I love infomercials. I’ll say it out loud to the whole of the interwebs. I LOVE INFOMERCIALS. My very favorite infomercial has to be for the Slam Man. I can’t find a video of the infomercial but here’s what I remember of it: A darkened arena. Then, as the lights come up, DANCERS who dancercize their way through the intro. Fit toned dancey people doing a routine about kick-boxing and jump-kicking and lunging. Into the arena roll tall armless figures featuring flashing red lights – it’s…THE SLAM MEN! The dancers commence their routine and finish with a flourish.
This was designed for the gym rat who also enjoys Friday the 13th films or liver with fava beans and chianti. I’m guessing it lights up when you’re supposed to kick or punch it. I’m unclear on the design of the face: the Vorheesian/Hannibal Lecter look? I would like to have one of these Slam Mens for many reasons.
1. To frighten away potential intruders into my home.
2. As a dressmaker’s dummy.
3. Nightlight for the guest bath.
4. Addition to my next dinner party – there’s always an odd number and Slam Man would just even things up without any awkward conversation.
The Slam Man was on par with Rejuvenique, taking top honors as Terrifying TV Products. I found a Rejuvenique in a Tuesday Morning once and it was truly all I could do not to run screaming from the store.
Maybe it’s because I grew up in a home without cable. Lots of love, but no cable. Sometimes we didn’t have much choice – the grainy public channel from Indiana never won out over the crystal clear local channels full of infomercials on Saturday afternoons. The world of the infomercial is so simple, it’s hard not to be taken in by promises of better breath, thinner thighs, a more shapely bosom, better crap storage management techniques, as opportunities to steam an entire meal with one cup of water and a pot that looks like a miniature submarine.
Infomercials tell us that we have problems, yes, but there is a solution! Infomercical products solve so many problems: your jeans don’t fit, your tummy wobbles, you can’t make omelets, you want fresh tomatoes but don’t have a yard, your hair’s a mess, your dog’s nails are OUT OF CONTROL, you’re too cold, you’re too hot, your cat’s tearing up the couch, you have anger management issues that can only be eased with violence against vegetables, your food cooks too slowly, you haven’t mastered the use of a colander, clothes just aren’t sparkly enough, you’re too hairy, you’re not hairy enough, you can’t remember what to get at the store, and SO MUCH MORE. Click here for all the things that can go wrong in your life that infomercial products will help you solve.
And all you have to do is call a number. The people in infomercials are friendly and energetic and so very very happy with their wares. And this is America, dammit. If I want to cook five mini-burgers at once, then by God, I will have the ability to do that in five easy payments of $14.95*.
I have purchased one item from an infomercial: Mari Windsor’s pilates DVDs. Until my roommate stole them, they were awesome!
These products hit the sweet spot between ridiculous and useful and what sends us over the edge are the accompanying infomercials. If those people didn’t have so much God-blessed faith in their products, then I wouldn’t either. It’s refreshing to see such conviction. If only we could must such conviction for important things like world peace or ending illiteracy, can you imagine what things would be like?
I haven’t watched many infomercials lately. We have cable and DVR so I’ve edited myself out of infomercialinsanity. Speaking of insanity, I was sort of obsessed with Susan STOP THE INSANITY Powter back in the day. She was the original Jillian Michaels. The other day, I did find myself drawn into a Hip Hop Abs ad.