October 17, 2017
I've had to deal with some crazy personal stuff lately so I haven't been able to dedicate as much time and energy to Up All Night as I'd like. I think things are starting to calm down a bit so I'm going to get back into the swing of things with a topic that is near and dear to my heart: Late night infomercials.
I've been a late night person since childhood and anyone who routinely watches cable TV between the hours of midnight and 4 AM knows that full-length, 30 minute commercials for shady products are going to be on somewhere. Food preparation devices, cultlery, exercise equipment, cleaning devices, decorative items, etc. are among the products that you'd see people trying to push on you with EASSSY payment plans.
To talk about the art of the infomercial I have to acknowledge the very first pitch man that made me fall in love with watching these things
Ron Popeil is a legend in the TV advertising world. His company has released a bunch of various products that remain on shelves in stores to this day. When I was younger, the most popular infomercial at the time was the program on the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Grill & BBQ
"SET IT & FORGET IT!"
With it's use of catchphrases, throwing up large text to reinforce what they're talking about on screen "STICK TO THE DIET" "ABOUT THE SIZE OF A TOASTER OVER" and an emphasis on just how easssssssy the 4 payments of $19.95 were, it's hard for me not to get caught up in it's hokey charm.
It also follows a staple of the infomercial format...not revealing the cost until about halfway through the show. It spends the first half convincing you that you absolutely cannot live without this product so that by the time you have bought in you don't really care about the cost and are dialing the 1-800 number.
They're always filled with awful and hilarious overacting and are generally pretty hilarious. I don't know what it is about them, but I've never been able to shake just how much I enjoy them. If I'm having a hard time falling asleep I can flip to a channel that is airing them and it'll lull me to sleep in no time.
If you're like me and enjoy glazing over while watching human machines try to sell you stuff, then check out this playlist of 80+ full length infomercials.