Many of Ron Popeil's infomercials appeared in French in Quebec with hastily done voice overs.
Willi Waller 2006:
-Hey, my friend. You like eating potatoes?
Mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, Cheese Whiz potatoes? Well Uncle Tom has a great product for those of you who love potatoes: The Willi Waller 2006.
Now with the Willi Waller 2006, it wont take you three times less time to peal potatoes, it wont take you four times less time to peal potatoes. No, with the Willi Waller 2006, it will take you twice less time to peal potatoes.
So you're probably saying "Wait a minute, Uncle Tom, what you are saying, what is coming out of your mouth, it's impossible, it's nonsense.
Well I completely understand your scepticism. But look at the following demonstration.
(New screen with pictures of potatoes)
To the right, a big potato with the Willi Waller 2006. To the left, an other big potato, but no Willi Waller 2006.
Now look at the difference. Attention, 1,2,3,4 GO!
(music and pealing of potatoes)
You see how it is easier with the Willi Waller 2006, eh?
Isn't that beautiful?
(back to guy in the kitchen)
But the best part is that for 4 easy payments of $29.99, do you know how many Willi Waller 2006 you will get, not one, not two, not three, but fourteen Willi Waller 2006. Unbelievable!
You'll be able to put one everywhere: in the car, at the cottage, in the living room, in the toilet, in the office. You will even be able to give some to your friends!
(testimonial from Guy with a beard)
-Well since the Willi Waller 2006 has entered my life, well... I'm ecstatic.
(testimonial from women in pink sweater)
I swear that since I started using the Willi Waller, my potatoes taste way better.
(testimonial from voluptuous women in black top)
-Thank you Uncle Tom, thank you.
(back to Uncle Tom in the kitchen).
-Isn't that beautiful, eh?
Call right now for this fantastic offer. Take out your credit card, and compose the number on your screen. And if you call right now, we will even ship you an extra handful !
I swear, with the Willi Waller 2006, never has eating great potatoes been so easy.
(Voice of producer)
Cut, we'll make one more take, but with more energy, eh.
-(Uncle Tom) Ah, for crying out loud, that one was good.
-(Producer) Put a bit more energy, and it will be perfect, OK.
-(Uncle Tom) So you want a bit more "dumb ass", eh?
-(Producer) Yeah That's it. Now, 3, 2, 1, Action.
-(Uncle Tom) Hey, my friend, do you like eating potatoes?
Ronco, the company that spent 55 million dollars buying out the Spray on hair guy, just filed for chapter 11.
Impact on popular culture
- "Weird Al" Yankovic recorded the song "Mr. Popeil" on his second studio album, "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D. The song was a "style parody" (i.e., not a direct parody of a specific song, but emulating a performer's specific style) of the early music of the B-52's (and bore a striking resemblance to their first hit single, "Rock Lobster"). The verses are structured as pitches for unnamed but easily recognizable Ronco products, and draws upon all the catchphrases associated with the Ronco infomercials, including the phrases "It slices! It dices!", "Take advantage of this amazing TV offer!", and " Now how much would you pay?". One of Weird Al's background vocalists was Lisa Popeil, daughter of Sam Popeil, sister to Ron Popeil . Lisa continues to perform backup for Weird Al's songs, including his 2006 album Straight Outta Lynwood.
- The "Veg-O-Matic" was parodied by Dan Aykroyd in an episode of Saturday Night Live as the "Super Bass-O-Matic '76". This parody is mentioned in the Biography episode on Popeil.
- "Dodge Veg-O-Matic" is a song by Jonathan Richman from the album Rock N Roll With The Modern Lovers (1977).
- The "Veg-O-Matic" provided the inspiration for the "Sledge-O-Matic" routine used by comedian Gallagher for the last quarter-century.
- In the film Major League, while hazing rookie Rick Vaughn, Roger Dorn asks if he had cut his hair using a "Veg-O-Matic".
- Also on Saturday Night Live (September 25, 1982), Eddie Murphy did a commercial spoof for the "Popeil Galactic Prophylactic".
- In the episode "A Big Piece of Garbage", from the television series Futurama, Popeil is said to be the inventor of technology that allows heads to be kept alive in jars indefinitely (Popeil's own head, voiced by himself, appears in the episode). In the later episode " The Luck of the Fryrish" Fry keeps his lucky seven-leaf-clover in a "Ronco Record Vault"
- The Ronco Showtime infomercial plays in the background of a scene in the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia.
- In the film Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, the character Crow T. Robot uses the phrase "Snaffles caps of any size jug, bottle or jar...and it really really works."
- In the episode of The Simpsons entitled "Radio Bart", Bart Simpson receives a "Superstar Celebrity Microphone" for his birthday. The toy and the TV advertisements for it were modeled after Ronco's "Mr. Microphone".
- In the movie Old School during the morning-after hangover scene, Ron Popeil is on the TV Vince Vaughn and company are watching.
- During a scene in Elizabethtown, you can see Popeil showing his knives on Orlando Bloom's television. (Bloom's character was having suicidal thoughts.)
- The Daily Show featured a clip with the famous line "Set it and forget it!" — from the Showtime Rotisserie commercial — after showing the "catch phrase" discussions of the Senate debating over the War in Iraq.
- Robin Williams, in his role as Mork in the TV show Mork and Mindy goes off on one of his (un)usual tangents with a kitchen gadget, saying, "It slices, it dices, it makes julienne fries, whatever those are!".
- Popeil's fans have been inspired to repeat one of his more memorable lines, "Shoestring potatoes, shoestring carrots!"
- The Beastie Boys reference him in their song 'Crawlspace', when Adrock says "I got more product than Ron Popeil"
- The character RJ Raccoon in the film adaptation of Over the Hedge uses a Popeil Pocket Fisherman several times throughout the film.
- In Blue Man Group's How To Be A Megastar tour, the blue men purchase a "rock concert manual" from a parody company entitled Rodco for $4,000.
- In 1993, the Ig Nobel Award for Consumer Engineering was presented to Ron Popeil, "incessant inventor and perpetual pitchman of late night television, for redefining the industrial revolution with such devices as the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone, and the Inside-the-Shell Egg Scrambler."
- In "X-Men 2", Popeil is playing on the television briefly when the school is attacked