Sunday, January 29, 2006

Before we begin I wanted to share this bit of satire courtesy of the Buffalo Beast, that Onion clone whose "50 most loathsome people" of 2K5 I linked to yesterday:

I spent a solid part of my evening going through their archives. Trust me, it's worth it. The only issue is with copy editing, but having posted so much stuff that fell through the cracks of spell and grammar check on Chicagoist I'm not about to throw stones.

The sound of my phone ringing around 3 a.m. woke me up, and I couldn't fall back to sleep. So I grabbed the remote and started channel surfing. WGN plays "The Beverly Hillbillies" at that hour and NBC is wrapping up a classic re-run of "Saturday Night Live"- this particular episode with Martin Lawrence (back in his "Mar'in" phase) and the Crash Test Dummies as musical guests. But after the Hillbillies, around 4:30 I saw the absolute worst infomercial produced in the history of free market capitalism.

One word: Laservibe.

It wasn't so much the product itself as it was the production values of the infomercial that made this so appalling. As far as unintentional comedy goes, this has a lot:

- a middle-aged club musician with a rotting bottom plate of teeth and heavily mirrored shades guaranteeing that the Laservibe system provides a concert quality light show for a fraction of the cost

- A girl with a bad dye job and a "Barbie" trucker hat talking about how she uses the Laservibe to add spice to her parties "and stuff"

- A house music DJ who insists that he uses the Laservibe system for his gigs

- infomercial hosts who are shown openly reading from teleprompters in edits and quick cuts designed to give the infomercial an edge!!!

- after the obligatory warning not to point laser beams directly in the eyes, the Laservibe tracks a beam of light directly into the face of a black man dancing in the back of the scene

You also get the customary shots of teenaged pre-trixies bored out of their skulls listening to whatever it is that they listen to at a slumber party. But after the Laservibe is plugged in suddenly these predators-in-training are lip-synching into remote controls and hairbrushes, shaking their asses like it's spring break in Cancun, and generally giving off a sanitized vibe of possible lesbian exploration. It's as if Laservibe gave them a sexual awakening, but still in the same vein as Jimmy Stewart courting Donna Reed in "It's A Wonderful Life" (and didn't she do all the work in that movie)?

This will air yet they cancelled Arrested Development?

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