Thursday, January 29, 2009

my favorite huckster

Okay, yes, the SHAMWOW!! infomercials have been all the rage for a while now.

At first I rolled my eyes and tuned out VINCE. Another annoying pitchman, another 'not sold in stores' item nobody needs that they do carry in stores. I have astonished my husband with my inability to hear or notice something on TV right in front of my face if I'm not interested, so it was easy enough to Not Pay Attention to VINCE.

Then one day I actually watched some of it. And again. And suddenly it was hilarious! I couldn't believe such a shady-looking, shyster-type huckster (thanks for the word idea, shannon!) was LEGIT. Who would buy anything from this guy?? My favorite bits are when he says "I'm gonna do this in real time!" As though one can do something NOT in real time - what is he, a time traveler? EVIDENTLY NOT. Plus "You know the Germans always make good stuff!" and just the pace of the whole thing. Cut it in half, use it on your dog, olympic divers use these, and incessant use of the word COLA.

Suddenly I LOVE it!

Then my husband said he thought he saw VINCE in another infomercial pitching some OTHER product. NO NO VINCE would not two-time his beloved SHAMWOW!!, I thought.

Then on metafilter the other day someone posted some links! all about VINCE!

First of all, of course, there's VINCE's wikipedia entry. Imagine my surprise when I learned that VINCE apparently OWNS SHAMWOW!! and the other thing, which is THE SLAPCHOP!!

Coincidentally, just a day or two later friend Shannon sent me the youtube link to VINCE'S commercial for THE SLAPCHOP!!

I will not even ruin it for you by quoting my very favorite line of the whole thing. But my other favorite thing is when VINCE offers to throw in a second gadget for free if you buy THE SLAPCHOP!! When I saw the name of this second gadget, I had to pause the video while I laughed for a while. HYSTERICAL.

Going back to the metafilter links, I was surprised to see two very different takes on VINCE and his life and career:

This person portrays VINCE as 1. maker of one of the worst movies ever and 2. a loser who deals with failure by blaming others via lawsuit.

Whereas this person offers a VERY DIFFERENT TAKE on VINCE and portrays him as a budding filmmaker and entrepreneur STRUCK DOWN IN HIS PRIME by a prudish CULT!

The hell of it is that I now feel the overwhelming need for both the SHAMWOW!! and THE SLAPCHOP!! based on VINCE's superior pitchman skills. Not to mention the Second Gadget referenced above!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chong, featuring Cheech

Last night we went to see Cheech & Chong in STL. Reunion tour = Light Up America. heh.

This is the first event we've had after a slow couple of months, which is often the case in the dead of winter - but things are starting to pick up, we have tickets to a couple of things in Feb. already, so the usual late winter/early spring rebirth of my recreational life has begun.

We stopped to grab a bite less than halfway there, and the weather wasn't great - kind of sleety - so we debated turning back, but the tickets cost kind of a lot (considering!), and I hate to be chicken, so ...

turns out the worst of the weather was behind us, and on the way home we drove into it again and drove the last hour in falling snow, but the "roads were clear," as they say, and more importantly dry and non-slippery.

anyway. I had fun and I'm glad we went. Tommy Chong's wife opened, and while I liked her in the documentary about his trip to jail, she really wasn't all that funny - let's face it. She did have a funny crack about, when he was in jail, thank goodness for conjugal visits - if Cheech hadn't come by every week, I'd have gone crazy! ha ha ha. anyway, short but sweet, and then the main event.

let me say, it's so surreal sometimes when you see in person people who are really famous and have been for nearly as long as you can remember. you get used to them fast, but it was a funny moment for me when Cheech came out. He was wearing his up in smoke garb - undershirt, red hat, you know - so first they did the 'cheech gives chong a ride and they smoke a big one and then chong accidentally gives him a massive dose of acid' bit from up in smoke, which was awesome. they also did Let's Make A Dope Deal, which went off really well too. there was a sketch where chong was the husband and cheech was the wife and they went to a porn movie, which was fairly funny, and sounded kind of familiar - especially when, after describing various fairly icky debaucheries they were supposedly watching, chong said "oh, man, don't look at the screen, they've totally ruined it - they brought in a black guy," which was such an awesome commentary on the whole race thing that we really were too uncomfortable to laugh as heartily as it deserves, but I say Bravo.

what else, OH and one where Chong was an old man on a park bench and Cheech was an unsavory type who came and sat next to him and they bickered until Chong pretended to have a heart attack and freaked cheech out ("I'm on probation, you f***r!") a bit where Cheech was an astronaut, and a sketch where the two of them were dogs (cue the poop and humping jokes), and a number of musical interludes, including a classic Blind Melon Chitlin bit (two songs, I think) and something J recognized where Cheech was a character from one of the movies where he'd played his own cousin, a kind of country singer? with the most hilarious American Accent? which was very funny (okay, I know, my 'haven't really seen that much of their stuff' is showing, but really I knew more of it than I thought I would, even if my descriptions are really Killing The Funny). also the bit where Cheech is the rock star in the tutu, oh, you know what I'm talking about (" ... but I don't listen to her 'cause my mind is like a sieve!", oh, how I love that line), and Cheech's song "Mexican-Americans," which ought not be funny (like so much other stuff). There were several kind of Tommy Alone doing some standup parts scattered throughout, enough so we felt like it was less cheech and chong than Chong, Sometimes With Cheech. a lot of that was the real pot advocacy, though. I respect cheech for getting over himself and letting himself get back to his roots and enjoy a little healthy pot humor, but the real advocacy portion of the proceedings was all Tommy (predictably), and he talked a little bit about the going to jail thing, too (I was in jail with my fan club, man, all I did was sign autographs and pose for pictures).

overall I had a good time, I was mostly there for the majority of the show, which was the pot jokes and music. like many of us, I have mixed feelings on the mexican humor generally, but let's face it, some of it was very funny. Also, I feel like we as a society should be past the 'black guys are well endowed' jokes, but ... hey, a hundred percent of any performance doesn't hit home with a hundred percent of the audience, right? I mean, this is coming from a chick who just paid roughly a dollar a minute for an evening of bong jokes, so ...

so we had a nice ending with the traditional singalong. I took my smaller camera and most of the few pics I took were disappointing, but here are a couple at the end:

Also, you know, Cheech is Hurley's dad, so that was funny.