Pitch Perfect

Friday, May 22, 2009


It seems the lowly infomercial is finally enjoying its moment in the sun. So far this year it has garnered a book, a reality show and even a television documentary by CNBC. We asked our producer Mike Vuolo to find out what is so compelling about the hard sell.

    Music Playlist
  • Mr. Popeil
    Artist: Weird Al Yankovic

Comments [7]

M Holl from Chicago

This story was the first thing that came to mind upon hearing of the untimely passing of Billy Mays. Great story, and surely Mr. Mays is hawking Oxi-Clean to the angels on the great big boardwalk in the sky.

Jun. 29 2009 12:03 AM
Ned Holt from Korea

This was a great story and I love the "bass-o-matic" tie in, but it was missing the great picthman from the "Simpsons" Troy McClure. He does a couple of great send ups of the TV pitchman.

May. 31 2009 08:33 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Been waiting for someone to cover this recession story, the decline and fall of television in the person of Billy Mays! Worth the price of admission?

May. 28 2009 09:21 PM
MrJM from WBEZ-land

This was one of the most entertaining and informative pieces I've heard in some time.

-- MrJM

May. 26 2009 09:59 PM
brick from brooklyn

I loved this piece!

May. 26 2009 04:10 PM
kreisler from NYC

Perfect timing:
Check out this infomercial spoof (which is actually about a real book):


May. 24 2009 02:34 PM
Jim McCollum

Good but not great piece about the people who put the Sham in Shamwow. As cool as it was to tag the piece with Weird al's "Mr. Popeil",there is another funny story song by Steve Goodman,writer of "City of New Orleans". "Vegematic" tells a tale about the singer falling asleep while watching an infomerical. he buys it all. And then he finds out it wasn't a dream. Oddly enough,both songs appeared on the scene in the early 1980s,possibly just months apart. I'll give the nod to Steve,since his melody is folky and timeless,while Weird Al has that sythesizer Reagan era feel,whcih,in retrospect,is part of the fun listening to it today. btu Steve's sound is NPR- aaa all the way. And,since this was a news story about infomercial products, why not include the story of Walgreens pulling the Chia Obama after corporate approved the item and placed it in stores. MSNBC's piece intro-ed the hour with this racial embarrassment. Talk about bad taste in a box!

May. 24 2009 12:22 PM

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