No overhead for 15 years: Remembering NJ’s Crazy Joe from Crazy Joe’s Furniture
Throughout time, there's always been those iconic brands and characters that define a company. One way or another, they knew how to leave their mark.
The auto insurance industry is one great example. Think of Geico with the gecko, or Progressive with Flo. Doesn't matter if you hear the character or brand first since they're interchangeable with one another.
For example, if someone said the word gecko, you'd immediately think of Geico. Or if they said Geico, the gecko would pop in your head. It's brilliant marketing, and for 27 years, one of those brilliant minds was based right here in New Jersey.
Think of the phrase "the price is always right because, there's no overhead," and some might immediately think of Crazy Joe from Crazy Joe's Furniture (not to be confused with Crazy Eddie from the 1980s).
Interchangeably, if someone mentioned Crazy Joe's Furniture, the first thought might be the place with no overhead. And if you're of a certain age and lived in an area where his stores were, you no doubt have seen his whacky, but brilliant, commercials.
It's hard to believe that 15 years ago, Crazy Joe officially left the scene in New Jersey. Especially if you grew up in Monmouth and Ocean County in the '80s through the early 2000s, you've no doubt heard of him before.
Crazy Joe's Furniture first opened its doors in New Jersey back in 1980. Since then, it had called The Garden State home for 27 years before packing it up and going out of business in August of 2007.
What made Crazy Joe's Furniture stand out from the rest wasn't really anything with the stores themselves. But rather, it was Crazy Joe himself and his very outgoing and fun personality.
I remember growing up and watching his commercials. In fact, it was his creative advertising throughout the years that helped him stand out over the rest. So when the time came, I insisted on buying furniture from his flagship store in Howell on Route 9 when I was living in my first apartment.
I remember the store itself was big. It had a lot of different types of furniture ranging from living room sets to bedrooms. It wasn't really anything special, but I remember while being there thinking about how awesome it would be if I actually ran into Crazy Joe himself.
But as luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to meet him. I remember walking by the sofas when suddenly I heard this voice. It was a very prominent voice and instantly recognizable from the commercials.
When I looked over, there was no mistaking it. It was Crazy Joe himself, and he was coming my way. And he looked exactly like he did in his commercials. It really was like meeting a local celebrity.
He offered assistance and he showed me around for a bit. I have to tell you, he was such a genuine person. And back then, there was no TikTok or Facebook to help you stand out. He did it by combining his personality with creativity which shined through in his commercials.
in 2005, Crazy Joe's Furniture celebrated the milestone of being in the Garden State for 25 years. Unfortunately, he closed his Crazy Joe's Furniture locations in New Jersey just two years later in 2007.
It's been 15 years since we've last heard those iconic ads for Crazy Joe's Furniture, but thanks to our ever-evolving digital world, we can enjoy some of those same commercials once again.
Here's a look back at one of their commercials celebrating 25 years in business.
Another one from 2007, toward the end of their run in New Jersey.
Although it was unfortunate Crazy Joe's furniture closed its doors in New Jersey, it wasn't quite the end of the road for Joe himself.
He eventually reemerged as Red Tag Joe in West Nyack, NY. Check out this ad from 2010 promoting Red Tag Furniture.
He also appeared in ads for Room and Home Furniture in Linden, NJ. And even though he never utters the words no overhead, he does take his hat off like he's famously done for years.