The 411 on Infomercials
Whether they admit it or not, almost everyone has watched the oddly addictive ad for the Magic Bullet — if not actually ordered one. The commercial for that extraordinary slicer-and-dicer is among those counted down in 25 Most Memorable Infomercials Ever, a TV Guide Network special as quirkily entertaining as the ads it spotlights. Host John O'Hurley — who's performing in "Chicago" on Broadway while preparing for his annual gig as emcee of Thanksgiving's National Dog Show — opened up his cupboards to give us a peek at the products he may or may not have purchased late one night.
TV Guide Magazine: These 25 ads are a part of pop culture, aren't they?
O'Hurley: I always look at advertising as an art form. You have to create a mini movie. The ads somehow made you feel that you couldn't exist without their products. Like the Flowbee. You just had to have the Flowbee.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you have one?
O'Hurley: Yes! We used [it] on the dog. It was a much better way to cut the dog because it also picked up the hair. It's a vacuum cleaner with a haircut.
TV Guide Magazine: What comes to mind when you think of these featured products: the Chia Pet, the Snuggie, the ThighMaster?
O'Hurley: The Chia Pet is where animal meets shrubbery. The Snuggie combines sloth and comfort. And the ThighMaster, well, I have that, but I use it for other things. I've always thought of it as a marital aid.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you have a favorite infomercial?
O'Hurley: Miss Cleo's Psychic Readers Network. I always thought it interesting that someone would be sitting, waiting by a phone.
TV Guide Magazine: But you were never tempted to call her?
O'Hurley: I'm always afraid of what she'd say. The last time I had my tarot cards read was at the San Gennaro Festival in the early '80s. I was just coming into New York as an actor and the woman said, "You're probably not going to be very successful, and I don't think you are going to make very much money."
TV Guide Magazine: You've sold albums and dance videos on TV before. Could there be an infomercial in your future?
O'Hurley: I'll actually be filming one two weeks from now. I have a new product coming out. It's a coffee machine that uses a way of forced steaming [to brew the] coffee. It really is wonderful and genuinely good. I have it at home and I use it all the time.
TV Guide Magazine: Ron Popeil would be proud.
O'Hurley: Ah, God bless him. Believe it or not, his house is just up the street from mine!
25 Most Memorable Infomercials Ever airs Sunday at 9/8c on TV Guide Network
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