It’s noted in the Celebrity Death Pool thread, but didn’t gets its own.
Eddie Antar , founder of Crazy Eddie’s electronics, has died.
He lived in New Jersey, not that far from Pepper Mill. His logo looked as if he stole it from Robert Crumb, and one of his stores was near me. His prices were low enough, but not really insane.
As the Death Pool thread notes, he was involved in shady stuff – insider trading and suchlike. He fled to Israel, but was extradited back. He was charged and coinvicted and appealed and ended up serving some prison time.
Eddie Antar - the owner of Crazy Eddie and the guy who just died - was not the “Crazy Eddie” character who appeared in those ads. That was an actor. You’re probably remembering the actor, who appeared to be middle-aged back in the 70s, but Eddie Antar himself was younger.
The guy in the commercials was Jerry Carroll who was a long time New York radio guy. I remember my mother listening to him when he would sub on WOR radio long before it had a bunch of syndicated programing. He always came across as a really nice guy.
As a child of 70s NY, I recall those ads fondly. In the recesses of my mind they get mixed up with ads for Uncle Steve’s, a Canal Street electronics store that a quick Google search reveals to have been “shady.”
Also sort of shares a musty room in my brain with Tom Carvel, the gravelly-voiced soft serve ice cream cake king.
What is it about shady family-run electronics chains with memorable mascots? The Wiz suffered a similar downfall, complete with a billion-dollar bankruptcy and convictions for money laundering and securities fraud.
Crazy Eddie had better commercials, though. And he inspired a Futurama character, whereas The Wiz only got a Seinfeld episode.
Yeah, turns out even sweet old Tom Carvel had some “shadiness” – according to Wikipedia, his corpse was exhumed to look for traces of poison, on suspicion of some money-spinning deal or other gone wrong. Gotta love New York.