An inventor from the Jersey Boardwalk, Popeil’s great genius was to make the whole world care about something that previously only weirdly obsessed aficionados of kitchen gadget had cared about.
Malcolm Gladwell: Ron Popeil, the guy who does the Showtime Rotisserie and came from this family of famous kind of kitchen gadget salesmen and inventors in the Jersey Boardwalk, in the South Jersey Boardwalk and he does that. He takes- His great genius was to make the rest of the world care about something that previously only the kind of most weirdly obsessed aficionados of kitchen gadgets had cared about, to convince you that your rotisserie oven actually was- could be a lot better, like you would use- you thought a rotisserie oven was rotisserie oven and actually, no, there are good ones and bad ones and he can sell you an amazing one for four monthly payments of $29.95. There is a kind of like opening people’s eyes to the notion that there is a depth of complexity and sophistication in what we would have dismissed as the most hopelessly prosaic of corners of the marketplace is a kind of- is a gift, is a marvelous thing, something to be celebrated and that is Ron Popeil’s great- That is what they do in one sense or another.
Recorded December 16, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
Directed by Jonathan Fowler
Produced by Elizabeth Rodd