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September 28, 2012 10:05 AM   Subscribe

33 Infomercial Characters Who Need To Get Their Shit Together
posted by boygeorge (128 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
screw you buzzfeed I don't understand cling wrap either
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


* fumbles with mouse, knocks monitor over *
posted by burnmp3s at 10:07 AM on September 28, 2012 [27 favorites]


*wahhh wahh wahh*

Having trouble with your internet posting? Is typing out words just too hard? Worried about attacks from cybercriminals on YOUR identity and children?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:10 AM on September 28, 2012


This seems to be this video chopped up into GIFs.
posted by griphus at 10:13 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Every time I see a page like this full of animated gifs, I get a little bit nostalgic for the good old CAPS LOCK DAYS. Remember when MetaFilter pages used to move?
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:14 AM on September 28, 2012


Oh wait there a tiny "source: youtube" link at the bottom.

That's some cracker-jack attribution, Buzzfeed. Keep up the good work!
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


And here I am using my hands to type like a sucker.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:18 AM on September 28, 2012


[I just straight-up swapped the link to the source video. Thanks, ReattribūtTM!]
posted by cortex at 10:20 AM on September 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


but now my comment doesn't make any sense
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:22 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Buy my flammable shoelaces! SUCKERS!


Precious Roy, Precious Roy, making lots of suckers out of girls and boys
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:23 AM on September 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


If only I had a way to tell that good looking woman walking by that I will be back to pick her up later.
posted by bondcliff at 10:26 AM on September 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Mr. Popeil, I'm in trouble
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:27 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is always my favourite part of every infomercial and/or "available at these fine stores" ads.

It's like, "Are you a complete moron like this numbnuts? Then have we got a product for you!"
posted by Sys Rq at 10:27 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


22 Buzzfeed Posts That Use Others' Content With A Minimal Amount Of Attribution.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:32 AM on September 28, 2012 [24 favorites]


HELP ME I CAN'T WORK SHOES
posted by grubi at 10:32 AM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


There's got to be a better way.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:40 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


ethnomethodologist: There's got to be a better way.
There is! The Baby Hammock!
posted by ob1quixote at 10:47 AM on September 28, 2012


I'd read that one beaucoupkevin.
posted by dabitch at 10:47 AM on September 28, 2012


Mr. Lid.

Go find it for the song at the end. That song. Mr. Lid.

www.mrlid.com Somehow the song was doing it wrong.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:48 AM on September 28, 2012


Mrs andorphin and I refer to this as the "MY PHONE DOESN'T WORK" phenomenon after the large number of ads featuring people hitting their cellphones against the heals of their hands in an attempt to increase their signal (only to be later saved by small magical stickers which are placed under the battery).
posted by andorphin at 10:48 AM on September 28, 2012


"Tired of living in black and white? Now you can live in full color!"
posted by hot_monster at 10:49 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


OMG YES. My sister and I have a long-running fascination with those people in infomercials, who all seem to have a severe movement disorder / terrible hand-eye coordination. Our all-time favourite was that one that advertised some sort of foolproof pancake-flipper, with started out with a woman nearly plastering the walls of her kitchen with batter.
posted by LMGM at 10:51 AM on September 28, 2012


HOW DOES MILK JUG WORK
posted by grubi at 10:54 AM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


HOW DO I CRACK EGG?
posted by The Whelk at 10:54 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh god, I love the clip at 0:55. The face he makes after she buttons the button says to me, "Well, I was hoping you'd just take them all the way out, but I guess that's okay, too."
posted by uncleozzy at 10:55 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


WHY CAN'T I THROW IRON
posted by grubi at 10:56 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is my new favorite thing. Bonus points for the "lightning bolts of pain".

But it's time to retire black-and-white as the visual shorthand for "nightmare old method banished forever". Try queasy-looking sodium lighting. Or complete color inversion.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:57 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't remember if it was a wall-mounted toothpaste dispenser or a one-handed egg cracker, but in one of these "Look at this thing" threads, someone mentioned the product had been sold for years in specialty "independent living" catalogs.

Since then, I've started seeing some of these commercials not as them offering a solution to a non-existent problem, because maybe it is a problem for some people, but as them targeting the wrong audience.

Though I wonder to what extent it's like how some people will refuse to use their hearing aid or wear glasses because they think that's for old people. Maybe they need the healthy 35-year-old actors pretending to be incompetent, because if they filled the commercial with octogenarians and people with missing arms or palsy, half their real target audience would be all, "Oh, I'm not one of those people."
posted by RobotHero at 10:57 AM on September 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


egg-cracker at 00:50: "What am I even supposed to do with these goddamn things?"
posted by mph at 11:01 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Original stupid page of Buzzfeed GIFS, originally titled 51 Infomercial Characters Who Need To Get Their Shit Together, but it seems someone got tired of making animated GIFs.

And how did Buzzfeed get to include "stupid images stolen from other sites," and a decent political blog, complete with interviews of people involved? And why the heck do all the sites include the same dumb options to vote the posts/ articles/ collections of stolen images as LOL, Win, OMG, Cute, WTF, Fail, Geeky, Trashy, Old, or Ew?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:01 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Though I wonder to what extent it's like how some people will refuse to use their hearing aid or wear glasses because they think that's for old people. Maybe they need the healthy 35-year-old actors pretending to be incompetent, because if they filled the commercial with octogenarians and people with missing arms or palsy, half their real target audience would be all, "Oh, I'm not one of those people."

Sure, but some of them aren't even internally consistent in their logic if that's the case. For example, with the person struggling to use a blanket, I'm pretty sure that's from the Forever Lazy ad. If you're having trouble using a blanket, I don't really see how you're coordinated enough to be able to put on clothes, much less clothes that require you to use a flap in the rear for bathroom situations.
posted by LionIndex at 11:03 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


0:13
posted by uncleozzy at 11:03 AM on September 28, 2012


PLEASE CAT STAY PUT
posted by grubi at 11:06 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I CANNOT OPERATE AN ONION
posted by grubi at 11:07 AM on September 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


Yeah I think it was cortex who mentioned a lot of these products are really good for people with limited mobility or movement issues but they have to be presented in this totally awful, cliche way in commercials. Isn't there a single production house that just bangs these things out?

Try queasy-looking sodium lighting.

David Fincher's infomercials are terrifying ordeals.
posted by The Whelk at 11:09 AM on September 28, 2012


Sorry to flood the thread. It's just that the level of incompetence needs shouty moron phrases. Like the guy staring down the woman's blouse. It's all NO PERV BE LOOKIN BEWBS. The woman brushing her daughter's hair: I MAKE HAIR STRAIGHT WITH SMACKING. I dunno. CLING WRAP BE BUGGIN
posted by grubi at 11:10 AM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I would pay cash money for whatever invention would make a big red X appear right before I start on some activity that would lead directly to one o' them ripped pants/ketchuped shirt/busted wall situations.
posted by psoas at 11:10 AM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


We got that B-roll.
posted by knave at 11:11 AM on September 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


And how did Buzzfeed get to include "stupid images stolen from other sites," and a decent political blog, complete with interviews of people involved?

In 1920, H.L. Mencken founded Black Mask, a pulp fiction rag, to fund a highbrow literary magazine. Same as it ever was.
posted by griphus at 11:11 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


NO GARDEN HOSE BE BITEY
posted by grubi at 11:11 AM on September 28, 2012


0:28

HELP CAKE IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on September 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


TOO MUCH SODA POUR MOM
posted by grubi at 11:13 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


CAN'T OPEN TOMATO
posted by grubi at 11:14 AM on September 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


HOW DO I PUT FOOD IN MOUTH
posted by Spatch at 11:15 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


That said, I do crack up at the kid who can't keep his sandwich together.
posted by RobotHero at 11:16 AM on September 28, 2012


One of my favorites is for this electric grill. In the Scientific Cross Section Cut-Away Diagram, it shows how the grill efficiently cooks food from the inside out.

