Pitchman star Anthony Sullivan finds new talents on MJ Morning Show's Inventor Quest 2009
But infomercial king Anthony Sullivan found he couldn't say no to most of the inventors who crowded into radio host Todd "MJ" Schnitt's studio this morning as part of WFLZ-FM's "Inventorquest 2009." (image at right from a different photo shoot a few weeks ago at Citrus Park Mall)
Time and again, Sullivan responded to enthusiastic pitches by telling the hopeful inventors they would get screen time on the second season of the show he developed and starred in with former partner Billy Mays, the popular TV spokesman who died in his Tampa home in June.
Joined by his partner's son Billy Mays III, Sullivan encouraged most of the inventors to pitch their inventions hard, coming away convinced he could turn many in profitable products.
"I wanted to be more brutal, but we saw some wonderful stuff today," he said on air this morning, as cameras from his production company taped footage which might land in an episode of Pitchmen. "I'm not sure how many of these guys we can get on, but I guarantee you one or two of these will land on the show."
The types of products ranged from a trash can built with an accordion shape for easy storage to a sink attachment allowing you to cut on water flow by pressing a lever, a cutting board with raised sides and openings to help prevent injury and a reversible toilet paper attachment allowing the paper to be pulled out over the top or from the bottom of the roll.
Inventor Rocky Hutson, who had traveled from Colorado to participate in a larger audition Sullivan and Schnitt held Wednesday at the Ritz Theater in Ybor City, insisted his T.P. Swivel toilet paper dispenser would eliminate household arguments over how to install the toilet paper roll in bathrooms -- but Schnitt's on air crew wasn't necessarily buying the idea that this was a big issue.
Still Sullivan told the trash can's inventor he could make him a millionaire -- if some enterprising listener didn't get a knockoff product on the market first. They would have to move fast -- Sullivan estimated his company could pull together a direct response TV ad and begin selling any of the products they saw today within six to eight weeks.
Schnitt basked in the popularity of the contest, placing streaming audio and video of the inventor pitches on his show's Web site, alongside pictures and online video clips from Wednesday's tryouts in Ybor City. he even agreed to run in next years New York marathon with Sullivan in exchange for a sponsorship from the pitchman's company.
See video from the Wednesday tryouts below: