Thu, 1 December 2022
At the peak of his popularity in the 1980s, electronics retailer “Crazy Eddie” was better known for his screaming and gesticulating television commercials promoting “insane” prices than were then-Mayor Ed Koch and President Ronald Regan.
Thousands of customers would flock to store openings, hoping to nab a free t-shirt and get a glimpse of the unhinged pitchman.
Behind the scenes, however, Eddie Antar — the real Crazy Eddie, not the TV actor who portrayed him in the commercials — was a thieving, lying, cheat who defrauded just about everyone who ever trusted him, and was ultimately sentenced to eight years in prison.
Veteran investigative reporter Gary Weiss has written a page-turning biographical exposé of Eddie Antar: Retail Gangster: The Insane, Real-Life Story of Crazy Eddie. This week Gary and host Dean Rotbart explore both the genius and insanity of Crazy Eddie, a business crook unlike any other in American history.
Photo: Gary Weiss, Retail Gangster