Food like steak.
posted by griphus at 11:17 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


NO KETCHUP YOU CAN'T FLY
posted by grubi at 11:17 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


@griphus: Speaking as a friend of the maker of the video, there was no attribution at all until he called them out on it. Then the source was added.
posted by cacophony at 11:23 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is now a double post. Go me!
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:28 AM on September 28, 2012


NO WHY BE DOUBLE POST
posted by grubi at 11:30 AM on September 28, 2012


Thread #120361, we hardly knew ye.
posted by griphus at 11:30 AM on September 28, 2012


I'm not crazy! This IS an old post!
posted by PuppyCat at 11:32 AM on September 28, 2012


this is like when whippets wear off
posted by The Whelk at 11:32 AM on September 28, 2012


Full-sized greyhounds will keep you wasted longer.
posted by griphus at 11:33 AM on September 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


Also my commendations to your friend, cacophony. I love that video.
posted by griphus at 11:34 AM on September 28, 2012


It's true, though: cling wrap INDEED be buggin.
posted by grubi at 11:35 AM on September 28, 2012


I TRIED TO DELETE THIS POST BUT IT'S JUST TOO HARD
posted by cortex at 11:37 AM on September 28, 2012 [22 favorites]


(animated GIF of cortex accidentally knocking computer out a window)
posted by grubi at 11:38 AM on September 28, 2012 [24 favorites]


Hey, that straight out of my Cortex Bloopers reel. I've also god the one where the ukelele bursts into flames as he's playing it, and the one where he accidentally bans ColdChef for a month.

Only $19.95.
posted by griphus at 11:41 AM on September 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


cortex swings banhammer, hits thumb, sad trombone plays, STAR WIPE TO NEW THUMBGUARD
posted by elizardbits at 11:45 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Operators are standing by.

I mean, seriously. They nothing else to do. They just wait.




And wait.
posted by grubi at 11:45 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Video of the mods in the style of an infomercial trying and failing to do basic computer stuff until it's all solved by THE BANHAMMER (3 easy payments of 19.95 +S&H)
posted by The Whelk at 11:46 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Star wipe" implies that there is some other kind.
posted by griphus at 11:46 AM on September 28, 2012


Oh, god, we're heading into SPACOM territory...
posted by grubi at 11:47 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find it funny that commercials like this are used as an advertising technique at all.

OH HAI I'M JUST AS INCOMPETENT AS THESE PEOPLE IN THIS COMMERCIAL SO I WILL BUY WHATEVER IS BEING SOLD TO ME. THANKS TEEVEE!!!!!1
posted by jivadravya at 11:50 AM on September 28, 2012


@griphus: I passed it on for you! I was IMing him about MetaFilter is actually populated with people who can recognize a rip-off when they see one...
posted by cacophony at 11:51 AM on September 28, 2012


Yeah that Magic Bullet blender is a piece of shit.
posted by griphus at 11:52 AM on September 28, 2012


"If you can't operate an iron without hurting yourself, you'll LOVE this product!"
posted by grubi at 11:52 AM on September 28, 2012


My favorite of these shows the most inept flipping of a fried egg ever recorded with a voice-over lamenting "Oh no! You broke the yolk again!". My husband and I say this anytime there is a minor household catastrophe, in the most patronizing tones possible.
posted by pupperduck at 11:52 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


If they just had a WTF blanket, all would be well.
posted by MtDewd at 11:52 AM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah that Magic Bullet blender is a piece of shit.

If you want real hilarity, try the cookbook that comes with it. I tried its recipe for pesto sauce once and ended up crumbling the result before tossing it with linguini.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:55 AM on September 28, 2012


NOW A DOUBLE POST!

I CAN'T DO THE INTERNET RIGHT!
posted by boygeorge at 11:59 AM on September 28, 2012


oh my god a magic bullet is also a blender. i was like WHY ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE IN BED BATH AND BEYOND TALKING ABOUT SMALL VIBRATORS.

how do i life
posted by elizardbits at 12:01 PM on September 28, 2012 [21 favorites]


Video of the mods in the style of an infomercial trying and failing to do basic computer stuff until it's all solved by THE BANHAMMER (3 easy payments of 19.95 +S&H)

You know, if we really wanted, we could make the BAN hammer a reality. (pdf)
posted by zamboni at 12:03 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure the other Magic Bullet would make a pretty good smoothie too.
posted by griphus at 12:04 PM on September 28, 2012


wait hang on that came out wrong
posted by griphus at 12:04 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now I'm imagining Lee Harvey Oswald making JFK a smoothie with a tiny marital aid. Thanks, guys.
posted by zamboni at 12:06 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Back, and to the left.
posted by griphus at 12:07 PM on September 28, 2012


This magic bullet, it tumbles?
posted by Kinbote at 12:10 PM on September 28, 2012


ANGRY AT TORTILLA
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:14 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Every Infomercial Ever
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:15 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


NOW A DOUBLE POST!

