I love the fact that the word "dignity" is directly above a man wearing a sweater made of carpet remnants and sporting a look on his face that suggests he's about to greet the business end of a glory hole.
This goofy-looking man is the late, near-great Mike Levey, host of the best series of infomercials ever, Amazing Discoveries.
I was an Amazing Discoveries addict. In the late eighties and early nineties, I'd stay up all night eating pizza, drinking beer, and watching A.D. with like-minded life-wasters. Why? Because they were the funniest things ever put on network television; and the all-encompassing artifice of the whole affair actually served to be the most brutal example of human nature ever captured on videotape.
The infomercials, which pretended to be legitimate television programs, were filmed before a studio audience. Every classic "episode" played out essentially the same: Mike would come out and say something like, "Don't you wish there was an easy, healthy way to cook chicken?" and the camera would show retirees in the crowd nodding their heads as if to say as one, "Yes, Mike, I do wish just that."
Have no fear, compensated audience members. Mike would then introduce someone who'd come out with the product that would answer their fervent prayers, provided they were praying for more useless crap to clutter their trailer homes.
Most of the time, the product would be shilled by one of the in-house "experts from England", Jon or Ian. Ian always appeared to be slightly drunk and Jon wore a red bow tie and had an accent that sounded suspiciously like a guy from California pretending to be British. Other times, however, a special guest pitchman would make an appearance, leading to my top two Amazing Discoveries moments ever.
-The Spanek Vertical Chicken Roaster was hawked by its inventor, an overweight man who went on and on about the health benefits of cooking chicken by shoving the entire bird ass-first over what looked like an instrument of torture or a sexual aide for the big pussied gals. He was quite fat, so I guess it doesn't matter how you cook your chicken if you eat a dozen dinner rolls and an entire box of Stove Top stuffing along with it. I think this infomercial is the one that convinced Dr. Phil to think, "Hey, I'm fat, but I bet America will buy my weight loss book." And he was right.
-The Juice Doctor/Juice Tiger Fiasco
The Juice Doctor was a juice extractor sold by fitness expert Jack Lalane. It was funny enough when it originally aired; Jack would not only drink these disgusting juice combinations, he'd make horrible looking baked goods using the pulp. For god's sake, throw that shit out. That's garbage. It was like making coffee cake using old coffee grounds.
But then the federal government stepped in and made it the funniest infomercial of all time. The feds decided that it wasn't okay to use the word "doctor" to sell a product with no proven medical benefits whatsoever. Instead of refilming the commercial and spending another fifty dollars on their low-rent production, they renamed the product "Juice Tiger" and amateurishly edited out all mentions of the word "doctor". But apparently Mr. Lalane wasn't available for sound looping, so they got some guy who doesn't sound anything like him to record the word "tiger".
I think they only recorded him saying it once, because whenever Jack Lalane says "doctor", which is like a million times, his voice changes into a much deeper voice saying "tiger" with no regard to context or the inflection of the rest of the sentence. The first time I heard it I almost died laughing. The Japanese used to sound edit their Godzilla movies better than that.
Mike Levey, who was not only the host but the mastermind behind Amazing Discoveries' production company, got into a little trouble for (DUH) making false claims about his products. One product, which never aired on Amazing Discoveries but was produced by Mike Levey's company, was called Crystal Powder and claimed to cure cancer.
Mike Levey died in 2003 of , ironically enough, cancer. Who knows, if the Food and Drug Administration hadn't confiscated all of his Crystal Powder, he might still be with us.