Have you ever purchased something from a TV infomercial? Some of these products seem too good to be true, while others are simply too lame to be good. These bottom-of-the-barrel, wacky inventions make their way to our televisions and we're all amazed, but not in a good way. Here’s a rogues gallery of 10 of the dumbest “As Seen on TV” products of all time.
You really have to wonder what’s going on in the minds of some of these inventors. Check out the UroClub, a golf club you can take a piss into. Sure, when you get old your bladder starts to go a little bit, but the idea of whipping out your jimmy and taking a secret pee into the handle of a trick golf club is just a little too absurd. It even comes with a towel so you can dry the urine off of your hands afterward. The sales pitch says that your golf partners will just “think you’re examining your club,” but we’ve never seen Phil Mickelson examine his club with his crotch.
The Button Extender
Have all those Hot Pockets and Twinkies made you too fat to close your pants? Well the world of infomercials has a product for you. Meet the Button Extender, a boon to chubbos everywhere. All this product consists of is a button attached to a hair elastic. You slip the elastic around the existing button and clip the new button into the buttonhole and nobody can tell the difference. I mean, unless they actually look at you, but who would do that? You’re disgusting!
Are you lazy? No, I mean really lazy. Do you need to sleep at a moment’s notice no matter where you are? Then it’s time to start wearing a Slumber Sleeve. This is essentially a thick, padded band that you put on your arm and use as a portable pillow, with the sales hook that it won’t interfere with the circulation in your limbs. If you’re falling asleep hard enough that you’re cutting off the circulation in your arms, you need to see a doctor, not buy a special pillow. The manufacturers also say you can wear it on your “leg or ankle,” but that seems like a really uncomfortable way to sleep.
Many of these infomercial inventions offer solutions to problems that don't really exist in the first place. Take the Tiddy Bear, for instance. Apparently many people out there have issues with the shoulder strap on their seat belt being too tight. So here's the solution: Buy a little stuffed bear that hooks up to your safety harness. We're not sure why this device has to take the form of a toy bear, but it sure does make you look like a huge jackass.
Are you tired of wiping your ass the old-fashioned way? Then mix things up a bit with the Comfort Wipe! Apparently, toilet paper is “archaic and disgusting,” according to the infomercial for this bizarre bathroom product, and the way we’ll wipe our butts in the future involves a plastic gripper rod that clamps down on toilet tissue, goes into your crack to clean you up, and then releases through a trigger so you don’t have to touch it. But then you have to wash the Comfort Wipe, which seems even worse.
For a very brief time in 2009, America was captivated by the story of Falcon Heene, the "Balloon Boy" and his ridiculous family. But did you know that his crazy father Richard Heene was also a wannabe infomercial inventor? His product was the Bear Scratch, a revolutionary backscratcher that permanently attaches to your wall so you can rub your back on it like a bear. The commercial for it is truly terrifying, and it should come as no surprise that it didn’t do well.
One very common infomercial tactic is telling people that they can get exercise without actually doing anything. The Hawaii Chair, a seat with a motor underneath that wildly swivels you around while you try to do your work, is exactly that. We guess hula dancers are in super-great shape or something, but it is difficult to see how using this chair would make you feel anything but nausea. It does apparently really heat up the seat of your pants though.
Another bizarre trait of infomercial products is how damned specific they are. Gadgets exist for just about every task, some of which we do only once in a blue moon. Case in point: peeling a hard-boiled egg. You may do it around Easter or you may never do it. So why would you shell out hard-earned money for an Eggstractor, a device that only peels eggs? It also takes up a lot of cabinet space and you need to prepare your eggs in a very specific way (including soaking them in ice water for 10 minutes) for it to work.
The Potty Putter
Let’s go back to the exciting intersection of golf and going to the bathroom with the Potty Putter, probably the most useless invention of all time. While you’re sitting on the john doing your dirty business, you can practice your close game using this roll-out carpet made from “the same artificial turf as miniature golf courses.” No scientific studies have been done on whether this trains you to have to go No. 2 whenever you putt, like Pavlov’s dog.
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Being a woman must be tough, with the media constantly telling you that every single part of your body is horrible, even the parts you don’t think about. Enter Tajazzle, a “three-step program of personal confidence” that basically makes women put little crystals on their private areas ("bling in your fling"). The infomercial was one of the creepiest things ever aired, with paid actresses talking about “the sparkling surprise that only my lover gets to see.” Yes, those are Swarovski crystals on her pubic zone. Talk about chafing!