Even before Ron Popeil, head pitchman from Ronco, brought us the Veg-O-Matic back in the ’60s, late-night television ads for wacko products were as beloved and venerable an institution as any Uncle Miltie, Bonanza, or Oprah. Here are 10 of our current favorites, so get out your credit cards — operators are standing by.
GINSU WORLD CLASS KITCHEN KNIVES
Don’t Try This at Home: Letting the kids sign for the package
Why You Need It: Because you know now that the old Ginsu was just plain silly
Eye-Catcher: Cuts the old Ginsu in half!
Suggested Slogan: ”Ginsu: The Next Generation”
Effectiveness at Inducing Sleep: A cut above the rest. C
BEDAZZLER GEMSTONE APPLICATOR
Don’t Try This at Home: Wearing your clothes as you BeDazzle them
Why You Need It: Because that Armani stuff you just bought is so plain
Eye-Catcher: That pile of precious rhinestones that spills across the screen
Suggested Slogan: ”Now you can create your own shiny happy people.”
Effectiveness at Inducing Sleep: As valuable as those gemstones. A
GLH FORMULA NUMBER 9 SPRAY-ON ”HAIR”
Don’t Try This at Home: Spraying your own head in the mirror
Why You Need It: You’re no longer under 40.
Eye-Catcher: Salt-and-pepper-haired test case looks like he backed into a schnauzer at high speed
Suggested Slogan: ”Comes in eight colors and makes a great car touch-up!”
Effectiveness at Inducing Sleep: You simply can’t believe it’s on your screen. F
KATHIE LEE GIFFORD’S SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
Don’t Try This at Home: Leaving the CD jewel box out while you have company
Why You Need It: To renew oooold mem-o-ries…
Eye-Catcher: Isn’t she sitting in the same position as the master of the pan flute, Zamfir?
Suggested Slogan: ”No cameos by Regis!”
Effectiveness at Inducing Sleep: What, did she raid Frank’s record collection for this stuff? A
LORI DAVIS HAIR PRODUCTS
Don’t Try This at Home: Inviting Cher to talk about hair gunk for 30 minutes
Why You Need It: Because if you don’t take care of your hair, you’ll soon be spraying it on.
Eye-Catcher: Ted Danson’s walk-on, despite his being a known rug man
Suggested Slogan: ”Sure Lori’s big, but what hair!”
Effectiveness at Inducing Sleep: Cher pitches this with more
passion than she does her records. C-
STARVING ARTISTS GROUP LIVING ROOM PAINTINGS
Don’t Try This at Home: Hanging one of these
Why You Need It: ”Sofa-size” paintings
Eye-Catcher: Only $19
Suggested Slogan: ”I don’t know much about art, but I know big!”
Effectiveness at Inducing Sleep: You’ll sleep okay, unless you order the Ernest Borgnine nude. C
SUSAN POWTER’S ”STOP THE INSANITY!” WEIGHT-LOSS PROGRAM
Don’t Try This at Home: Hanging up your own before-and-after pictures
Why You Need It: Well, she never really says.
Eye-Catcher: It’s Brigitte Nielsen in Flashdance 2!
Suggested Slogan: ”From blob to babe in 90 days!”
Effectiveness at Inducing Sleep: Hey, Susan, switch to decaf! D