Despite having a reputation for being sort of silly and worthless, the “As Seen on TV” brands are as strong in 2018 as they’ve ever been. While some actually have some sort of niche use that might get lost in the crowded markets that exist in hardware or regular stores, some are just crazy for the sake of crazy and seem to solve problems that don’t actually exist in the real world. So, with that in mind, we delve into years of infomercials and late-night television spots to find the 15 most worthless “As Seen on TV” products ever. And no, they’re not for sale.
15. The Kush Boob Pillow
While it’s not really fair for a man to say that this problem doesn’t exist, it’s fairly obvious that this solution would really only make things more uncomfortable. Dropped on an unsuspecting public a few years ago, the initial commercial for the “Kush” was met with widespread delight, confusion and clearly enough intrigue to justify keeping the Kush in production through the writing of this article. While it was essentially marketed as a must have for every woman, it appears that the Kush people have lowered their gazes by really focusing on pregnant women and women with breast implants. However, the Amazon reviews for this product should really stop any woman from purchasing this product, as it’s said to really only make matters worse by being extremely uncomfortable and hot, creating a sweaty mess and pain where only pain was before. It is said to work better if the person using it wears a bra (as it keeps it in place), but if you’re going to wear a bra to sleep you’ll be horribly uncomfortable for other reasons, so it just seems like this product trades one problem for two more.
14. The Fridge Locker
Anyone that has worked in an office knows that lunch theft is a top five stresser for people that are responsible enough to bring their own lunches into work everyday. People have gone so far as to “poison” their own lunches with laxatives to learn who in their office is the one stealing their lunch everyday, which almost seems like it’d be a great infomercial product in and of itself (“Introducing office poison! Catch the thief in your office by giving them diarrhea!”). However, the problem with the fridge locker is that it makes you look like a crazy person who trusts no one and that’s like the number one thing that you don’t want when you work with the same people day in and day out. The rule of thumb is that if there’s any product that makes you look like Dwight from The Office, in your office, you might want to skip it. Unless of course, it means buying bear mace. You can never be too safe when it comes to bears.
13. The Marriage Blanket
Also known as the anti-Dutch Oven blanket, the “Marriage Blanket” is for a husband or wife (let’s face it, a wife) that is married to someone who clearly has really bought into the assumed eternity of a marriage, as it’s literally a blanket that’s meant to absorb the smell of farts so both people in a marriage can sleep soundly through the night. While this more than most on this list seems like something from a Saturday Night Live skit (which is really saying something, considering how ridiculous this list is), it could have some value for the older couples out there that still eat red meat three times a day. The problem with the blanket isn’t that it doesn’t work in theory, it’s that the way people would use it wouldn’t really work unless they each had one (which means that the owners may have been onto something, since each marriage would require at least two blankets) dividing them as lab tests show that the “offending odor” would have to pass directly through the blanket itself to be filtered. Considering that most the commercials show a couple sharing the blanket, it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Although, as far as entertaining infomercials go, this one gets high marks.
12. The Back Up
This entry may get some people on the right of the gun issue upset, but there’s responsible gun ownership and then there’s “The Back Up”, a gun rack for the side of your bed so you can shoot someone without getting out of bed. While that may make some sense, considering that you may sleep through a break-in and end up stuck in bed while a madman murders you and those you love, as with all things gun it’s a lot more complicated than that as most gun related deaths are accidents in the homes of people who are otherwise “responsible” gun owners. There’s always been the conundrum of owning a gun for home defense and needing to keep it locked away (and unloaded) so your children or loved ones don’t accidentally end up being shot by it, but when it comes to keeping a loaded shotgun next to where you toss and turn, it just seems like a really bad, and semi-paranoid, idea.
11. FIR-Real Portable Sauna
Have you always wanted to sweat inside a tent? Then the FIR-Real Portable Sauna is for you! This invention may make sense in other cultures, like those in Europe whose lives seem to revolve around time inside the sauna, the idea of zipping onself into a small plastic tent that gets extremely hot seems like a bad idea for a multitude of reasons, with death by fire or electrocution being on the top of that list. That’s not to say that there aren’t benefits to actually hanging out inside of a sauna from time to time, as it is said that saunas can help people sweat out toxins and feel more fresh, but this invention makes about as much sense as the Jacuzzi suit from the Simpsons, which, actually… Would be pretty neat. However, something that is designed to make you sweat would not only be extremely uncomfortable but you’d think that it’d also begin to smell pretty bad after awhile, especially if you introduce water into the zip up petri-dish that this thing will inevitably become.
