innovator.

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posted by njohnson23 at 7:57 AM on July 29 [6 favorites]


"In all my life I never ever saw anyone actually use a Popeil Pocket Fisherman. But it looked cool in the commercials."

I was given one for a birthday. It didn't work, or at least, I never caught anything. But it was a pretty neat toy and I loved it anyway.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:05 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Haven’t seen it linked yet, but this New Yorker article was a revelation about his deep roots in the hawker trade…
posted by saintjoe at 9:20 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


RIP Mr. Popeil.

I have a Ronco Record Vacuum in my basement somewhere, which is an interesting concept but doesn't work very well, which is probably Popeil's tombstone epitaph.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:36 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


I always wanted my parents to get a smokeless ashtray. I was intrigued by the concept of the thingy that could cut your glass jars or bottles down to make a tumbler.
posted by emjaybee at 9:57 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


He's been set, but not forgotten...

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posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:57 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


Haven’t seen it linked yet, but this New Yorker article

The Gladwell piece linked earlier (a Previously from 2001) first ran in the New Yorker.
posted by zamboni at 10:10 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


I inherited a Popeil donut dropper from a grandmother, and it worked very well until the plastic embrittled and snapped. Now I have a mostly-aluminum one from a different company. Good concept and works well!

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posted by clew at 10:28 AM on July 29 [2 favorites]


Though your phone puts a huge number of powerful tools in your pocket, it will never put a fishing rod there.

*ahem*
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:32 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Greg_Ace, pocket fishing app? What's next, Pocket Pool?

The man was a genius. RIP.

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Second "." for just the cost of shipping and processing.
posted by AugustWest at 11:42 AM on July 29 [3 favorites]


In the FANTASTIC movie Sneakers River Phoenix uses a pocket fisherman to drop a temp probe into the antagonists office.
posted by nestor_makhno at 11:47 AM on July 29 [4 favorites]


What's next, Pocket Pool?

Natch! ;)
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:48 AM on July 29 [1 favorite]


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posted by riruro at 12:02 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


You could even cut a tin can with it! But you wouldn't want to.
posted by biogeo at 12:55 PM on July 29 [7 favorites]


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"Only Ron Popiel, the man who gave us the slogan, “But wait, there’s more!”, sold a greater variety of items. He’s famous for inventing the Veg-O-Matic and the Showtime Rotisserie, hawking his Ronco products himself in extended commercials and popular informercials"

-From, When Car Stereo Shops Ruled
posted by clavdivs at 1:08 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


Thinking of Weird Al’s song tribute from way back…

Fun fact: Needing a female guest vocalist, Al found out that Ron Popiel's half-sister, Lisa Popeil, was a voice coach and professional singer who had already worked with Frank Zappa, and hired her to sing background vocals on this track. She's worked with Al several times since.

In conclusion, Weird Al Yankovic needs to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
posted by Superilla at 2:30 PM on July 29 [10 favorites]


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posted by mcbeth at 6:57 PM on July 29


In all my life I never ever saw anyone actually use a Popeil Pocket Fisherman.

I have!

My grandparents owned one. It actually worked for jigging (while ice fishing).

Beyond that, not so much.

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posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:01 PM on July 29 [1 favorite]


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posted by filtergik at 12:03 AM on July 30


I bought the Mouli. I think it was promoted by Ron Popeil ("As Seen on TV!"). I thought it was going to transform my life. It didn't work very well at all :(

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posted by Avalow at 3:34 AM on July 30


My grandfather loved giving our family Ronco things for Christmas. I remember one year he gave us a slicer dicer type thingie and during the massive meal prep for Christmas dinner at least 6 of us end up with horrific cuts trying to use the damned thing.

That's it, that's all I have.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 3:53 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


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I only realized that Weird Al's Mr. Popeil was a B-52s style parody last year and it hit me like a ton of unsold Pocket Fishermen.
posted by detachd at 6:55 AM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Many years ago, I received a Pocket Fisherman as a gift. I don't fish. I can't remember who gave it to me or why, but I had a Pocket Fisherman. That seemed important at the time. I never used it, but I was constantly aware of being among that elite crowd of Pocket Fisherman owners. It's gone now, and I don't know where. But I definitely had it.
posted by cooper green at 8:06 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


The new walking dead series has a character with a pocket fisherman.
posted by clavdivs at 8:36 PM on July 30


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posted by mikelieman at 1:00 AM on July 31


There's going to be a . here, but you should allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:32 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


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"I only realized that Weird Al's Mr. Popeil was a B-52s style parody last year and it hit me like a ton of unsold Pocket Fishermen." - detachd.
I owned the album when it first came out, and listened to it over and over in high school, and that only occurred to me in 1996. But I also hadn't listened to much B-52s before then.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 2:49 PM on July 31


Pocket Fisher of Men
posted by cubeb at 5:45 PM on August 1


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