Eddie Antar, the Man Behind New York's Crazy Eddie Retail Chain, Dies at 68.
Eddie Antar, the founder of the Crazy Eddie retail shopsa Greater New York electronics empire that peaked at 43 stores across four states but was later discovered to be a "shell operation"died over the weekend at the age of 68. At one point, Antar's company went public, and claimed over $350 million in annual revenue, before he was convicted of large-scale securities fraud (he used to fly to Israel with cash strapped to himself!).
But the Crazy Eddie outfit, despite its fate, was known best for its advertising. Over a 14-year period, Crazy Eddie ran over 7,500 unforgettable commercials on radio and TV30-second bit-encapsulations of an overheated, screaming "Crazy Eddie" (played by comedian Jerry Carroll) who obnoxiously reminded viewers that deals were always ready to be had, even during "Christmas in August." The rant-filled commercials were about as good a distillation of 1970s-and 1980s-era New York Jewish mishagas as possible. In fact, they were "insane."
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