Monday, March 2, 2009

This Is Just . . . IN-SANE!!!!

Whoa, talk about a blast from 80s past! Anyone who was in NYC and who lived through the 70s and 80s no doubt remember these commercials -- the one and only CRAZY EDDIE!

Crazy Eddie was a huge electronics retail store with branches all over the Tri-state area. At one point the company was taking in $300 million in annual sales. That's just INSANE!!!

Anyway, most people remember the hyper-kinetic commercials with the chain's spokesperson, local radio DJ and minor celebrity, Jerry Carroll. When I was a kid, I remember thinking Carroll *was* in fact Crazy Eddie. But turns out the real Crazy Eddie -- Eddie Antar -- ran the business along with his father and cousin and various other family members. In the late 80s, Antar was convicted of securities fraud and fled to Israel. He was later extradited and brought back to the U.S. where he plead guilty to a different charge and was sentenced to nearly 8 years behind bars in the early 90s. The company's stocks quickly plummeted on the fraud charges, and eventually the stores closed up and went the way of the dodo and The Wiz. Later, it was uncovered that Eddie had been crazily cooking up the account books for years. It was the biggest local retail scandal of the day.

Anyway, I bring this up because it turns out some fool wants to revive the name! Yeah, can you believe this? As much as it brings back crazy nostalgic memories of my childhood, I can't believe anyone would be so bold as to try and open an electronics retailer in this economic climate. But if you want to read more about it, check out this here NY Post article.

I'll leave you with a slew of Crazy Eddie commercials from back in the day. The first two are typical ads, and my fellow 80s kids from the area will remember these fondly no doubt. I mean seriously, was this guy coked up? I leave it to you to decide. The last video is a collection of various commercials.







Seriously, check these out. Tell me this doesn't scream 80s kitsch to you! :) But you gotta love them. They were low budget and corny, but god they're such an integral part of the local scene from that time period. It's like a time capsule back in time! Shit, I might just want to see the stores come back just so that I can pretend we are living in some bizarro alternate NYC where the 80s never died.

I've got my He-Man action figures and Garbage Pail Kids cards ready just in case.

3 comments:

Kim Kasch said...

We, here in Portland, Oregon, had Tom Peterson - and, he used to say, WAKE UP! It was always on late night and annoying in my mind but he made a lot of money.

David Batista said...

It's very interesting, all the different regional variants on the same thing.

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