10. The Go-Pilot Portable Urinal
Now, there are a lot of actual uses for portable urinals, most of which have to do with healthcare issues and while that’s clearly the largest market for the Go-Pilot Portable Urinal, it was more of an issue of marketing that caused this device to become one of many laughing stocks that the “As Seen on TV” market crowd has produced in recent years. The Go-Pilot is marketed as something for the everyman, which is why it was included in multiple Father’s Day Gift Buying guides, as if men everywhere are just dying to find a more convenient way to relieve themselves outside of the bathrooms that are always within 30 seconds of every man in the industrialized world. Outside of the healthcare crowd, there’s also the people that go camping that could use this but if anyone whose gone camping with a man knows, the entire woods become our place for number two, so bringing along a urinal (that would be emptied… In the woods) just seems like a step that doesn’t need to be there.
9. Gangnam Style Singing Toothbrush
Now, this item may be pushing the definition of this article a bit as there weren’t 3 a.m. commercials for it around North America, but it seems like such a bad idea that it has to be included on this list. Sure, Gangnam Style was a gigantic hit, the biggest song of all-time at it’s release, the first video to a billion views on YouTube, etc. However, there’s no reality in which hearing the same song for two to three minutes once or twice a day is a good idea, none. Especially not a song like Gangnam Style, that got played out so quickly that getting it stuck in your head seems like torture especially when you’re literally forcing the song to play within your actual head. It’d be surprising to hear how many people actually purchased one of these, as it seems like even Psy himself wouldn’t want to be reminded of the song, even if it means he’ll never actually have to work a day in the rest of his life. However, you have to give him some props for promoting good dental hygeine? I guess? But really, this is just on par with the sell-out jokes from Pop Star: Never Stop Stopping, not that you’d expect anything different from Psy.
8. Long Reach Comfort Wipe
Now, like the urinal listed above, there is a medical use for something like this and that’s not what’s funny about it. What is funny about it is that instead of focusing on their niche, the makers of the Long Reach Comfort Wipe attempted to market their invention to the masses by acting like using a stick to wipe your behind is somehow better than using your hands to do the same. Most of the hilarity comes from the infomercial which tried and failed to prove the above. Most infomercials are made by the same few companies and they typically have a tried and true format, usually starting by showing the problem that the particular item for sale will fix. So, they actually had to hire an actor whose job it was to prove how difficult wiping is, after centuries of humans doing exactly that with little change outside of the quality of the material used. Now, for obvious reasons they couldn’t actually show someone struggling mightily on the toilet after a night of chimichangas, but the fact that they even tried makes this product hilarious and a worthy entry on this list.
Made famous by the 1991 film Wayne’s World, the Robocut (or the “Suck-Cut” as it was known in the film) surprises many who thought that it wasn’t a real invention. However, it was, and the fact that you can still buy one today proves that there’s an army of people out there who despite all the evidence telling them not to, are still cutting their own hair at home. The problem with the Robocut, which utilizes a vacuum to cut hair at a certain length, is that it does just that. So, while you can change the length of the adapters and cut your hair at different lengths on the sides or the top, unless you’re cutting your hair extremely short, cutting your hair that way is going to end up becoming a disaster more often than not. The only people who could actually end up with a good result from the Robocut are the one’s that have enough skill (and sense) to not use it in the first place, which is perhaps the largest conundrum on this list.
6. The Slob Stopper
Like many “As Seen on TV” products, the Slob Stopper says more about the state of society in 2018 than anything else, so when you visit their website I guess it’s a positive to see that things don’t seem to be going that great for the company behind the “Bib for adults”. Technically made for people who commute a lot and thus spill food, drink or even make-up on their laps throughout their drive, the fact that they call it the “Slob Stopper” doesn’t help as it reinforces the image of an actual slob needing their product (as opposed to it actually appealing to the target market they claim to have). While their product, and website, isn’t that great it has been successful enough to get reviews from nearly every magazine or television show out there and while it apparently works (it’s a bib), if you really need a bib as an adult perhaps you’d be better off spending that $9.99 on therapy or eating lessons than on a piece of plastic that you literally cover your body with so you don’t spill while gorging yourself while driving.
