Let's cut up some potatoes in the Veg-O-Matic, take our Pocket Fisherman out to the lake and tell passersby via our Mr. Microphone that we'll be back to pick them up later to mark the life of Ron Popeil, who did more to promote plastic gadgets to late-night TV viewers than we can imagine.
Popeil, who began by selling the Chop-O-Matic invented by his father and went on to found his own company, Ronco, died July 28 at the age of 86.
Popeil first made his fame though short TV ads, but in the late 1980s he developed an hourlong program for his food dehydrator and ran it on small local TV stations across the U.S., creating the infomercial.
"The products chopped, charred, shined, sharpened, cleaned, massaged, folded a fishing rod into a pocket and covered bald spots with a spray can," The New York Times wrote. "He sold them all without shouting, a folksy, calming presence that made half-hour infomercials their own form of entertainment as he demonstrated the product and set up testimonials from the audience."