Chapter 11 for Ronco
Things aren't going too well for the slices-and-dices folks, I see.
They have, in fact filed their Chapter 11 papers in Bankruptcy Court in California. (Source: Bloomberg news article, reported in The Boston Globe, June 16.)
I certainly help that the company - or at least it's oddball products - survive. The world would be a far less interesting place without the inventions of the great Ron Popeil. Popeil, by the way, is still involved with Ronco as a spokesman and inventor, but he sold out a couple of years ago.
I never actually bought anything from Ronco. At one point in my life, if they'd had a Popeil Decision-Maker, I would have sprung for that. No, if I wasn't exactly a loyal customer, or any kind of customer, in fact, I was a loyal follower. And over the years I've just loved the idea of Ronco and the absolutely captivating inventions of the zany Mr. Popeil.
Like the Ronco Buttoneer, for those who are incapable of performing the one domestic task that's accessible to pretty much anyone.
Did I say one domestic task that pretty much anyone can perform? Pardon me. I blogged too soon. That would have to go, hands down, to the Inside The Shell Egg Scrambler. Come on. Is there anyone who can't take a fork and twirl it around until the yolk and the whites are mixed together? The hardest part of making a scrambled egg is actually cracking the egg and making sure you don't get any stray eggshell pieces. The Inside the Shell Scrambler doesn't solve that problem. But it does make me think of another idea for Ron Popeil: some invention that can pick those pesky little pieces of eggshell out of the batter or sauce or whatever you're making. The best I've come up with is "Insert finger in mixture. Scootch piece to edge of mixing bowl. Draw up side of bowl until you can grab it and throw it out. Rinse finger."
Not that Ron ever needed any ideas from me.
The Veg-O-Matic. The Smokeless Ashtray. The Bass-o-Matic. No, wait, that was Saturday Night Live.
One of the best things about Ronco products was, of course, the cheeseball ads for them.
My personal favorite was the ad for Mr. Microphone, in which these really "cool" guys in a convertible drive by a nice looking gal. "Hey, good looking," the one manning the Mr. Microphone calls over to her, "I'll be back to pick you up later." Yea. Right.
There's some speculation that ol' Ron might buy back the bankrupt Ronco.
"Now, what would you pay for" an eponymous company that you'd made a household world, and made you big bucks when you sold it off just too years ago?