- Additional Details
- Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
- Rating: Not Rated
- Number of Discs: 1
- Run Time: 50 Minutes
- Region: Region 1
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Language: English
- Studio: A&E Home Video
- DVD Release Date: December 17, 2005
"But wait, there's more!" Meet the ultimate pitchman, the man responsible for popularizing the infomercial and the creator of the multi-million dollar company that bears his name - Ronco.
The Pocket Fisherman. Spray-on hair. The Smokeless Ashtray. Follow in this BIOGRAPHY® the story of Ron Popeil, the inventor and TV pitchman responsible for popularizing the infomercial and the creator of the multimillion dollar company that bears his name - Ronco. Best known for products like the Showtime Rotisserie and Mr. Microphone, Popeil is also famous for the now legendary catchphrases, "But wait, there's more," and "Operators are standing by."
The son of an inventor, the first products Popeil sold came from his father's factory. While he was never close to his father, he did get his start in business with the elder Popeil's kitchen products. Ron proved to be a natural salesman, selling products at the bustling flea market known as Maxwell Street at just age 13.
In the mid-1950s, the rising medium of television caught Popeil's eye. While he was still experiencing success with his in-person sales pitches, he saw an opportunity to extend the reach of business to the airwaves and in the 1960s started Ronco Teleproductions where he produced commercials for products like the Veg-O-Matic (over 11 million units were ultimately sold) and the Spray Gun. But more than the products themselves, what viewers and buyers of the Ronco products remember best is the man behind the pitch.
While Popeil has personally prospered, his company has experienced some turmoil. It took a nosedive in 1987 when its bank called in all of Ronco's loans. When Ronco couldn't make the payments, the bank took the company's assets, including Popeil's inventions. Popeil reached into his own funds to buy his company back. The 1990s were the zenith for Ron Popeil and Ronco. A single product, the Showtime Rotisserie, sold through the classic infomercial format, has sold over 3 million units and has helped Popeil generate an estimated annual income of $20 million.
In 2005, Popeil sold the company and stays on as its invention and sales consultant. He continues to be the lead promoter for its products - something he has been an expert at for more than 50 years.