Pitch Perfect

Friday, January 01, 2010


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. Back in May, we asked our producer Mike Vuolo to find out what is so compelling about the hard sell.

Comments [6]

Ned Holt from Lansing, KS

The best parody of the pitchmen in recent years is not Dan Ackryoyd and the "Bassomatic", but Troy McClure from "The Simpsons". He was voiced by the late great Phil Hartman and really had the salesman role nailed. As was the norm, "The Simpson's" had a real cast of characters developed around the con artist / TV pitchmen idea. There was Dr. Nicholsas Rivera (voiced by Hank Azaria), of the Upstairs Medical College, and the red headed psychiatrist /psycho analysist who's name escapes me,

Jan. 07 2010 01:09 PM
Kim from MN

Not really a comment about the story, but I've never heard 'linger' pronounced to rhyme with 'singer', as one of the reporters for this story does. It rhymes with 'finger' for me. Anyone?

Jan. 05 2010 07:09 PM
Carl Isaacson from Lindsborg, KS

Don't get to hear On the Media nearly often enough. Driving through Omaha got to hear part of Sunday, Jan. 3. The piece on Billy May was touching. It made me laugh, made me miss that pitch, taught me about pitches and tips and Popeil's relationship to May. A great piece I want to save and share with my class in Persuasion.

Jan. 03 2010 10:54 PM
Johannes from Cave.

That was a Weird Al track - "Mr. Popeil".

Jan. 03 2010 04:01 PM
Ken Bechtel from Duxbury, VT

What was the music played at the end of this piece? It sounded like a B-52's imitation of sorts.

Jan. 03 2010 11:08 AM
Dick Lyons from Basking Ridge, NJ

In compiling your material on "picthmen," you neglected two of the most prominent examples during the past 60-years: One was Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's "sidelick" for more than 30-years. Ed began on the Atlantic City boardwalk as a pitchman. The other was Sid Stone. Sid dressed the part - with a derby, loud jackets, and a "kister," the picthman's folding tray-stand. Sid was a feature on the Milton Berle Show in the '50's and huckstered Texaco Oil products as the program's 'pictchman for the sponsor. His slogan, "Tell 'ya what I'm goin' to do" was nationally recognized. Sorry that you research on the subject missed these two famous "pitchmen."


Jan. 02 2010 08:56 AM

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