It's two o'clock in the morning and you can't sleep. Maybe you had too many triple venti mochawhatchamacalits. Or maybe your Apnea-addled partner is snoring louder than the chorus of boos heard at a Whitney Houston concert. So you turn on the idiot box and watch the only available alternative to another Law & Order marathon: infomercials.
Don't be ashamed. We've all seen pathetic ex-celebs and pitchmen slice, dice and chop their way out of a respectable career. Here are a handful of the trainwrecks that made our Infomercial Hall of Shame, in no particular order.
The Grater Plater, with Billy Mays
What do you get when you combine a plate and a grater? Another piece of crap for your kitchen's appliance graveyard! Not to speak ill of the dead, but Billy Mays was the king of hawking useless crap. Dude could sell ice to Eskimos -- or condoms to The Duggars of 19 Kids and Counting fame.
If you cut your fingers every time you grate ginger, Billy says this product is for you. Personally, we're thinking a crash helmet and a drool bib would be a better investment if you're that clumsy and/or stupid. But wait, there's more. This commercial rhymes! See how clever they are: A plate that grates. Grate cheese with ease. For zest, it's the best. If you use a press, it's a mess. Pay ten bucks, get totally fu---
The Magic Bullet
This one's wrong on so many levels. First, there's the irritating perkiness of the hosts. Everyone else is dragging ass, but Mick and Mimi are grinning like smoothie-pimping versions of Bob, the Enzyte male enhancement guy.
Which brings us to our other bone of contention -- the fact that the hosts have a roomful of couples waking up dreadfully hungover in their house. Perhaps at their next swinging shindig, they should make use of the "other" magic bullet instead of whipping up margaritas in this one.
The Ped Egg
Wait...it's NOT a cheese grater? Crap.
The Flavorwave, with Mr. T
We pity the fool who has to whore out his "talent" for an irradiated steak. Who knows? Maybe he's trying to soak up the radiation and become a real-life superhero like The Hulk. Or The Toxic Avenger. In the meantime, he's content to read badly scripted lines and tell kids to eat their veggies.
Gotta love granny in the audience, though. The way she leaps up and practically teeters into the person next to her, she would've been a shoo-in at the "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial auditions.
RONCO Food Dehydrator, starring Shannon Popeil
While it's difficult to imagine an infomercial list that doesn't include marketing genius and useless gadget pimp Ron Popeil, his daughter Shannon does the same thing with less personality and panache. In this ad for dad's famous food dehydrator, she's so hopped up on dehydrated coffee or crack or whatever that she can't stop flailing and nervously laughing.
A minute and a half into the clip above, baby Popeil starts waving around something that looks like a huge tampon, with plastic applicator. "How many of these can you go through in a sitting?" she asks her co-host. "I could go through 4 or 5 of them really, really easily." TMI, Shannon. TMI.
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At $24.95 plus shipping and handling, this baby is a steal. It makes spherical pancakes! Ohmygodbrainsplode! According to the commercial, you can take a big syringe and inject any kind of crap you want into your pancake. Whipped cream. Chocolate pudding. Meatballs.
Now where can I get a giant plastic hypodermic needle, you ask? Purchase this fabulous kit and you'll get one for free as part of the Chef's Upgrade Offer. Also doubles as a prop for this year's "naughty nurse" Halloween costume. Sweet!
Note: New Times does not endorse, denounce, buy, use, hate, demonize or lend credibility to any of the products or services mentioned above. We merely mock them mercilessly.