Infomercial Icon Ron Popeil Dies at 86

Ron Popeil has died at the age of 86 and fans are mourning the iconic TV pitchman. For viewers of a certain age, the salesman was a fixture on daytime television as an "As Seen on TV" legend. Popeil founded Ronco, which was the company that is probably selling wild products like the Slap Chop and amazing rotisserie ovens right now. TMZ reports that the pitchman died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital after having a "severe medical emergency." He is survived by his wife Robin and 4 daughters with 4 grandchildren. People might be surprised to learn that Popeil earned an estimated $200,000,000 in career earnings. Saturday Night Live fans obviously remember him from Dan Aykroyd on the sketch show for a while. It's wild to think this man ended up being behind a lot of infomercial classics. Slap Chop? Yep. Bedazzled? Back in the day it was known as the Rhinestone Stud Setter. Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ? Drip tray and all.

The story of Popeil starts with the Chop-O-Matic and the Veg-O-Matic at his family's manufacturing company. He found himself a hit hawking their wares to the captive audience at home. Before long, Ronco was Mr. Microphone or the Pocket Fisherman. You wouldn't have a Billy Mays without the trail that Popeil blazed. Check out what the people who loved his work had to say down below.

Emmy-winning reporter John Palminteri, "Ron Popeil has passed away. An amazing product pitchman on TV like no other. He also helped us on the annual Guacamole Contest at the California Avocado Festival and lived part time in Carpinteria. He was such the salesman. I watched over and over."

Over in Boston, Mark Ockerbloom of Boston25 had this to say, "I see @RonPopeil, aka The Salesman of the Century, has passed away. The inventor of many a product including, Mr. Microphone and Hair in a Can, but as a kid, I thought his Pocket Fisherman was so cool! #RIPRonPopeil"

0comments

Do you have an As Seen on TV favorite? Let us know in the comments!