The Bandit Has Been Caught: Burt Reynolds Has Died

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds, left, with RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, right on the set of Gunsmoke. The story goes the two were fired from the series on the same day. Reynolds because he couldn’t act and DiMaio because his face was too cheery for the gritty Western series. Reynolds told DiMaio “I’m going to take acting lessons. I don’t know you’re gong to do.”

Jupiter, FL— Football-playing prisoner, beer thief and former canoe-loving camper Burt Reynolds died Thursday due to a heart attack. He was 82. 

After attending some second-rate college in Tallahassee, Florida, Reynolds turned to acting, getting his first big break on TV in the classic “Gunsmoke” in 1962. He would go on to star in such TV shows as “B.L’ Stryker,” “Dan August,” and he won an Emmy for his work on “Evening Shade.”

On the big screen, Reynolds appeared in “Smokey and the Bandit,” Smokey and the Bandit II,” “RECOIL,” Cannonball Run” and “Cannonball Run II.” He won a Golden Globe Award for his work in “Boogie Nights.”

He is survived by his adopted son, Quinton.

“I Love Venting About Business Problems Over Beers:” A TDQ Q&A With Entrepreneur Colin McIntosh

Colin McIntosh, Seets and Giggles

Colin McIntosh, Sheets & Giggles founder, may be a punny guy but he knows his sheet.

This week’s TDQ Q&A is with Sheets & Giggles founder Colin McIntosh. Colin spoke to us about founding his bed sheet company, the importance of puns and of starting a company using sustainable resources like eucalyptus trees. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with entrepreneur Colin McIntosh:

The Daily Quarterly: Tell us about Sheets & Giggles quickly…

Colin McIntosh: Based in Denver, Sheets & Giggles is introducing the world to eco-friendly, insanely soft, ultra-breathable bed sheets made out of eucalyptus tree bark. Our sheets use far less water and energy than cotton sheets, and we use no insecticides or pesticides. We also like puns.

TDQ: How did you find yourself in the bed sheet business?

CM: I’ve always been passionate about puns, sleeping, and sustainability (maybe even in that order). I wanted to start my own physical product company that was made from sustainable resources, and I owned SheetsGiggles.com (I own a lot of pun-based domains), so I thought late one night, “Why not bed sheets?” and got going. I did the market research, decided we could build a meaningfully different brand with better products, and then incorporated a company and trademarked a pun (my proudest achievement). Since our launch on May 1, we’ve received 5,000 preorders in just a few months! Public reception has been overwhelming. We ship all preorders out in this month, which is hard to believe!

TDQ: Who are your influences?

CM: Honestly, I’m very influenced by anyone that has started their own company, whether they failed or succeeded. I don’t read many startup blogs or startup books because I don’t think there are a lot of secrets out there that can help you crack the code to success, but I do love talking to as many founders as I can. You learn so much when you say yes to tons of events and random coffee meetings; I love venting about business problems over beers.

TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

CM: First, build a business model. Then, design a minimum viable product (or even just content around the product concept) that fits within that business model. Then, test the market’s reaction to that product within that model by driving traffic to a landing page with pre-launch email capture as the call to action. Does it work? Do people want this? If yes, start sprinting – early feedback from your email signups should also inform product development.

If no, no problem – you should’ve only spent a few thousand dollars max at this point, and you can refine the product and the model in tandem with each other until you crack the code (or you can move on quickly). So many founders do things the opposite way: they see a problem, spend tons of time and money building a “solution,” and then try to build a business around that solution, only to find that the market doesn’t want it (or at least, they don’t want the specific thing they built).

TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?

CM: To buy Groupon’s IPO. Wow, seven years later and I’m still salty about that. Also, people told me not to go into bedding… and Sheets & Giggles ended up having the largest crowdfunding event ever on Indiegogo for bed sheets!

Sheets & Giggles

Sheets & Giggles sheets are made from sustainable eucalyptus trees with a quality comparable to high end cotton products. While cotton may be more traditional and familiar cotton production puts a greater strain on global resources than modern alternatives.

TDQ: I honestly never heard of using eucalyptus to make sheets before. Is this the direction bedding is heading in the future?

CM: I think so; it has to. I think all fabric will migrate to sustainable sources, and Lyocell from eucalyptus (which is our fabric) is widely considered one of the most sustainable methods of fabric production in the world. As long as the products are just as soft, just as durable, and just as affordable as similarly high-end cotton (and they are), it really makes no sense to continue buying sheets made from one of the dirtiest crops in the world (cotton). I think millennials’ buying habits will anchor on sustainability as they age, and companies will have to adjust and move to products that cause as little environmental impact as possible.

TDQ: How important was it for you to start a business that is sustainable and allows you to give back to the environment?

