There were so many people at Ron Popeil’s celebration of life. It was a large assemblage of family and friends. I was honored to have been invited. As the only person from QVC there, I was glad to represent the company that had made millions from his inventions.
I had the opportunity to speak with many family members and friends. There were so many people that I couldn’t speak to everyone. Every person I spoke to said Ron spoke about me quite often. We were close friends but I had no idea that he would tout my on-air expertise to friends and family alike. I heard about it time and time again at the celebration.
Wow! A man who literally created the direct response TV industry went out of his way to praise my sales ability. I never knew that. I was truly surprised. I know our outings on QVC usually outsold the other hosts, including the dedicated Sunday cook show. My immediate superior once told me to hold back with Ron as I was embarrassing the host of the dedicated show. He said it was about optics. Homey don’t bunt. I never held back, “winning friends wherever I went.” The business was about the bottom line, not the fragile ego of some coworkers.
Hearing about Ron’s comments gave me pause. While my career has taken me in different direction, mainly songwriting, I began to think that I need to get back into the TV Shopping game. I could have been a regular guest over the years for the many crappy guitars that various vendors want me to represent. I’ve gotten a couple of requests already this year. I won’t do it. I could never represent a product I thought was really bad. I’ve turned down infomercials for the same reason. Lots of “miracle cures,” many for erectile disfunction.
I have thought about this before, but after hearing about the way Ron spoke about me, I’m very serious about it. Because of my outspoken nature, I scare many people associated with the TV shopping channels. Rarely does anyone associated with any of the shopping channels reply to any of my posts. I think a lot of them are afraid of being “guilty by association.” I’ve always called it like I saw it. The TV shopping channels have made some serious mistakes along the way and have done some great things as well. I’ve offered my opinion on both over the years.
I’m not writing this to ask for advice. Please re-read that sentence. I know at 70, I’m probably tilting at windmills, very young windmills at that. I left QVC on my own volition and turned down some very attractive offers from them at that time. It was time to do other things. The infomercials I hosted with Ron would have never happened if I hadn’t left the Q. One of them, The Showtime Rotisserie, stands as the most successful infomercial in history. HSN made me a great offer when I left the Q. Joy Mangano made that happen. Sadly, the person in charge of their hosts at that time, in my opinion, was a jackass. To quote a great 21st Century philosopher, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
I will start reaching out. Most of my contacts have aged out, so it’s not going to be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is.
Enjoy the journey!
Would love to see you on TV again – go for it Steve and best of luck!