And if you order in the next ten minutes, we'll throw in a third identical post absolutely free!

Because the first two will break incredibly quickly.

This same ad with this same offer will air every five minutes for the next three years.

posted by Sys Rq at 12:18 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


So it said, "You can have this product for four easy payments of 19.95." I would like to have a product that was available for three easy payments, and one fuckin' complicated payment! We ain't gonna tell you which payment it is, but one of these payments is gonna be a bitch. The mailman will get shot to death, the envelope will not seal, and the stamp will be in the wrong denomination; good luck, fucker! The last payment must be made in wampum!
- Mitch Hedberg
posted by griphus at 12:25 PM on September 28, 2012 [21 favorites]


Hey, that straight out of my Cortex Bloopers reel.

Does it include this classic?
posted by TedW at 12:26 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


You've also got to love that classic line, NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES!, as if that's the hallmark of a quality product.

REJECTED BY WALMART!
posted by Sys Rq at 12:27 PM on September 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


Infomercial characters are proof that most infomercial products are solutions to problems that don't exist.

Mrs andorphin and I refer to this as the "MY PHONE DOESN'T WORK" phenomenon after the large number of ads featuring people hitting their cellphones against the heals of their hands in an attempt to increase their signal

Microsoft has actually patented "hitting your phone to silence it".
posted by asnider at 12:28 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite are those waffle-iron-cooker thingy commercials; the woman and the easily astonished guy make a series of doubtful-looking dishes, all of them about enough for one person. Which is fine if they were marketing it to singles, but the woman keeps talking as though you were going to "feed your family" with a tiny plug-in foodpress cooker. There are about 20 of the things in their fake kitchen, each one cooking "pizza" or "steak and potatoes" with about twice the effort that cooking those things normally would entail.
posted by emjaybee at 12:34 PM on September 28, 2012


I was hoping it would be about characters with issues, like the loud, drunk grandmother from the Baby Bullet ad.
posted by sourwookie at 12:37 PM on September 28, 2012


Does it include this classic?

What do you think is on the cover?
posted by griphus at 12:37 PM on September 28, 2012


THE STUPID IT BURNS
posted by grubi at 12:39 PM on September 28, 2012


I was hoping it would be about characters with issues, like the loud, drunk grandmother from the Baby Bullet ad.

The same lady from the Bullet Express one?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:43 PM on September 28, 2012


Woman at 1:04 is going to catch her house on fire. But you know, it never really works for me either when I try and use a spoon and a spatula simultaneously. I end up throwing them on the stovetop and walking away, too.
posted by FirstMateKate at 12:43 PM on September 28, 2012


One of my current projects is a home cheese-making machine, to be marketed through infomercials. It's called There's Got to Be a Better Whey.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:48 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


SPOONS ARE HARD
posted by grubi at 12:51 PM on September 28, 2012


GRUBI'S DRUNK
posted by griphus at 12:52 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


BOILING WATER SO HOT HEY WAHT NO YOU'RE ALL JERKS NO I DON'T NEED HELP GOING TO BED SCREW YOU

*hic*
posted by grubi at 12:54 PM on September 28, 2012


(stumbles up the stairs, slips, tumbles down the stairs)
posted by grubi at 12:56 PM on September 28, 2012


you need the stair-o-matic uncrasherizer 5000
posted by elizardbits at 12:58 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


This was good. I thought it was going to be this one, which always makes me laugh.
posted by routergirl at 1:06 PM on September 28, 2012


Things haven't been the same since Amazing Discoveries left the airwaves.
posted by dr_dank at 1:17 PM on September 28, 2012


IT'S WHISPER-QUIET
posted by griphus at 1:19 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Related: Infomercial Hell by Everything Is Terrible.

