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Madman Muntz LogoMadman Muntz - Eccentric used car king Earl William "Madman" Muntz became famous for introducing an affordable TV set in Chicago in 1949. The set featured a built-in antenna, one knob picture control and a low price which helped bring down the price of televisions nationwide (a cost of ten dollars a screen inch-$170 for a seventeen-inch screen-measured diagonally). Owning 72 stores, he sold over $20 million sets by 1950. He was forced to sell his TV business when a plan to sell an automobile (The Muntz Jet) failed in 1953-54. He later went into the stereo business and created the Muntz stereo chain and the Muntz Stereo-Pak 4-track system, the direct ancestor of the 8-track.

The concept for "Madman" originated when Earl Muntz was selling cars. He wanted an advertising gimmick that got people's attention, and so he hired artist Mike Shore to come up with an idea. He designed a caricature of Muntz dressed in long red flannel underwear and sporting a Napoleon hat.

Some sample catchphrases: "I buy 'em retail and sell 'em wholesale. It's more fun that way!" and "I wanna give 'em away but Mrs. Muntz won't let me. She's crazy!"

Born in Elgin, Illinois in 1914, Earl "Madman" Muntz died in 1987. See also - "Crazy Eddie"

Muntz Jet


Muntz Jet Muntz Stereo

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