Skip to content »

Rare Joe Karbo Video

The video on the right is a recently discovered and very rare TV interview with Joe Karbo, orignal author of The Lazy Mans Way to Riches.

Joe Karbo is interviewed in his Sunset Beach, CA home back approximately in the late 70’s.

It was recently discovered in storage and converted from a VHS tape. It may be a bit scratchy at times but overall is still surprisingly good quality.

We just added it to the site and to YouTube for you to see this rare glimpse into the mind and home of this marketing genius!

Joe Karbo: The Original Lazy Man

joe-karboJoe Karbo was an ordinary man who's struggle to overcome adversity, poverty, and failure... led him to extraordinary Riches.

He was a self made man... a lazy man by his own admission...and he became a very Rich man.

Some people thought Joe made his fortune from the enormous sales of his book, The Lazy Man's Way to Riches but actually he made millions prior to even thinking about writing the book.

Joe was one of the foremost copy-writers, headline writers and direct response experts of all time.

Joe established precedents, and built the foundation for today's direct response industry - becoming a self made millionaire in the process. He reveals all of his secrets in The Lazy Man's Way To Riches, a classic book that is Joe's philosophy on life and how to live it Richly, successfully, lovingly, joyously and... lazily.

Joe's Bio Details

Joe was born in Los Angeles, the son of Polish parents who owned and operated a tailor shop. He attended Manual Arts High school in Los Angeles, California and served in the U S Navy in the South Pacific during World War II as a medic and pharmacist.

After the war, Mr. Karbo established a wholesale paper business, which he sold in 1950 to take acting classes at Pasadena Playhouse. He later went on to play bit parts in movies, radio and television shows.

Joe also appeared in many television commercials and for a time was the television spokesman for a Maywood, California car dealer. Both the dealer and Joe became famous and Rich because of Joe's low-key, common sense, and refreshingly honest approach to selling cars on television.

TV Star and Innovator

From 1961 to 1963 he and his wife, Betty, co-hosted "The All-Night Show" in Los Angeles on KTTV, Channel 11.

Joe thought it was a waste that TV stations went off the air from midnight until 6 AM in those days, so he bought that six hour block of time... and he and Betty played movies all night on TV. They also interviewed guests (Sammy Davis, Jr., Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, and countless others). Their show was the first all-night show in the US.

Joe knew there was an audience up all night made up of swing shift workers, hospital workers, city workers, (policemen, firefighters) who would watch TV ...if there was something good to watch. He was right.

Joe sold his own late-night advertising time... but few advertisers believed the late-night audience was worth while... so Joe promoted his own products and wrote his own advertising copy. He quickly became Rich from his own all - night TV show. The station would not re-negotiate his contract because they wanted to do all-night TV and earn all that revenue that Joe was earning.

When Joe and Betty's show was basically forced off the air, Joe was left with lots of product and no way to sell it... and he had massive debts from the purchase of the inventory.

How to feed a family of 10 with no job and massive debts

Facing certain bankruptcy when he lost his $50,000 a week income... he went to several attorneys to find out how to avoid a bankruptcy. He learned how to negotiate with his creditors... and in the process wrote a book entitled, The Power of Money Management which he sold by direct response ads in local newspapers and magazines in the Southern California area. The book was an overnight sensation and Joe avoided bankruptcy.

Joe then decided to sell the inventory of various products he had left over from the TV show that had been taken away from him. He wrote ads for all those various products and placed the ads ....direct response ads...in local newspapers ...and found out he could sell almost anything by way of direct response ads.

Joe sold Glow in the Dark Christmas ornaments with one of the best ads ever written. One of his headlines was "The Fun Begins When The Lights Go Out."

Joe had taken several hundred door viewers in place of cash from a man who owed him money. You know, the kind of door viewer in hotel room doors.

He sold his inventory of door viewers with an ad that he wound up running for years...selling hundreds of thousands of door viewers in the process with an ad that started, See Through Walls, Fences and Locked Doors.

Joe... helping others...

Joe wrote many other books and pamphlets. He wrote ads for products for others... taking a percentage of the profits instead of a fee for the ads. Joe became Richer because of direct response advertising.

After he became rich enough and retired (well, just a little retired) he decided to try something different.

He started helping many other people write ads and sell their products. What he noticed then bothered him...they weren't equipped to handle success.

The book that changed the world of advertising...and changed millions of people in the process...

So he wanted to write a book to help others do what he had done but he decided to write two books in one.

Book One. The first book would be on how to prepare yourself for success...how to become the person who could be a success. How to cultivate a positive mental attitude...how to set goals...how to achieve your goals..how to become a better person, a person that others would want to do business with.

Book Two. The second book would deal with Joes favorite subject in the whole world...the selling of goods and services...by direct response ads. He referred to it as Money in your mail box. In it he revealed all the secrets that had made him... and so many others... so Rich.

Wait...this is not legal...

Now, here is the fascinating part...

He wrote the ad for the book... before he actually wrote the book.

He wrote the ad and ran a single test ad to see if there was an audience and a market for the book. (Today this is illegal...you can't advertise something for sale you don't even have).

The response overwhelmed him. The demand was huge... and Joe had to refund all the money people sent him for the book he called... The Lazy Man's Way to Riches.

The largest selling... self published book in the world...NEVER in a bookstore...

He and Betty went to their cabin in the Lake Arrowhead area above Los Angeles with the kids and in only six weeks he wrote the book that has become an American Classic...The Lazy Man's Way to Riches.

Joe's ads for the "Lazy Man" ran for years in every major newspaper and magazine in the United States... and most large foreign papers as well. The ads themselves became famous. The ads were...and are still studied, examined, dissected, and used as models for direct response marketing and selling throughout the world.

Never in a bookstore

Joe would never place the book in a book store...he only sold it direct to the reader. Publisher after publisher offered him giant advances for his wonderful little book and he turned them all down. "After all", he told them, "you are happy...even thrilled... if a book sells a few hundred thousand copies, the audience for this book is in the millions".

And of course, Joe was right. Before his death in 1980 he sold well over two million seven hundred copies (2,786,500 to be exact) by direct response ads.

In 1993 - 1995 Viking/Penguin Publishing (you know.. the Penguin Classics people) published an abridged 20th Anniversary Edition for North American bookstores that quickly sold out. And as bookstores do, when they ran out...they didn't reorder...they would only take "Special Orders".

Joe was also president of the Huntington Beach Chapter for the United Way and did various other charity and volunteer work.

In 1980, Joe, at age 55, was being interviewed by a morning television news crew from KNXT- TV at his home in Huntington Harbor, California when he died from an apparent heart attack. His work lives on.

Premium SSL Certificate