Man Sitting On A Chair Computer Table

WTF Report: “Haweeeeeee Chair”

You already know my thoughts on infomercials in general.

Now I’m about to share some thoughts on a specific one.

You know how sometimes you’re at work and you think to yourself, “Man, my chair is way too stable. If only I could make it wobble nonstop while I attempt to get stuff done. That’d be great!”

No? Me neither. But you know who does? These guys:

(Yes, I realise I’m very late to this party. Ellen DeGeneres did a funny segment on this very chair, years ago. But better late than stuck on a Hawaii chair with a bowl of popcorn and a strawberry milkshake, as I always say.)

Listen, I get it, you have products to sell. Most infomercials require a suspension of disbelief. But you could at the very least have avoided forcing those “real circumstances” videos on us. Your own host, Erin Lee, struggles to finish her sentences, so out of breath she is. “Very. Busy. Work. Environment. Must. Not. Throw. Up.”

I also love the opening jingle (delivered by the apathetic voice of a man who has given up on looking for proper singing gigs, and on life in general):

“Take the work out of your workout. Hawaii chair.” You take “work” out of “workout,” and you get “out.” That makes zero goddamn sense.

Notably, this chair also takes “work” out of your work, because good luck getting anything done at all while strapped to that psychotic contraption. I’m already clumsy, I don’t need the help of the Hawaii chair to drop assorted folders and paperclips all over the floor.

In the words of Erin herself: “You can hardly call this work.” You said it, Erin, you said it.

It’s no accident that I picked “Hawaii chair” for today’s WTF Report, by the way. In a few days we’re finally going on our belated honeymoon to [RETROACTIVE SPOILER ALERT] Hawaii. Kauai and Maui, to be precise.

This means radio silence on the blog until late January. I may post some links to upcoming Cracked and Listverse articles, as they get published. Or hilarious pictures of me being devoured by sharks. Either way, you’ll be entertained.

And now, I’m off to practice my Hawaiian Pidgin:

Aloha, everyone!

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8 Key Ingredients of any Infomercial

Do you know what the problem is with regular TV commercials? They’re all too fake! They show outlandish scenarios with unrealistic characters. People in commercials often find themselves in wacky, sitcom-worthy situations. Alternatively, they get whisked away into a magical land of power, wealth and success simply by using a different brand of toothpaste.

What’s worse, commercials usually don’t offer any useful information about the product they’re promoting. Sure, that guy just learned to fly and is constantly followed by throngs of hypnotised women, all because of the new Axe spray…but will it do the same for me?! I have to know! I need to hear exactly which active ingredients in the spray will enhance the aerodynamic qualities of my body.

Also – would a red cape be too tacky?!

That’s where infomercials come in! These cinematic escapades into the world of shopping can last for up to 30 minutes, which allows ample time for exploring all features of a product. Best of all, infomercials usually cast an average Joe that we, as viewers, can relate to.

“Wow, infomercials sure sound like a great way to sell my product! How do I make one?”, asked absolutely none of you, but I will go ahead and assume you all did anyways.

Having carefully studied the intricate science of making infomercials (by watching a lot of infomercials) I now consider myself to be an expert in the field. I have filtered out the noise and identified 8 key components every self-hating infomercial should have. I hereby share these components with you free of charge (local taxes may apply). I even provide easily relatable examples using a product I am making up as we go along.

Alright, so to make an infomercial you will need:

8. An Unconventional Product

Don’t let the word “unconventional” intimidate you! You don’t have to be a scientist and your product doesn’t have to be very well researched, if at all. All you need is something that hasn’t been made before, even if the reason it hasn’t been made is because it’s retarded or insane. Ideally you want a product that appears complicated and solves a non-existent problem in the most convoluted way possible.

Example:

Introducing Daniel’s Walk ‘n’ Go. A revolutionary way to improve your daily locomotion. Are you tired of always losing track of where your limbs should be placed when you walk? I mean, there are, like, at least four of them! How are you to remember where the left arm goes when the right leg is in front? Well, worry no longer! My patented Walk ‘n’ Go makes sure that you will never get your limbs confused again. Walking has never been so easy!

Trying to walk without Walk ‘n’ Go?! What a loser!

7. A Competing Product for Comparison

OK, so you have a product, but how will people know there aren’t better solutions out there? Easy: you show them a few competing products and explain why your product is a better choice. It doesn’t matter if the other products do an objectively better job and aren’t made of junk you found in your garage. What matters is that your product does things in a whole new and exciting way!

Pro Tip: Find some flaws (no matter how small) with alternative products and show how your product avoids them.

Master Tip: If there aren’t any flaws to be found – make some up!

Example:

I’m sure you have all tried walking the “natural” way. Well, do you have any idea how much of your brain power is wasted on remembering all of your limbs and their locations?! Neither do I, but with Walk ‘n’ Go I don’t have to wonder!

Some of you may be familiar with hiking sticks. These do a decent job of keeping your arms in place, but they do absolutely nothing to keep your eager legs from wandering off in the wrong direction. Give your legs something to hold on to, try Walk ‘n’ Go!

Maybe you have tried using a cane? Don’t you just hate it when a cane slips out of your hand, flies out onto the street and kills a stray kitten?! You can stop murdering kittens already today with my new Walk ‘n’ Go!

Use Walk ‘n’ Go to prevent feline slaughter!

My Walk ‘n’ Go walking set attaches securely to your shoes and your arms, locking them in place and ensuring their proper position during all walking-related activities!

6. Overenthusiastic Host

I’ve met a lot of happy and enthusiastic people in my life, but all of them fade into oblivion when compared to infomercial hosts. The host of every infomercial is so over-the-top excited about the product you’d swear she has just taken all of the world’s drugs in one sitting. An overenthusiastic host is to an infomercial what “winning” is to Charlie Sheen.

Example:

Overenthusiastic Host: Hi everyone, I’m Bethany, and boy do I have an amazing product to show you today! I just can’t wait to tell you all about the new and fantastic Walk ‘n’ Go. Are you ready? Are you?! ARE YOU?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE I’M SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY FREAKING LUNGS! WWWWWWWWHEEEEEEEEEE……..

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