Marvin Zindler, Consumer Reporter, Dies at 85

Join the Consumerist in remembering Marvin Zindler, consumer reporter from Houston, TX. Zindler delivered the weekly “rat and roach” reports and famous catch phrase “all together now, SLIIIME in the ice machine,” on Houston’s channel 13 for nearly 35 years.

His crusade to shut down the “Chicken Ranch”, the state’s most well known “bawdy house” (Zindler’s words) inspired the broadway musical and film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Zindler maintained that he didn’t care that the “Chicken Ranch” was a whorehouse—he was concerned that the ranch’s operators were bribing government officials and were involved in organized crime. “I didn’t care that they had a whorehouse,” he’d say in later years. “We had plenty here in Houston.”

Zindler kept a poster of the 1982 movie in his office. From the Houston Chronicle:

“Marvin was one of the most valued and beloved people in Houston,” Henry Florsheim, KTRK-TV president and general manager, said. “For nearly 35 years he was welcomed into the hearts and homes of millions of local viewers. This is a deep loss for me, both personally and professionally; my prayers are with his family, friends and co-workers.”

Zindler signed a lifetime contract with the station in 1988. He honored it to the letter. Even after being diagnosed in early July with the disease that would kill him, he went on the air in a bathrobe, pajamas and slippers to report the news.

It was the lead story on Channel 13’s 6 p.m. news, and — to make it clear he was still on the job and not using his illness as an excuse to slack off — Zindler ended the report braying his famous sign-off.

Channel 13’s Marvin Zindler dies at 85 [Houston Chronicle]