His prices are INSANE!

Sam Antar and his son Eddie, started the first Crazy Eddie electronics store in Coney Island, and the stores spread like mushrooms throughout the 70's until they were all over the New York area. By the 1980's, their TV ads were inescapable. I was very young but I can still remember "Crazy Eddie" (played by Jerry Carroll) flailing around bellowing rock bottom prices as quickly as possible, with a deranged look in his eyes. The production values were non-existent, the schtick was all too obvious, but I still smile when I think of them. I think Jerry knew how corny he looked in that cheap suit and turtle neck, gesticulating and jibbering at TV's and stereo components, but he went over the top in a different way every time and that made it interesting. And their prices were pretty darn good: I got my first Commodore 64 from there.

In the early 90's, though, things took a turn. Many local electronics chains closed down or had serious trouble and CE was no exception, but Eddie himself had even worse troubles. The SEC investigated him for cooking the books and there were rumors that he had been buying things that "fell off the back of a truck". He fled the country, ending up in Israel. While he hid, a $73 million judgement was issued against him. In 1992, he was extradited and in 1996 he pled guilty to racketeering, and got seven years on top of the monetary judgement. Ouch.

Now Crazy Eddie is a just a single discount electronics store. Like many other discount outlets, it exists because New Yorkers are such skinflints, they're willing to travel out to "The Garden State" to save on sales tax. "The Most Trusted Name in Discounted Consumer Electronics Since 1969", says I'm not so sure about "most trusted" but they sure were fun and had great prices while they lasted.