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August 30, 2015


Infomercial Star Don Lapre Found Dead in Jail

by Catherine Lawson, posted Oct 3rd 2011 10:15AM
Don LapreArizona TV pitchman Don Lapre, the self-styled "King of Infomercials," has been found dead in his jail cell, just days before he was due to stand trial on charges of bilking investors and customers out of almost $52 million.

According to AZCentral.com, U.S. Marshals said Lapre's body was discovered on Sunday morning at a federal-contract facility in Florence, Arizona.

Officials suspect he committed suicide while in federal custody, but the death remains under investigation.

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Weezer Snuggie is no joke

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 3rd 2009 7:20PM
If you're a fan of the band Weezer and the laziness empowerment blanket the Snuggie and have been hoping for a way to combine the two, you're in luck.

Weezer fans might have been curious to know why the band was wearing the popular blanket during last Friday's Late Show with David Letterman performance. The band has not only released a new line of the sleeved blanket, but they also have their own legitimate infomercial that tells you how you can buy the band's new CD Raditude and your own "Weezer Snuggie." WARNING: After watching this video, the phrase "Weezer Snuggie" will not leave your brain for at least the next three hours. Viewer discretion is advised.

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Do the Snuggie folks know about Montel Williams' Toasty?

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 18th 2009 10:03AM
Montel_Williams_headDo the people who "invented" the Snuggie know about the Toasty Wrap? Do you know that there are two very similar blankets with sleeves being sold everywhere? Are there more backward blankies out there that I've yet to see in an infomercial or commercial? (See what happens when you stop reading catalogs?) I feel so out of the loop!

Well, Montel Williams has endorsed the The Living Well Toasty Wrap Blanket. It's apparently part of his entire line of Living Well stuff. But is this really legit? How many ways can you make a blanket with sleeves?

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Why no love for Billy Mays, Emmys?

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 21st 2009 11:00AM
Pitchmen's Billy Mays and Anthony SullivanI'm not saying that I necessarily think Billy Mays should have won a posthumous Emmy, or even that his show Pitchmen should have been included in their "The Year in Reality" segment. But leaving him out of the "In Memoriam" segment? You have people from every facet of the television industry, and you leave out the most famous infomercial personality ever. Infomercials are television programming.

Yes, they're annoying at times and yes, they're not as exciting as Lost or The Amazing Race, but it's still television. Billy Mays was famous because of television. And he was famous. Virtually everyone in this country recognizes "Hi, Billy Mays here!" and that almost patented way of shouting talking he had.

But hell, even if you don't buy any of those arguments, he was one of the stars of Pitchmen, a successful reality show. You honor reality shows, right? I'm just saying, It seems to me that one of the most famous faces of the modern era on television, and one of the most powerful men in the commercial industry, could have maybe earned a quick mention upon his passing.

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Cathy and John want you to buy The Griddleman

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 10th 2009 11:00AM
This is almost a year old, but I've never seen it before, and I bet a lot of you haven't either. It's an infomercial parody from Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job! It would be one thing to parody an informercial. That's been done a lot. But they got Cathy Mitchell herself to do the sketch, along with John C. Reilly as her strange co-host.

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Mr. T pities the frozen steak (and the studio door)

by Bob Sassone, posted May 4th 2009 1:52PM
I came across this infomercial over the weekend, and it's one of the funniest things I've seen in quite some time. It's for the Flavor-Wave Turbo Oven (which looks to me like it can be used to cook food and wash your clothes). It features Mr. T! We all know that infomercials aren't very believable: the bad acting from the hosts, the audience clapping and gasping at anything that happens, the cheesy "but wait there's more!" But they're rarely as entertaining as this one. This is like an SNL sketch.

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Obama coins hawked by Montel Williams a ripoff? Well... duh!

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 16th 2009 2:04PM
One of the most physically painful TV moments in our lifetime was having to watch poor Montel Williams sell the last remainder of his soul for worthless Barack Obama commemorative coins.

