“THERE’S GOT TO BE A BETTER WAY!”
~Every infomercial ever
Of all the side effects of American consumerism, infomercials are by far one of the strangest to an outside observer. Apart from selling generally pointless items that will just end up gathering dust in your kitchen, American infomercials themselves exist in a strange alternate universe where everyone has the mental acuity of Forrest Gump but none of the coordination. Everyday tasks are so impossible to the actors, and watching them try to, say, make a salad, is like watching Stephen Hawking try to run a 5K after having his mind swapped with Sean Penn from I Am Sam.
There was, of course, a brief period in 2008 where infomercials were the apex of culture. The Snuggie had just started first-ironically-and-then-kind-of-unironically warming our households, Billy Mays had yet to snort enough cocaine to make his heart explode, and the Sham Wow guy was just an excitable guy with a lot of hair gel who, as far as we knew at the time, had absolutely no interest in beating up hookers. It truly was a golden age. But all of this was just a smokescreen, fooling us into thinking that infomercial products were worth our time for a reason other than pointing and laughing.
The fact of the matter is, for every Snuggie that people actually buy, there’s a magic poop wand that is only purchased by morbidly obese serial killers. And each and every one of these products are hilarious in their ineptitude. Since this is America, it seems only fitting that we put them on full display so we can make fun of them to make us feel better about the fact that half of our staff still watches TV on a bean bag. Because no matter how low we get, we’ll never feel like buying the following products.
America’s Hilariously Awful Infomercial Products
We’ve all been guilty of buying things that we don’t need. Hell, some of us still have our massive Beanie Baby collections, futilely waiting for the market to bounce back. And we get it, who among us hasn’t felt the string tugging our wallets out of our pockets when being shown how easy it is to just set it and forget it? Or developed a craving for homemade fruit juice from a machine sold to you by a strong man with moths on his face? Of course, you haven’t actually purchased these products, because eventually the drunk wears off and you realize that you’d never use it after the first week, but apparently enough people watch infomercials and actually end up believing the TV when it tells them, “But hurry, this offer will only last for the next thirty minutes.” Otherwise, how can you explain people spending money to advertise and market products such as…
GLH is an aerosol can that you use on your bald spots to make it look like you have more hair, because if you think buying a toupee or growing out a comb over is degrading, you’d definitely rather spend twenty minutes every morning dousing your scalp with spray paint. The narrator makes a point to stress that the GLH is an “amazing powder that clings to the tiniest hairs on your head” and that it “actually builds on itself, leaving you with great, great looking hair.” To re-iterate, it’s magic powder that makes your tiny hairs look like real hair. The narrator stresses this a lot, practically yelling that it’s neither a paint, nor a cover up. No, seriously, they put that phrase, verbatim, on the screen while painting a guy’s head.
No matter what this video says, don’t believe it’s lies. Hey, GLH, you can tell us this isn’t spray paint all they want, but we don’t believe you, you fucking snake oil salesmen. The beauty of this product is that it was marketed mainly in the 90’s, before the days that an HD TV set could easily highlight how stupid you look after you tagged your head with a can of dark lacquer, so hundreds (god, we hope not thousands) of men with thin hair and thinner egos thought, “That looks flawless,” and bought the product so they could have that moment where they look in the mirror at their shoe-polish-saturated scalps and weep bitterly at the futility of it all.
Of course, if you ever have a moment where you feel sorry at the prospect of a sad, emotionally fragile bald man getting duped into spending 40 bucks on a can of paint, let’s point out that their target base includes men who insist on growing mullets while saying things like…
We weep for the 90’s.
This is a bib. It’s a fucking bib. This is a bib for those of us who are so developmentally stunted that we’re not able to bring a lidded cup of coffee to our mouths without it dripping on the front of our shirts like a drunk with a paralyzed lower jaw. This video starts off with our protagonist/man child sitting in a parked car to sip his coffee, because sure, why not. Maybe he works at a very strict insurance company that doesn’t let you bring in outside coffee into the office for liability purposes. Who knows. Anyway, he decides that sipping is for losers and that the best way to drink coffee is to violently yank the cup towards his face as fast as humanly possible. This results in a graphic reenactment of the final 10 seconds from Two Girls One Cup.
“Has this ever happened to you?” the narrator asks. “Of course fucking not, we’re not toddlers and we’ve long since evolved past the point of needing a sippy cup. And also, how is it physically possible for so much coffee to spill out of a cup that size? That’s like a gallon of coffee coming from a small latte, is this guy some sort of clumsy magician?” you angrily shout back to the screen. And not only did this poor fellow ruin his awesome work shirt, but now he’s not going to have any luck with the smiling hot chick who happened to walk by his car at that very moment.
