Remembering Ray Szmanda, the ‘Menards Guy’

Ray Szmanda, aka “The Menards Guy”

Ray Szmanda, known to TV viewers of the Upper Midwest as “The Menards Guy,” died Sunday according to his son. He was 91.

Growing up in the Duluth, Minnesota, TV market during the 1980s and ’90s meant watching this man sell home improvement tools and materials during nearly every local TV break. It wasn’t just his manic delivery that made these ads iconic, it was the sprightly bed of banjo music underneath every ad.

And who could forget the special Christmas ads: “Warm Seasons Greetings to you all from Menards!”

Szmanda was the best kind of pitchman because he became instantly recognizable, he could cover seemingly endless products in a 30-second spot, and making fun of him wasn’t as fun as just watching him do his thing.

His son Charles wrote a lovely remembrance showing that he was more than just the Menards Guy. That only enhances the story behind these ads.


Comments

  1. independant says:

    Your right. Growing up we saw him so many times on TV as a kid I could hear the commercial and his delivery in my mind perfectly without even having to click the link. I wonder if my son will think of Mike Lindell”My Pillow” the same way???

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