top of page

Ron Popeil's Warm Undies

Words by Aron Simkins
mockinbird K_1.png
Art by Aaron Rowell



Nobody knows the pleasure of stepping into a warm pair of fresh-from-the-dryer underwear better than legendary pitchman Ron Popeil. Unfortunately, when Ron realized he could manufacture the same effect with his Ronco Electric Food Dehydrator, his greed got the best of him. Here are five moments when Ron unsuccessfully attempted to heat his briefs without the audience knowing.


1. The time host Nancy Nelson slipped on discarded banana slices Ron removed from the dehydrator so he could wedge his whitey tighties on the lower rack.


Ron Popeil wasn’t just a master of kitschy invention, he was also a master of disrobing mid infomercial without anyone knowing, including his frequent co-host, Nancy Nelson. However, if it hadn’t been for Ron’s sloppy gaffe to remove all the banana slices from the Ronco Electric Food Dehydrator and scatter them across the floor so he could slide his underwear onto the lowest rack for a quick warming, Nancy would never have taken the humiliating heels-up spill that ultimately forced Ron to step out from behind the counter and reveal his bare bottom half to an unsuspecting audience.


2. The time Ron painted half of his body with Ronco GLH-9 Spray-on Hair.


Ron’s inventive genius knew no bounds when he introduced Ronco GLH-9 Hair in a Can—a spray product used to mask hair loss. Unfortunately, that genius didn’t extend to his better judgement during an unforgettable infomercial when Ron’s hankering for a warm pair of skivvies drove him to use the spray to cover his naked body while his shorts warmed in one of the electric food dehydrators on stage. When Ron made his grand entrance, not only was it obvious his hack spray job didn’t come close to resembling pants, but he also absentmindedly neglected to cover his back side, leaving his old, white cheeks exposed for the entire audience to see.


3. The time Ron accidentally passed out his Fruit of the Looms as samples and had to wrestle audience members to get them back.


Having your unmentionables passed around like a party snack on live TV may sound like a nightmare scenario, but it was Ron’s humiliating reality when he realized the dried fruit and jerky samples he had sent into the audience were actually his toasty-warm undies, fresh from the Ronco Electric Food Dehydrator. However, the situation spiraled further out of control when, in an attempt to retrieve his underwear, a few of Ron’s super fans refused to peaceably hand them over, resulting in an all-out Popeil-vs-the-audience brawl, three restraining orders and one pair of tattered tighties.


4. The time Ron tripped while putting on a warm pair of skivvies and crashed face first into a Chop-O-Matic display.


Throughout his career, Ron made hundreds of appearances in front of countless audiences, so it’s entirely possible several of his attempts to warm his underwear without anyone knowing were completely successful. But the time he tripped while stepping into a pair of piping-hot skivvies and careened out of control into a display of Chop-O-Matics is definitely not one of them. Ron’s circus-like spill was an exhibition of clumsiness and sheer awkwardness, especially when you consider his pants and underwear remained fixed around his ankles throughout the entire ordeal and long after the medical team arrived. It also didn’t help to have a discombobulated Ron yelling his famous “set it and forget it” catchphrase at the audience as he was hauled off stage.


5. The time Ron accidentally snagged his scrotum on a cupboard door and erupted in a seven minute swear-fest on QVC.


Ron was no stranger to the QVC set, but the sweet siren call of warm undies from the featured Electric Food Dehydrator on display was far too alluring to pass up. After Ron quietly disrobed and strategically positioned himself behind a counter to hide his pasty, naked bottom half, things quickly went south when he accidentally snagged his scrotum on a protruding cupboard hinge. The excruciating pain caused him to burst out from behind the counter and erupt in a wild, profanity-laced tirade that ultimately ended with him passed out, laying bare-cheeked on a bag of frozen mangoes.

bottom of page