The Glory of Infomercials

An insomniac since childhood, I have long been acquainted with what some consider the bane of late-night television: infomercials. However, unlike your average viewer, I happen to love paid programming. There is a strange sincerity in the overt enthusiasm of a tv salesman. Even though he may only be selling a mop, he is going to sell it as if it were the only product he would ever recommend to you. You cannot live without this mop. He wants you to own this mop because he cares about your health and the health of your family. He is amazed at the engineering breakthrough that this mop represents. He is confident that this mop is going to change the world, one sticky floor at a time.

Like the added bonus of a booklight or talking picture frame, weekend mornings give me an extra dose of those bizarre and unusual product pitches to watch and enjoy. Inevitably, I end up browsing the As Seen on TV website looking for more unique products that I never knew I couldn’t live without. What never ceases to amaze me is the unbelievable quantity of products that are offered for sale. I’d like to share a few of my favorites among today’s finds.

1. Mighty MendIt

Through the magic of Billy Mays (who will be greatly missed), I have learned that even professional skydivers are sometimes too lazy to actually sew a patch on a torn parachute. Luckily for them Mighty MendIt is made of some space-age polymer that, when combined with sloth and fabric, binds things back together using only as much energy as it takes to squeeze a tube. He reassures me that it is not glue (which is good, because I was worried) and that repairs made with Mighty MendIt can withstand even storm-force winds:

If the makers of Mighty MendIt believe in their product enough to build a wind tunnel testing center, and risk destroying an American flag, it must really be something special. All teasing aside, the bottom line is that more often than not I am also too lazy to sew torn clothing and I would glady welcome whatever space-age polymer is available to proliferate that laziness.

2. Paperoni

First of all, the name is fantastic. Just say it out loud a few times: Paperoni. While sitting in a room full of paper tubes that vaguely resemble neon Slim Jims the inventors of this children’s craft decided not to play it safe. They didn’t go with something simple like “Paper Fun Time” or “Totally Tubular,” instead choosing a name that sounded like a cross between dog treats and truck-stop snacks.

More important than the name is the fact that you are essentially paying money to receive a bundle of rolled-up paper, some sticky paper, and a device that cuts paper. I suspect that you already own everything you need to create your own knock-off Paperoni from scratch, although if you are like me you lack the motivation to actually do it. Plus, ordering directly from the source means that you get a series of templates and 3-D animals molds. Without the molds, you would never know the joy of watching your child construct this slightly disturbing looking monkey:
3. Big Top Cupcake

Last, but in no way least, I present to you the Big Top Cupcake. Honestly, there is no way that I can do this commercial justice. The designers of this product invented a need and filled that need. Then, they filled that filled need with pudding. Genius.

5 thoughts on “The Glory of Infomercials

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