Friday, May 15, 2020

Nobody Beats The Wiz!

Indeed! Nobody does in fact beat The Wiz! For those readers who did not grow up on the East Coast, The Wiz also known as Nobody Beats The Wiz was a chain of electronics stores mainly in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The first store was opened in 1977 and the last store was closed in 2003. I used to visit the closest Wiz to me which was in Ledgewood, NJ off Route 10. They had a great selection of stereo equipment, music and movies, but the one thing that really stood out to me was the advertising for the store with it's incredibly catchy jingle. Here are a few commercials advertising some great 90s promotions from The Wiz!
1990 Stereo Sale featuring Bootleg Bill & Ted
1995 Portables Commercial featuring "Rump Shaker" by Wreckx-N-Effect
1996 Christmas Commercial with weird Elves
1991 Christmas Commercial featuring Joe Namath
Nobody Beats The Wiz was a very popular store in the 90s. This led to them sponsoring many of the major sports teams in the area including the Jets, Mets, Yankees & Knicks. Because of this sponsorship many of the biggest stars from these teams were featured in their television ads. A lot of the ads, like the one above, included Super Bowl winning Jets quarterback Broadway Joe Namath.
1990s Knicks commercial featuring Boomer Esiason
When the Knicks were doing well in the 90s they were featured in a bunch of Nobody Beats The Wiz ads like the one above. I hated the Knicks, but loved these cheesy commercials. Especially liked the delivery from Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing. But my favorite Nobody Beats The Wiz commercial of all time is...
New York Knicks Wiz Bucks Commercial
I love it because it's so absurd! Why would multi-millionaire basketball stars be playing poker with coupons from the Sunday paper? I also love how they are cutting them out while playing the game. Hard times man! It also includes one of my favorite players, Anthony Mason! That guy was a beast!
Nobody Beats The Wiz was so popular in the area that an entire 1997 episode of Seinfeld revolved around the store and their fictitious mascot...The Wiz! Elaine fell in love with this mystery man for unknown reasons until she finally realized it was because he was The Wiz from TV! Who can forget his memorable line "I'm the Wiz! I'm the Wiz! I'm the Wiz and nobody beats me!"
Even legendary rapper Biz Markie samples the Nobody Beats Wiz jingle for his 1988 song "Nobody Beats The Biz"! Which allegedly led to him being sued by the chain.
Like I said before for being so popular, Nobody Beats The Wiz had a pretty short lifespan. It was bought by Cablevision in 1998 and eventually closed in 2003. At this time, rival electronics store PC Richards bought the left over assets and The Wiz was no more. I also have a pretty vivid memory of shopping at The Wiz on 9/11 when the Twin Towers were struck. I was purchasing the new Jay-Z album "The Blueprint". So many great memories of a time when stores like this thrived. Electronics, music and movie stores sadly no longer make money and will be relegated to a memory from my youth. So sad!

2 comments:

  1. All this was new to me, but was still interesting to learn about. The commercials were pretty fun too!

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    1. I know! Looking back, I am pretty surprised at the quality and stars they were able to get for a "local" business.

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