Just look at that contempt on her face. She watched him spill a physically impossible amount of coffee all over himself, and now she definitely isn’t going to have sex with the guy who was drinking coffee by himself in a parking lot. She only knocks on car windows and offers sexual liaisons in the background bushes to people with clean shirts, thank you very much.
Thankfully, the next time she comes around, he’s got his slobstopper on. Sure, he still spills coffee all over himself because the parasite is still having a hard time manipulating the hands and fingers of its newly acquired host, but at least he’s spilling on a glorified bib, and he is rewarded for his product-purchasing savvy and mostly-clean shirt with the biggest “fuck me in the bathroom, stranger” smile he could have ever hoped to receive.
Finally, we see the company’s logo, which isn’t even trying to pretend that their product is something other than a bib for clumsy adults.
Hey, you gotta give them points for honesty.
You know when you’re driving with your seat belt on, and you can’t concentrate because the shoulder strap has specifically been designed to cut off the blood flow to your brain, and eventually you pass out and crash into a school bus sending both yourself and 20 eight-year-olds with bright futures careening off a cliff? Well, that tragedy could have been avoided if you only thought to buy the Tiddy Bear, a teddy bear that you attach to you spiked, chemical-soaked seat belt shoulder strap to serve as a pillow barrier between it and your soft, unblemished flesh.
Yes, the Tiddy Bear is a teddy bear to put on your seat belt to relieve any pressure that the shoulder strap might have on you. Why is it a teddy bear as opposed to literally anything that wouldn’t make you look like you’re taking a special needs drivers education course? We’d have to assume that the creators of this product first made a regular pillow, but then decided that a pillow in no way fulfilled their dream of filming tiny teddy bears getting motor-boated by the buxom bosoms of paid actresses.
It doesn’t help matters that “Tiddy Bear” sounds incredibly similar to “titty bear” and the narrator makes no apparent effort to distinguish between the pronunciation. The end result is a video that shows a bear face deep in the breasts of no fewer than five actresses, almost always accompanied by a caption that absolutely reads pornographic if you get yourself in the right mindset.
And now for that sobering moment for those of you who just realized that this teddy bear has gotten more action in the course of a two minute video than you have in the past month.
This infomercial begins innocuously enough. “Oh no! You missed that putt again! You probably don’t have enough time to practice,” the narrator says to the Chad Kroger look alike shaking his head in disbelief. There are a lot of directions this product can go from here. Maybe it’s an instructional video with some quick tips to improve your golf game. Maybe it’s a new type of putter that’s guaranteed to improve your game, or your money back.
Or, if you lived in some sort of hell dimension, it could be a circle of fake turf and a cup for you to putt balls into while you’re unloading a massive shit.
Oh, goddamn it.
Yes, this exists, and yes, it is awful. The narrator extols the benefit of this “fun” game, saying, “Now, practice your putting every time you…take care of your other business!” The pause between those two points practically screams, “What mistakes have I made in my life to be speaking these words into a microphone at this moment.”
The whole infomercial seems suspiciously oblivious to the fact that you don’t putt while sitting down or crouched over when actually playing golf, so really, putting while on the shitter is going to change your putting stroke for the worse. The whole video is essentially a minute and forty second of malicious lies. And then, they start trying to actively ruin relationships.
Ominously, this image is followed with the narrator saying, “He’ll relax and think of you every time he…practices putting!” Yes, the infomercial for this product just expressly told you, “If you buy this for someone, they will think of you every time they poop.”
Listen America, if your girlfriend or wife gives you a golf club to use while you punish the porcelain throne, you can’t break up with her, because she will probably try to cut your penis off. Instead, slowly go about establishing an alternate identity, complete with social security card, passport, and apartment, and when all that is in place, vanish without a place. It’s the only logical course of action. Oh, and ladies, if your boyfriend or husband ever tells you “I want a Potty Putter for my birthday,” we don’t even have to finish this advice because you already have broken up with him and the future gene pools of this nation thank you.
“I drank a lot of water, I really have to go. People are waiting to tee off? There’s no rest room out here,” the stoned and bored 17 year old kid in this video emphatically sighs while an old man is inexplicably shown peeing in the bushes. Thank God for the UroClub, which is like a EuroClub, only it’s the exact opposite, because it actively tries to discourage people from watching you pee.
