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 Advertising Mascots - People

Jerry Carroll for Crazy EddieCrazy Eddie - Commercial alter ego of stereo electronics king, Eddie Antar who sold stereos, televisions and the like for the "Crazy Eddie's" electronics stores where prices were "Insaaaaaane!"

Antar opened his first store on Kings Highway in Brooklyn when he was 21 years of age. His stores were a success because of their cheap prices, low overhead and aggressive marketing which guaranteed that they would not be undersold, (giving customers 30 days to demand a rebate if they found the same merchandise offered at a lower price).

When it came time to advertise the Crazy Eddie's stores, Eddie Antar, a small, shy, reclusive businessman instead Crazy Eddie's Corporate Logo chose to hire pitchman Jerry Carroll as his on-air persona. Jerry Carroll began live readings of the Crazy Eddie ads in New York on WPIX-FM in the mid 1970s and soon, his maniacal, wild-eyed pitchman style was highly imitated. Carroll's loony characterizations were parodied on a HBO comedy skit on NOT NECESSARILY THE NEWS as "Crazy Ollie," an Oliver North look-alike and on Saturday Night Live in the now classic "Bass-o-Matic" skit with Dan Aykroyd.

In the 1990s, Eddie Antar was investigated by the SEC for fraud. He fled to Israel but was extradited back to the United States in 1992. The government issued a $73 million judgment against him and eventually in 1996 Antar received a sentence of seven years in prison for conspiracy and racketeering. I guess he really was "CRAZY" to think he could get away with it. See also - "Mad Man Muntz"


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