posted by Chad on 1/24/02
If there’s one thing that’s for certain in TV land, it’s the presence of advertisers. Without the commercials and adverts, Mr. UPN wouldn’t be able to afford the high quality programming such as… um… well, I’m sure they have one decent show. As time has passed, the art of product pitching has grown and evolved – and from the depths of television capitalism has sprung the ugliest, nastiest looking fetus ever unleashed: the infomercial.
Infomercials have become the centerpiece of late night channel surfing, offering an unlimited amount of products than we’d never care to use. The infomercial is definitely an odd phenomenon – and despite the wide variety of products available through this mass marketing medium, they all have one thing in common: the half-hour timeslot is remarkably humourous. It’s kind of like watching bad movies: they’re unintentionally hilarious, make for great nighttime viewing, and are guaranteed to exercise your eye-rolling muscles.
The land of infomercials breaks down into four categories of crap. First, and most frequent, is the tools/appliances category, which will make life around the house easier and stranger. For example, there’s never a shortage of angry men selling cleaning products, but even more entertaining are the line of kitchen appliances that you’ve never seen and most likely will never use. From dehydrators (that trend came and went quicker than most people’s New Year resolutions) to all-in-one-fat-trimming cookers TAHT WILE ALOW U 2 STEEM CORN @ TEH VREY SAM TIEM, these products are looking to replace the stove and oven in your house. When watching this breed of infomercial, keep an eye on the in-studio crowd: half of them are dressed up as chefs. There’s actually a good reason for this – if a chef goes in public without his cooking apparel on, a toaster will fall on his head. It’s a nasty site to behold, so please, dress appropriately.
The next category of infomercial products is the get-rich-quick schemes. Let’s face it: if you’re up at 2 am watching TV, then you’re not likely the richest person in your neighborhood. From midgets pitching the advantages of quick-turn real estate to the amazing marketing power of placing small classified ads all across the country, these infomercials are filled with endless testimonials. Testimonials are often the straight-slapstick comedy portion of the infomercial. Do you ever notice that the people who give testimonials (be it in your church, in a money-making commercial, or a dealer with “some super crazy stuff man”) are the damn near funniest looking people you’ve ever seen? It’s like they’re a Mr. Potato head doll, with God putting together some of the most ridiculous looking faces imaginable.
The third major group of infomercialmania is the fitness/beauty category. There’s a huge variety of these products, with neck-less muscle men telling us how great their product is. From the torturously painful ab-rolling machines that will leave your stomach in cramps for days, to the all-in-one workout machine that can fold up and fit under your bed, these products are looking to replace that home Stairmaster with something more versatile and stylish. And painful – but hey, if Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley say it’s great, then who am I to complain? The rapid development in this line of products is amazing – there’s a strap-on belt that does exercises, a drink that will make you drop weight, and pills that will make your breasts grow. Beauty by the dollar, baby!
As all encompassing as those categories seem to be, infomercial land offers more than you’d think. The true hallmark of late-night isn’t Leno or Letterman, but rather a big black lady called Miss Cleo. With her nearly racist fake accent and the power of the Tarot Cards, Miss Cleo is a psychic charging out at $5.99 a minute. Her infomercial is a staged call-in show: and given the numerous amounts of infomercials she has in circulation, it’s fair to say that she’s doing quite well for herself. Allow me to finish this article with my best Miss Cleo impersonation:
Me know dat ja be a sittin’ dere readin’ me, so let me consult ma Tarot Cards and see what ja be a thinkin’. You be a readin’ dis stuff and a thinkin’ dat I be a full of doo-doo, but that ain’t so m’baby. I be a shootin’ ja as straight as an arrow sweetness, and ja know what I’m talkin’ about baby. Don’t go a sayin’ or a thinkin’ dat dis ain’t so: you’ll get my feelin’s all up in a bunch. Ja gotta listen to what da spirits are a tellin’ me baby. I love ja sweetness and take a care now ja hear me? Keep a smilin’ baby and me know – ME KNOWS – that ja knows what I sayin’ be true! Take care sweetness.Let the infomercial reviews flow like bitter beer from a stinky ass!
Fitness: Total Tiger | Dr. Ho
Massage Drug Machine | Body by Jake
Money: Midgets Make More Money!
Household: Oxiclean | Turbo Tiger Vacuum | Holy Steak Knives 1 | Holy Steak Knives 2
Miscellaneous: Grow Tits | Miss Cleo
-Chad "fouff built his site, fouff built his site on in-fo-mercials"
PS – To anyone that emailed me before, I originally put up the wrong email address on my last post, so I may not have received your message. I suck.