It seemed just yesterday that the talk show host with the Yul Brenner scalp was chumming it up on the daytime talk show circuit, interviewing women who love too much or husbands who love way too much with people other than their wives. It was like watching the rock-bottom moment of a man's life in the wake of his waning glory days without it airing on VH1.

Now a local action news station has blown the lid off these coins that Montel has reduced himself to hawking: they are a bigger gyp than Baywatch Nights.

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Obama trumps suspended World Series game

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 28th 2008 4:26PM
baseball logoHow long will baseball fans have to wait to watch the end of game five of the World Series between the Phillies and the Rays? Well, it'll be at least another day. Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has canceled tonight's resumption of the suspended game five.

Oh, and you know that Barack Obama ad that is going to be shown from 8-8:30 on NBC and CBS (but not ABC)? It's also going to be on Fox, too. The World Series game will be pushed back to accommodate the Democratic Presidential candidate.

Don't flip out and cry foul! The TV gods anticipated that there might be a conflict when they sold the time slot to the Obama campaign. In fact, they had the opportunity to turn them down. But Fox was inclined to take the ad revenue.

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The Dead Zone: Drift

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 20th 2007 10:23AM
bruce and johnny(S06E10) All season, I have been trying to put a positive spin on bad writing, poor casting choices (Sheriff Turner, remember her? Barely? We never see her, so maybe they think she was a poor choice too), episodes that seem recycled from other seasons, and others that are completely forgettable and irrelevant. But tonight was just the last straw. I have had it. I cannot think of one more good thing to say about this infomercial for Visa that is running around disguising itself as television.

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Beastie Boys do public access - VIDEOS

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 19th 2007 4:10PM

hello nasty, beastie boysApparently, in 1998, when the Beastie Boys' album Hello Nasty was released, the boys did a half-hour "informercial" for the CD that aired on public access in several markets. Someone uploaded the show in three parts, and I've placed them below for your enjoyment.

The show is an amalgam of different infomercial and public access-style bits: a psychic, a man who promises you can make money by doing nothing, an exercise guru, and a juice machine. MCA, Ad Rock and Mike D appear throughout the videos, and I must say if they ever get sick of the music scene they wouldn't have any trouble doing comedy. The fellas have natural comedic timing and instincts, which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise for anyone who has seen their videos.My favorite video is number three. There's just something about using car polish to clean a banana that cracks me the heck up.

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John Basedow has a 12 pack, MySpace page

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 17th 2007 1:36PM

BasedowYou've seen the ads. Those "Fitness Made Simple" commercials with the lame but catchy jingle. ("It's Fitness Made Simple...Made for real people!") Now John Basedow has made a promotional video for his new reality show.

Basically, the video is him walking around a mall, signing autographs, talking to people, and getting kisses from women (one woman says "he's sooo hot"). Many people also say he's "rockin' the hair," which I think is a good thing. I'm not quite sure why he says at one point that "the reality crew" with the camera has been following him around all day, like he doesn't know who it is. I mean, the video is for John Basedow TV, but I guess it gives it that reality "feel."

You don't find out until the end that the reality show they're talking about can be seen exclusively on...his MySpace page. Yeah, I have a reality show too. It can be seen exclusively in my living room every night. Of course, I'm just jealous. And his fitness strategies actually seem really logical and effective.

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Mike Nelson likes the Juiceman

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 1st 2006 11:06AM
mike nelsonIf you ask me what my favorite television show of all time is, I will answer, "ham sandwich." Then, after a long silence during which I'll realize I didn't hear you correctly, I'll tell you that Mystery Science Theater 3000 is my all-time favorite show. The series was given the boot in 1999, but despite that, if you listen to interviews with any of the cast members, they still get asked if the show will ever return with new episodes. It's been seven years, people, learn to let go. At any rate, most of the cast of that series have gone on to other projects, and head writer and second host Michael J. Nelson recently posted a hysterical essay about those "Juiceman" infomercials on his site. Apparently the juice-lovin' curmudgeon is an endless source of entertainment for Mike and his family. I haven't seen the infomercial in ages, but Nelson is right, his eyebrows do look like "mini versions of Ted Kennedy's hair."

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