CM: Very. I’ve always been passionate about the environment – I won my 5th grade election for “Director of Environment” and got recyclable bins placed in my elementary school cafeteria… so this has been a long time coming.

TDQ: What advice would you give to an entrepreneur trying to get into an already-established industry?

CM: Differentiate on brand, customer service, and product to the extent that you can. Zig where everyone else is zagging. Think of one customer niche in one channel that you feel confident about, and then go dominate that demographic in that channel. From there, you can scale up, but stay focused and prove out your business model first before you go crazy and try to target everyone everywhere.

TDQ: What sort of free gift can we get with our order when we find the Easter eggs on the website?

CM: We don’t like ruining the surprise, but our first free gift is a eucalyptus fabric eye mask that we make out of any leftover fabric from our manufacturing process. That way, we can reduce byproducts as much as possible while giving people something useful as a thank-you for reading all of our inane jokes on our website (the Easter eggs are out there, folks).

Colin McIntosh, Sheets & Giggles

Colin McIntosh likes to make Sheets & Giggles company meetings as comfortable as possible. Which is why all meetings are held between Sheets & Giggles sheets.

TDQ: Where do you see yourself and Sheets & Giggles in five years?

CM: I’m picturing a Lord of the Rings-esque charge on the very last Bed Bath & Beyond. Aside from reaching millions of people with super high-end products at a good price, I’d love to contribute to three things: the demise of cotton as the major fiber in fabrics; the retraction of physical retail (they mark up this category by 30 – 50%); and reforestation in the US and around the world. For every single order on SheetsGiggles.com, we plant a tree somewhere in the world that needs reforestation, starting in Colorado and California. We’ve already planted thousands of trees on behalf of our community, and we want to look up from our desks one day and say, “Holy sheet, we’ve planted over a million trees.”

For more about Sheets & Giggles, check out their Facebook page. And follow Colin on Twitter.

Former Daily Quarterly Intern And Playwright Neil Simon Has Died

Neil Simon

Neil Simon, left, first met RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, right, when the two were roommates for a short turn in the early 60’s. DiMaio was pursuing his interests in sports reporting at the time. The two made a very unusual pair.

New York— Neil Simon, former Daily Quarterly intern and reporter and playwright, famous for writing classic plays like “The Odd Couple” and “The Gingerbread Lady,” died Sunday due to complications from pneumonia. He was 91.

Most famous for his plays, Simon also wrote Broadway hits like “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” “Lost In Yonkers,” “The Odd Couple II” and “Broadway Bound.”

He also wrote, among others, the films “Murder By Death,” “I Ought to be in Pictures,” “RECOiL” and “The Slugger’s Wife.”

Throughout his career, he won Emmy Awards, Tony Awards, Golden Globe Awards and one Pulitzer Prize.

He is survived by his fourth wife, Elaine Joyce, and three daughters, Ellen, Nancy and Bryn. 

It’s All Caviar Dreams From Here: Robin Leach Has Died

Robin Leach

Robin Leach, left, with RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, right. Leach used DiMaio’s home to shoot promotional images for Leach’s book “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.”

Las Vegas—Entertainment reporter and host of the syndicated television hit “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” Robin Leach died Friday after complications from a stroke he suffered in October 2017. He was 76.

Leach first got his start in London in print journalism back when that meant something. He broke into television in Hollywood on “AM Los Angeles” with Regis Philbin before going on to host “Lifestyles” from 1984 to 1995. He then hosted the spin-off “Fame, Fortune and Romance” alongside Matt Lauer, when he still had a career.

On the big screen, Leach appeared in “The Last Horror Film,” “Free Money,” RECOiL” and “I.M. Caravaggio.”

Leach is survived by his three sons, Steven, Rick and Greg, and several grandchildren.

You Take The Good, You Take The Bad, You Take ‘Em Both And There You Have Charlotte Rae Has Died

Charlotte Rae

Charlotte Rae, right, first met RECOiL writer/director/actor Brian DiMaio, left, in the early 1950’s when the two performed as a comedy duo “The Circled Squares.” Their act contained humorous observations about married life and was performed exclusively during the short run of the Standard Oil Variety Hour.

Los Angeles—Actress Charlotte Rae, best known for guiding the diets and young minds of seven, then four, girls as school dietician and later house mom and small business owner Edna Garrett on the classic NBC sitcom “The Facts of Life,” has died. She was 92. 

On the big screen, Rae appeared in such films as “The Tangerine Bear: Home in Time for Christmas,” “Thunder in Paradise,” “RECOiL” and “Hello Down There.”

Besides playing Edna Garrett on both “The Facts of Life” and first on “Diff’rent Strokes,” Rae was also in the television shows “St. Elsewhere,” “The Paul Lynde Show,” “Barney Miller” and “Car 54 Where Are You?”

She is survived by two sons.