(There's some NSFW stuff on the rest of the site, but this video is just fine.)
posted by plasquatch at 1:24 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, heck, routergirl beat me to it. Serves me right for using a text search.
posted by plasquatch at 1:26 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


HELP I CAN'T OPERATE THESE STAIRS
posted by grubi at 1:26 PM on September 28, 2012


you need the stair-o-matic uncrasherizer 5000

I've fallen and canst not get up!
Yet since no deep within her gulf can hold
Immortal vigor, though opprest and fall'n,
I give not Heav'n for lost. From this descent
Celestial vertues rising, will appear
More glorious and more dread then from no fall,
And trust themselves to fear no second fate.
posted by zamboni at 1:28 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Careful, grubi, moose have died that way
posted by waraw at 1:41 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's a perfect MeFi user name in that story, waraw.
posted by grubi at 1:45 PM on September 28, 2012


What is ReattribūtTM? Is it some service that can be used universally to bypass BuzzFeed pages in all cases? Because that would make me happy.
posted by JHarris at 2:07 PM on September 28, 2012


Aaggh! This BuzzFeed post is so frustrating! There's got to be a better way!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:24 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


None of the people in these ads are as stupid as the kid who can't find a box of Totino's Pizza Rolls in his own damned freezer, even though it is bright yellow, and mere inches from his face.

CALL MOM I NO FIND FOOD HELP.
posted by ErikaB at 2:51 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


TOTINO'S PIZZA ROLLS?!

(Party w/ skateboards and dinosaurs breaks out.)
posted by griphus at 2:55 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


omg i would slaughter untold millions for some pizza rolls right now.
posted by elizardbits at 2:59 PM on September 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Technically I could also just go to the store but really slaughtering untold millions seems more my kind of thing.
posted by elizardbits at 3:00 PM on September 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


HI, BILLY MAYS HERE WITH A FANTASTIC NEW METAFILTER POST...
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 3:05 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I has a sad. R.I.P. Billy.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:19 PM on September 28, 2012


capslock day isn't for another 3 weeks
posted by elizardbits at 3:36 PM on September 28, 2012


Things haven't been the same since Amazing Discoveries left the airwaves.

The amazing emergendizer
posted by MartinWisse at 3:49 PM on September 28, 2012


(ENTERS THREAD.)

(COMMAND+F "BAG HUTCH," NO RESULTS.)

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE.
posted by subbes at 4:16 PM on September 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


My husband and I both wanted the Lap n' Snack to be real when we saw this commercial because it was just such a ridiculous item. Now I see there is a full length ad for it, but I suspect it may be a fake. Haven't called yet, it's just a feeling.
posted by routergirl at 4:30 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Typical TV brainwashing attempts at what "normal behavior" is. I happen to enjoy ladling soup onto my shirt front and cracking eggs directly into the gas burner under the pan.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:39 PM on September 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Fuck, that just looks like a day in my life.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:08 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


A reference to the Bag Hutch, but not to Thrilling Miracles' pantastic eight-in-one super pan?
posted by JHarris at 5:14 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


GOOGLE RON POPEIL
posted by speicus at 6:46 PM on September 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


CORN BALLER ES MUY BUENO
posted by Brocktoon at 10:10 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm not a big fan of GIFs, but I don't get the hate-on for Buzzfeed. This person's video is a Beatles song and a bunch of ads. I'm all for remix culture, and am not a big van of copyright, but how is that any different from Buzzfeed cutting the video up into animated GIFs? Two levels of remix is one too many?
posted by willnot at 11:13 PM on September 28, 2012


i would slaughter untold millions for...

Just so you know, I'll be repeating that in Real Life, but without attribution because I have enough trouble describing metafilter when I'm not in the throes of genocidal desire for things.
posted by flaterik at 12:05 AM on September 29, 2012


it may be a fake.

I dunno, the couch coaster seems genuine.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:37 AM on September 29, 2012


This again? I'm not digging up all those links for you people again, dash it all.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:42 AM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


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