Earl William “Madman” Muntz (January 3, 1914 – June 21, 1987) was an American businessman and engineer who sold and promoted cars and consumer electronics in the United States from the 1930s until his death in 1987.
He was a pioneer in television commercials with his oddball “Madman” persona – an alter ego who generated publicity with his unusual costumes, stunts, and outrageous claims.
He invented the practice that came to be known as Muntzing, which involved simplifying otherwise complicated electronic devices. Muntz produced and marketed the first black-and-white television receivers to sell for less than $100.
Muntz played the madman in his unorthodox television commercials, but in fact he was a shrewd businessman and a self-taught electrical engineer. By trial and error, taking apart and studying Philco, RCA, and DuMont televisions, he figured out how to reduce the devices’ electrical components to their minimum functional number. (Wikipedia)