Friday, March 20, 2009

The Cure for March Madness

As some of my sports-oriented buddies are well-aware of, last night kicked off the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, mostly known as that yearly disease "March Madness." The Final Four, The Elite Eight, The Sweet Sixteen, The...Tolerable Thirty-two. There's only two things that I know for certain for this thing: I honestly think Duke sucks (you can chalk that up to me being a Farker for the last 6 or so years), and I know nothing of College basketball beyond that.

With that in mind, I've decided to create my own tournament. With blackjack. And hookers. Okay, maybe not those latter two things, but I won't rule anything out. Instead of (yawn) College Basketball, how about a battle that we can all get behind:

Who is the best infomercial pitchman? Which ones deserve to be given the title of being able to talk anyone into buying anything, and who just plain needs to leave this Earth right now? Thanks to my crack team of researchers, statistics of past performances, and a few cans of Red Bull, I have managed to successfully seed and organize a bracket of the 16 competitors that have earned the right to get to this point.

(click to embiggen)

If you can't make it out, here is the Sweet Sixteen of Infomercials:

Billy Mays

He's shilled everything from Mighty Putty to Health Insurance, all without knowing the meaning of the word "Whisper."

Ron Popeil

Like Billy, he really doesn't need an introduction, but he's the King of Infomercials. The Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone, the Food Dehydrator, the Food Rehydrator, the Solid Flavor Injector, The "Set It & Forget It" Rotisserie Oven, and the technology to keep human heads alive in jars. All him. But wait, that's not all!

Chef Tony

He's a partner in crime to Mr. Popeil, and is usually here to shill Ron's 85 piece cutlery set. I don't know when I'll ever need knives that are able to cut down shoes, bricks, and a tomato in the same sitting, but I thank him for selling it.

David Oreck

He's the self-spokesman of his titular Oreck vacuums. The guy's like 90 and yet he's still around, speaking to wonders of a vacuum cleaner that weighs only eight pounds! But no, that's not enough for lil ol Dave. Now he also sells a air purifier...which also weighs just eight pounds!

Matthew Lesko

In a probable universe, he could be seen as The Riddler, or at least some sociopathic stalker who inspired the character. He mostly appears on network tv late at night chasing senators about his book about getting FREE MONEY from the Government!


I really don't like that guy, but since there's no specific person selling the Snugiee, he made it onto the roster for acting like a total douchebag towards the ShamWOW. You could tell it's a waste of money due to "sham" being in its name. It's one of those Cinderella stories, I guess.

Suzanne Somers

Ms. Suzanne is famous for being on Three's Company as well as her Tighmaster ads. Yum. (Also, well-aware that her last name is misspelled on the bracket)

John Basedow

The "Fitness Made Simple" Guy! Apparently he's got one hell of a cult following for just wearing a muscle shirt and implying that fitness is probably as not as simple as he says it is.

Jack LaLanne

He, like Ron Popeil, was filming infomercials before they were cool, if they ever were in the first place. He's quite famous for being the most physically fit 95 year old man that ever lived as well as the juicer that bears his name. He may be in his 90's and a good five feet tall, but he'll be able to kick any of our sorry asses if we didn't agree to pay for 5 juicers AND keep the free gift!

The Magic Bullet

The only ensemble in the tourney, it's not just the two hosts, its the hungover partygoers who are treated to breakfast and an incredibly stupid ad. The fat guy is one of those Funny Alcholics, one of the ladies is the real-life version of Lunchlady Doris and all they want is something to dull the pain but instead they can't eat until they know for sure that there's 5 funtastic colors to decorate the lid with.

Wilford Brimley

He's teaching us all about the dangers of Diabeetus and how he and his mustache wish to provide some help with coping with this illness. He looks like one of those cats with the round head with the long white whiskers. Or at the very least, he resembles a bleached watermelon stuffed into a cardigan.

Dennis Haysbert

So when the presidency in "24" wasn't working out for him, he went to Allstate and asked us if we were in good hands. We are, Dennis. We are.

William Shatner

Ahh, Shatner. Once again, I don't need to tell anyone who he is, be it TJ Hooker, Capt. Kirk, all-around awesome Nerd Hero. Being the Priceline™ Negotiator™ hasn't hurt this guy at all, and earns him into one of the most crucial battles of the whole tourney, up against Jack LaLanne of all people!

Mr. T

We can't have Mr. Shatner around without Mr. T, now can we? He pities the fool who don't call collect or buy World of Warcraft!

Sam Waterston

Why is he here, you ask? Why, he pimps Old Glory Robot Insurance, of course! He has saved thousands of elderly people's lives from the dangers of robots. "When one gets a hold of you, you can't break free, because they're made of metal, and robots are strong." Oddly enough, he now appears in ACTUAL health insurance ads that I'll never take seriously thanks to this. It's also incredibly hard to find an embeddable vid of this. Damn you, NBC.

Mr. Six

He's better known as "The Creepy Old Dancing Six Flags Guy" for a good reason. Be honest, if he drove up to your house one day and started to dance for no reason, wouldn't you get in and not care where he takes you?

I know you're looking at the roster and thinking "Hey, where's Chuck Norris?!" True, he does appear in the "Total Gym Workout" machine thing with Christie Brinkley, and he's one of the most awesome people on the planet, but that's the problem. It's not that I don't like him, he's simply TOO awesome. It wouldn't be fair! Everyone would want him to win! There were only 2 ways that I could've made this tourney fair: Take Norris out, or pit Chuck Norris in a Sweet Sixteen tournament with 15 other Chuck Norrises. The latter option would've guaranteed a win for him. Also, one of the other original competitors was Mrs. Butterworth (representing both her own syrup and Geico's Celebrity Spokesman ads), but just yesterday she was found with her bottle completely empty! So, with an open slot, Jack LaLanne was moved up in the ranking.

Which brings us to answering the question of how this tourney's gonna work: Fan vote! In each game, I want you, the readers, to decide the winners of each of the eight matches! Those lucky eight will move on and then next Friday we'll hold a second round of bracket voting to decide the Final Four, etc. until there is only one standing!

How do you vote? Well, in the comments here, on the Facebook version of this post, and/or through my email at will all do the trick. Just say, in each match, who will win. If you want to put some effort into this and be creative, you could certainly explain HOW these victories will be achieved. I'd like to see 'em.

By the way, most of the videos are of the "Youtube Poop" variety of these infomercials, because 1) They're just as bizarre as the real thing and 2) Genuinely funny, and God help it, I want my readers to actually watch these vids. I did. Well, the Magic Bullet's vid is the real thing because it just needs to be seen to be believed, if you haven't already.

I'll be back with another March Madness post next Friday to see who will be moving on!


kristiane said...

Last weeks 'madness' was here, or part of it was. So, we had lots of out of towners, who drank. it was entertaining. I have no idea about b-ball though, I hope the good guys , uh, won?

Saturday Morning Central said...

Cool site! Just found it through Nostalgia Junkie.

Keep it up!