5. The Tiddy Bear
The Tiddy Bear may sound like a bear that is trying to steal market share away from the Kush (See #15), and the main image from the infomercial reinforce that, it’s actually meant for people of both genders who find … Seat belts uncomfortable? If you’ve ever watched any reality show that surrounds bringing a product to market via infomercials you’ll know that the first thing that the people who actually make money on these products say is that you have to solve a problem. Whether or not seat belts are so uncomfortable that you need to “Tiddy” bear to make them softer, is up for debate, as you’d think that wearing a shirt or really anything would accomplish the same thing as the bear. Either way, like everything else on this list, the infomercials clearly did their job as you can still buy these online (and clearly a lot of people do as it gets a couple Amazon reviews every month), however they could also just be selling surplus from their infomercial days as opposed to actually manufacturing more of these products that solve a non-existent problem.
4. The Tush Turner
Now, clearly every single one of the entries on this list are “stupid”, at least on first (and every subsequent) review. However, The Tush Turner may take the cake as it was labeled the “Stupidest infomercial product ever” by the website TheConsumerist.com, which is a pretty legit go-to for consumers in this work-a-day world. Now, how many people out there say that the worst part of their day is the time that they spend “contorting” their bodies to get in and out of their cars? None? Thought so. But apparently it was a large enough problem for the people behind the Tush Turner that they felt like people needed to install a turning cushion atop their car seat so they can much more easily get in and out of their cars. Like many things on this list, the Turner (as the kids aren’t calling it), clearly appeals to people with a much more…. Ahem, rotund, physique (See number(s), 5, 6, 8, 13, 14 and 15 (and probably 7 and 12)), and that’s something that a lot of these products should attempt to get away from if they really want mainstream adoption. Although, considering the obesity rates in the Western world these days, maybe they’re onto something.
3. The Cami-Secret
The Cami-Secret is either the most or least offensive entry on this list and it comes at the perfect time for the #MeToo movement as people are questioning sexual harassment as part of everyday life. Now, some may say that it’s offensive that women need to cover themselves up so men don’t harass them while others may say that a lot of low-cut tops have no place in the workplace and I guess it’s in that ambiguity that the Cami-Secret operates. However, it’s actually sold as a way to expand one’s ward-drobe by making shirts that aren’t “appropriate” for certain occasions, appropriate, and that’s where it probably slips up as it becomes sort of gross to most people to think about pretending like one shirt with a small triangle of fabric is actually two-shirts (unless you also buy the “Slob Stopper”, which would make that less gross over time). But, outside of that premise this shirt just becomes something that perhaps only the “Kush” audience could utilize.
2. The Uro-Club
Most of the entries on this list have the same disclaimer, that the medical aspects of these products aren’t whats funny, but even if you take into account the older gentleman with a prostate problem (or ten) this product is pretty funny. Now, when it comes to other products on this list this one does actually make some sense as a lot of older men do play golf and those are the types that typically need to be around bathrooms all the time (and if you’ve been on a golf-course, you’ll know that there aren’t a ton of bathrooms around), however the fact that it’s a golf club and that it comes with a “privacy towel” to make it look like you’re extremely satisfied with your backswing, makes this entire thing rife for parody. It also makes you wonder if you’re actually supposed to use the club at some point (especially if you’re in a tournament where you can only have so many clubs in your bag) and if so, if it’s better to use it while it’s full or empty. So many unanswered questions, Uro-Club.
Now, it’s been said on about fifty-percent of the entries on this list that a lot of these products are taking advantage of the fact that we’ve become a bit too heavy as a society. While some actually do solve a problem, or at least try to, this product is just a lazy attempt to cater to lazy people by selling literal tape to people so they can hide their flab, with tape. The commercials make this product look like a great bargain as compared to liposuction or skin removal surgery, as it shows how it can make an older woman’s arms look a lot shapelier or less, flabby and loose, but like most “As Seen on TV” products you just know that these things are a lot harder to use than that and that’s just the first problem with them. Beyond that, the fact that you’d have to find outfits to hide the tape on your upper arms (or muffin top, or man-boobs) all the time, lest the people around you know your secret, means that you’d probably have to buy three other things on this list just to hide this one purchase. Beyond that, though, you could just use regular tape too. Which is probably why this product isn’t on TV much anymore.