We always assumed that golf was a sport that was created to give us a way to exclude minorities and women while allowing the film Caddyshack to exist, but apparently it has a rich and storied history that is entirely centered around the expulsion of bodily waste. That’s the only way we can account for the fact that two golf related products are on this list, and they each involve ways to go to the bathroom.
The UroClub is…well, let’s just show you a still from the video and see if you can piece it together, Einstein.
If your reaction to this picture is, “Why is that man peeing into a hollowed out oversized golf club behind a towel,” well, you’d be smarter than the (for some reason) female narrator, who cheerfully declares, “It appears you’re just checking out your club!” This is a golf club with a reservoir at the top that you’re supposed to pee into, and while it may sort of look like a golf club, in the sense that it has a putter on one end, it definitely looks like something that you’re storing liquid in since it goes from being a few centimeters in diameter of metal on one end to several feet of a two inch diameter odor-proofed plastic on the other.
This product says it can save you the embarrassment of peeing in the bushes, but have its inventors ever met men before? Every man has peed in a public place, be it bushes or an alley way or the house of their judge-appointed alcohol-abuse counselor, more times than they can even count. What they haven’t done is pee in a plastic tube while trying to discretely cover their junk with a rag hanging from their waist so they can walk around and find the ideal place to subtly pour their pee out into the same fucking bushes they’d have peed on in the first place. This product is literally a middle man for urine, nothing more, nothing less.
HAPPY HOT DOG MAN
Hot dog, meet your nightmares. Your nightmares, this is hot dog. Stay around a while, you two are going to get really well acquainted. The Happy Hot Dog Man is surprisingly not the end result of a racist playing with his food, it’s actually a device that slices your hot dog in a way that’s supposed to make it “fun” while actually making it, “ruined, you absolutely ruined a perfectly fucking good hog dog, you monster.”
Apparently, like all food shaped like penises, hot dogs are “boring” if the narrator here is to be believed. So, before you cook your hot dog, you put it in the happy hot dog man cutter, which looks like this-
And then microwave or boil the hot dog, so it ends up looking like this-
AHHHH AHHHHH KILL IT KILL IT WITH FIRE!
Oh sorry. Excuse us.
This is the worst thing to happen to hot dogs since ketchup. The video proceeds to show various ways you can decorate your hot dog man, though each and every one looks the same to us, which is to say it looks like someone with profound mental issues found an aborted alien fetus and decided to play dress up with it.
As disturbing as the Happy Hot Dog Man himself is, it pales in comparison to two aspects of sheer terror hidden within this video. First off, we have a future female Norman Bates here giving a testimonial, saying, “You can make them into little, like, girls or boys and decorate them and do clothes and everything.” While that might sound only slightly creepy to you, the Dexter Morgan excitement in her voice, combined with this look on her face…
She’s going to kill, if she hasn’t already. We’re just saying.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Happy Hot Dog Man feels it’s not terrifying enough to ruin hot dogs for you, so it has to ruin condiments as well, which is why every order you make comes with a new top for your ketchup and mustard dispenser. If you thought, “well, that could be innocent enough, but knowing how terrifying Happy Hot Dog Man is, it’s probably monsters that vomit and snot out the condiments, right?” then to you we’d just say…
Don’t you hate always being right and terrified at the awful things that man can create?
CHEERS TO YOU!
This one is actually legitimately depressing. There’s no strange product being sold here, it’s just a CD that is eight tracks of a crowd cheering as a super creepy sounding excited guy shouts words of encouragement into your ears.
“Next time you’re feeling down, feeling that no one really gets you, or you’re just wanting to hear some encouraging words, well there’s a solution,” the narrator says before we see the world’s saddest man nodding along emphatically to the sounds of cheering and a man saying, “You can have what you want, you can do it! THE FINISH LINE IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK” which sounds more like they’re encouraging him to commit suicide than anything else, to be fair.
“You’re right, I CAN control when I die!”
The voice goes on to say, again, shouting over anonymous applause, “We’re on your side, we’re here with you, WE BELIEVE IN YOU.” We cannot stress enough how much creepier the vibe of this video is.
“We guarantee you’ll be feeling better about yourself and your life, or we’ll give you money back,” the narrator says in a way that feels more like a threat than a promise. Honestly, the more we think about someone sitting alone in the dark listening to a guy say, “HOORAY FOR YOU!” the more we feel kind of bad for making fun of this product. If you met someone who had any other item on this list, you should absolutely punch them in the face, but if you met someone that actually felt the need to buy this CD? God, we’d say you should probably give them a hug. Because maybe then when they inevitably snap and go on that shooting rampage, you’ll be spared.