Ron Popeil

Ron Popeil


5/3/1935, New York City, New York, USA

Birth Name

Ronald M. Popeil



Also Known As

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Ron "But Wait!" Popeil is a multimillionaire. Over the last 40 years his products have pulled in more than $1 billions at retail. He was voted by Self magazine readers as one of the 25 people who have changed the way we eat, drink and think about food.…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Ron's first TV product was the "Ronco Spray Gun". The Spray Gun was one of the few products Popeil has sold over the years that wasn't invented by either his father or himself.

    • Popeil found he could produce a 60-second commercial for $500 at WFLA, a Tampa, Florida television station, and did so. Ron would produce four commercials from one. From the two minute came the 90-second, the 60-second and the 30-second, a habit he got into over the years with all his short-form advertising.

    • Ron was voted by "Self Magazine" readers as one of the 25 people who have changed the way we eat, drink and think about food.

    • Ron wrote a book called "The Salesman of the Century" in which he reveals how you can discover, market, and cash in on your own million-dollar idea.

    • Ron has also invented the "Bagel Cutter", "Popeil's Pasta Maker", "Inside-The-Shell Egg Scrambler", "Flip-Its" and the Ronco "Spray Gun".

    • The Ronco "Showtime" infomercial plays in the background of a scene in the film "Magnolia".

    • The "Veg-O-Matic" was parodied by Dan Aykroyd in an episode of Saturday Night Live as the "Super Bass-O-Matic '76".

    • "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded the song "Mr. Popeil" on his second studio album, "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D. The verses are structured as pitches for unnamed but easily recognizable Ronco products, and draws upon all the cliches associated with the Ronco infomercials, including the phrases "It slices! It dices!", "Take advantage of this amazing TV offer!" and "Now how much would you pay?".

    • In the film "Major League", while hazing rookie Ricky Vaughan, Roger Dorn asks if he had cut his hair using a "Veg-O-Matic".

    • In the episode of The Simpsons entitled "Radio Bart", Bart Simpson receives a "Superstar Celebrity Microphone" for his birthday. The toy and the TV advertisements for it were modeled after Ronco's "Mr. Microphone".

    • Ron's inventions have been spoofed on "Saturday Night Live" where Eddie Murphy did a commercial spoof for the "Popeil Galactic Prophylactic".

    • People associate the phrase "It slices! it dices!" with the "Veg-O-Matic", but Ron has always denied that he ever said it. He claims to have the video tape to prove it.

    • In August 2005, Ron sold his company to Fi-Tek VII, a Denver holding company for $55 million. He said he plans to continue serving as the spokesman and inventor, but wanted to spend more time with his family.

    • Ron learned his trade from his father Samuel who was also an inventor and carny salesman of kitchen-related gadgets.

    • His TV sales techniques might be considered the origin of infomercials.

    • Ron has his own company named "Ronco".

    • He's invented the "Veg-O-Matic" food slicer, "Dial-O-Matic" the successor to the Veg-O-Matic, "Popeil Pocket Fisherman", "Mr. Microphone", "Inside-The-Shell Egg Scrambler", "Six Star 20 Piece Cutlery Set", "Solid Flavor Injector", "GLH-9 Hair in a Can Spray", "Drain Buster", "Smokeless Ashtray", "Electric Food Dehydrator", "Showtime Rotisserie" and "The Cap Snaffler".

  • Quotes

    • Ron Popeil: Other people in our business take the spaghetti approach, they throw a lot of stuff against the wall and hope something sticks. The failure rate is dependent solely on what you're throwing up against the wall. I don't operate that way. If I believe in a product idea, I'll put my time, money, and marketing skills behind it. It might take two-and-a-half years of my life to create and sell a product. But, I enjoy every minute of it!

    • Ron Popeil: So, I gathered up some kitchen products from my father's factory, he sold them to me at a wholesale price so he made a full profit, and I went down to Maxwell Street on a Sunday to give it a try. I talked, I yelled, I hawked, and it worked! I was stuffing money into my pockets, more money than I had ever seen in my life. I didn't have to be poor for the rest of my life. Through selling, I could escape from poverty and the miserable existence I had with my grandparents. I had lived for 16 years in homes without love, and now I finally found a form of affection and human connection through sales.

    • Ron Popeil: Set it, and forget it!

    • Ron Popeil: Instead of giving kids candy, give them apple snacks or banana chips. And it's great if you're a hunter, fisherman, backpacker, or camper. Makes beef jerky for around $3 a pound, and you know what went in it, because you made it yourself!

    • Ron Popeil: The biggest fishing invention since the hook, and still only $19.95!

    • Ron Popeil: Hey, good looking, I'll be back to pick you up later. Broadcast your voice on any FM radio!!!

    • Ron Popeil: Slice a tomato so thin it only has one side.

    • Ron Popeil: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to show you the greatest kitchen appliance ever made. All your onions chopped to perfection without shedding a single tear.