The infomercial pioneer who introduced television viewers to Ginsu knives has died, reports the Associated Press. Barry Becher was 71.
Becher brought TV viewers devices such as the Miracle Slicer and Armourcote Cookware, with TV ads that urged viewers to act fast because supplies were limited, the story notes.
He had been suffering from kidney cancer and died Friday from complications from surgery, the story notes.
Becher was operating two AAMCO franchises in Rhode Island when he met Ed Valenti, who became his business partner.
"They drove the same Datsun 240Z, had wives who were schoolmates, shared a passion for sales and became fast friends. They decided they wanted to find a product they could market through an extended TV commercial, the way some records were sold," the story notes.
Becher found a mohair bristled paint pad that prevented splatter, but Madison Avenue firms rejected it, the story notes. They ended up producing their ad themselves with a joint company they ran out of Becher’s garage. Their two-minute commercial debuted the Miracle Painter.
Ginsu, however, remained the pair’s best-known product, with millions sold from the commercial’s debut in 1978 through the early 1980s.
Here’s a clip of the original ad: