Home Shopping ... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Cremeans. His life-long mission: to explore strange new products, to seek out new trends and new loyal customers, to boldly go where no host has gone before ...
HSN host and home shopping pioneer, John Cremeans, started up the website SoldOutrageous.com, which is fast becoming the encyclopedia for all things home shopping.
John is using the website to document the unique history of the home shopping industry--including the many home shopping channels that have come and gone over the years, trailblazing hosts, and--of course--everyone's favorite, bloopers.
I had a chance to chat with John about his new online Museum of Television Shopping, Sold Outrageous (of course, you know me, I had to try and slip in a totally random question or two!)
QB: I assume that you started the site as a way to preserve the history of home shopping. Why did you feel that was something important or necessary to do?
JC: The Television Shopping Industry is incredibly interesting, as well as, at times...hilarious. There are so many great stories that the viewer never hears about or misses. I wanted a place where those stories would be kept for all to see. So that anyone interested in our industry, or a particular host, can experience a little bit more than what they see on air.
QB: Would you like for people to email you with information and stories they have for your website?
JC: SoldOutrageous.com is an evolving website. The name came from a show that I used to do at an older shopping network, CVN, out of the Twin Cities (It was like David Letterman on Home Shopping). We had a lot of fun, great products and even actors to break up the presentations. Definitely what the late-night viewer enjoyed. When the name became available as a website I grabbed it to make a television shopping museum out the site. A place, much like the origins of television shopping, that would included a lot of the fun and unscripted moments that make the industry what it is today. I would love to have as much input from the readers as possible. I'm sure I've left information out of some host's bios and I definitely know I don't have all of them listed quite yet. Maybe I've missed a story or two that they would love to share about their favorite host of shopping channel. All they have to do is email me at this address: TheDoc@SoldOutrageous.Com
QB: What has changed for the better and for the worse in home shopping since you started? Is there anything that you'd like to see come back? How do you envision the industry changing in the future?
JC: In the beginning of Television shopping there were no set presentations, no guidelines to follow and most, if not everything, was a free for all. Controlled chaos would best describe the early shopping channels. As time has gone by, the channels have become the leaders in information, and demonstration, of many of today's up and coming consumer products and technologies. The amount of support and research that goes in to a show before it goes on air is mindboggling, compared to the way we used to do it years ago. To me, every show is an adventure. I still feel as excited about my show as I did when I started in this industry over 24 years ago. I pride myself in knowing everything about a product and hopefully conveying my knowledge to the viewer in a fun way so that they can make an informed decision, and have a great time shopping.
QB: If you never got into home shopping, what do you think you would have done? Besides ride motorcycles! (If you didn't already know, John is a bit of a Harley freak.)
JC: I enjoyed Talk Radio a lot in my earlier years of broadcasting, and probably would go in to something like that or some other form of television. If I didn't do either of those I might have stayed in some other form of retail. What many people probably aren't aware of...there was a time I worked for Target stores, in Minneapolis. Matter of fact, I worked at the first Target store ever built! T-1, in Roseville, Minnesota. The target stores of old are a far cry from what they are today.
QB: I have to ask you about your love of the Internet and domain names since some ... ahem ... horrible blogger that isn't named Queen Bea previously teased you about it! What is it that you like so much about all of it? Do you like that you can experiment with different media formats (your You Tube channel, for example)? Does it remind you of home shopping when it was in its infancy?
JC: I absolutely love the Internet! Everyday I read over 30 news sites, from all over the globe. I read about the top stories from every angle, and every viewpoint, then make my mind up based on all that I gather. The internet has put more information in to the hands of ordinary citizens than any advancement in the history of our nation. As to the websites I own...I have fun being creative. My love of SciFi helped me create Galaxyman.Com. Alan Skantz bought me the domain for my birthday one year and I've had it since. Other website's I own, like Cremeans.Net and JohnCremeans.Com are basically sites that let people know more about me and my extended family. CremeansMedia.Com is a website that my production business will operate soon. Several other sites, ExperienceDelivered.Com (my motivational speaking site) and MyHiddenTruth.Com (An online confessional site) are still under development and should be operational shortly. All of these sites let me experiment and grow in my creativity. My YouTube channels help me showcase some of my other talents that most people don't get a chance to see, or experience, when they watch me on HSN.
QB: Have you ever been mobbed by crazy fans? :-)
JC: Yes! I still can't get over some of the reactions I've had over the years. I'm still quite humbled when someone comes up to me and says they watch my show. I've been blessed with an incredible gift and it makes me happy to know that I've given some of that back to the people that have watched me over the last 24 years. I would have to say one of the funniest (mobbing's I guess you can say...hehe) was when I went in the QVC store at the Mall of America, in Minneapolis! I know what you're thinking...why was I in the QVC store? I love to shop and I wanted to see what they had in there. After I walked in and started looking around, one by one, the people that were shopping noticed who I was. Before it was all over I had greeted and talked to practically everyone that had come in over about a one hour period. It was fun answering their questions about HSN, QVC and some of the other shopping channels. I have friends that I know, or have worked with, at practically every one that exists today.
QB: What is/was your absolute, hands-down, favorite product to sell?
JC: I love my kitchen, home and electronics shows! I do most of the cooking in my household and it's fun to get to see the newest and latest!
QB: If you had to pick a last meal, what would it be?
JC: Last meal...hmmm...that's easy! I'd start of with an ice cold beer and about a pound of my most favorite peel and eat shrimp in the world from the Hog's Breath, in Key West (they have some of the largest prawns I've ever seen!). I'd then head in to a nice steak, medium well, with a side of shredded horseradish and grilled green beans or asparagus. Then to end it all...strawberry shortcake with fresh strawberries and ice cream! Ok, I know that's a lot of food! But with any great meal...there will be some sacrifice! I'll immediately get on the treadmill to work some of it off! Hehe...
QB: Since you're a space guy, are you excited about the new Star Trek movie???? (I can't wait!) What's your favorite Star Trek? (I'm a John Luke Picard kinda girl myself.) Is it your favorite SciFi space-themed series?
JC: Being a SciFi guy and major memorabilia collector I can't wait until the new Star Trek movie comes out! Unfortunately the franchise lost it's way after 'Next Generation' and the movies that came out. I think this new version, of an older story (how it all came to be) might excite not just the older Trekkies but excite a whole new generation. I know both my sons, John and Alec, are excited about seeing the movie. I think they just think it's going to be cool effects! Hehe... I've met so many of the actors, from William Shatner to James Doohan. Shatner actually had two books that came out after the movie 'Generations' that resurrected James T. Kirk and went on some pretty amazing adventures with some of his old crew and the 'Next Generation' crew. I loved those books and told Shatner he should really push for those to be made! Of course, that was years ago, it would be tougher to do it now. I also like comics, especially anything to do with Marvel and Stan Lee (I've had him on several shows, and even did a Spiderman Premiere show out in Los Angeles). I have a rather large collection of ScFi memorabilia, much of it signed, that adorns my studio's walls and have been stored away for future generations.
A big thanks to John for taking the time an answer all my questions … Live long and prosper, my friend!
So, if you have home shopping related pictures, videos, or stories that you think should be a part of the SoldOtrageous.com online museum, shoot John an email at TheDoc@SoldOutrageous.Com and be a part of history!