Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Late Night With Andrew

Just a quick thought about the return of Late Night Talk...

I'll be interested to see how the hosts fare without writers. Time to see if it really is "the little people" that make the men behind the desk funny. I never thought the writing was that great before so I fear tonight's shows. Maybe the cheezy writing was holding the hosts back.

Another note, if Carson Daly can have a show, why can't I?

An Informative Post

I have long considered myself a connoisseur of consumerism, in particular infomercials and programming of the home shopping variety. For me, nothing quite comes close to the direct contact between credulous consumer and slick seller. I will willingly admit that I have watched HSN and QVC for long spans of times. One of my favorite blocks is the Friday/Saturday-I-don't-have-a-date-so-i'm-watching-home-shoppping block. I have yet to purchase anything off of the services but I have come pretty close. The kitchen and gadget programs always will sustain interest.

If Home Shopping and QVC are the well-lit department store, the infomercial is the scummy dollar store in the wrong part of the city with used goods rewrapped. Both forms give credence to the theory of a sucker being born every minute. I'd say it goes a step further. There's a credit card company willing to give a sucker two credit cards a minute.

There are some keys to infomercial success:
  1. An accent is a must for the seller.
  2. A dumb blonde is also a requisite. "I just don't know how to use this (insert normal, functioning product here)."
  3. An eager audience.
  4. Operators standing by.
  5. A "but wait, there's more..."
  6. The price has to end in 95 cents, with added potential for sale at $19.95 price points.
  7. You must shout throughout the entire plug.
What I love about infomercials is their formulaic nature. They ALL have the same elements yet somehow distinguish themselves. They all have the same blue screen at the end with information on ordering.

Today I saw a commercial for Billy Mays' Ka-Boom! The below wasn't the infomercial; I think it's a ploy to show Billy Mays' acknowledgment of his ludicrous-ity.

A couple things about Billy Mays. His hair has grown increasingly darker as if somehow the crap formerly coming out of his mouth is now seeping out of his scalp. Is he using shoe polish? He has to be doing it on purpose. Billy Mays has created the meta-mercial. He is aware of the long tradition (Ron Popeil comes to mind, the father of infomercials) of sleaze and fast-talking sales pitches and is further perpetuating the stereotype by escalating the level of to a new standard.

Here's a revolutionary idea, what would happen if he used Oxyclean on his hair?

I gotta run, I only have two minutes left to get the special, bonus offer on KaBoom!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Click to play Happy+New+Year
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