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As Seen on TV [Paperback]

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Item description for As Seen on TV by Lou Harry...

Do you want thicker, fuller hair?
How about a bigger bustline? A smaller waistline? Or buns of steel?
Are you troubled by garden pests, unsightly stains, or an inexplicable desire to look like Richard Simmons?
If you answered “Yes” to these questions, we can’t really help you.
But you might enjoy As Seen on TV, an illustrated history of the greatest gizmos and gadgets ever hawked on television. Here are the real-life stories of Ginsu Knives, K-Tel Records, the Clapper, the Thighmaster, NordicTrack, Time-Life Books, and dozens of other products that have broken the backs of UPS delivery men everywhere.
This nostalgic tribute is jam-packed with color photography, fascinating trivia, and loads of fun. You’ll learn the secrets of the perfect pitch from As Seen on TV pioneer Ron Popeil. You’ll discover unauthorized uses for your favorite products (yes, Virginia, you can eat your Chia Pet sprouts). And you’ll find out which of TV’s biggest celebrities—from Florence Henderson to Ricardo Montalban—would agree to hawk diet aids, ab-blasters, blemish removers, and teeth whiteners.
But that’s not all! Purchase this incredible volume today, and we’ll give you an extra chapter on the Auto Hammer, Bacon Magic, and The Craftmatic Adjustable Bed—absolutely free!
Lou Harry is the author of It’s Slinky! and The Love Voodoo Kit, and yet, inexplicably, he has never been nominated for the National Book Award. The first album he ever bought was K-Tel’s Believe in Music. Sam Stall is the author of Special Delivery, the story of America’s first septuplets. As a child he wanted a Pocket Fisherman, but his parents didn’t get him one. And he never forgave them.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.01" Width: 7.98" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2002
Publisher   Quirk Books
ISBN  1931686092  
ISBN13  9781931686099  
UPC  082345360926  

Availability  0 units.

More About Lou Harry

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lou Harry is:

a) A reporter/novelist

b) A playwright and prolific writer of novelty and pop culture books.

c) Co-author of "Kid Culture" and author of "The Game of Life".

d) All of the above

Yup, all of the above. Lou Harry collaborated on this trivia book with Eric Berman, who is a reporter for WIBC News; a semifinalist in the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions and Midwestern champion at the 2001 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament; and coauthor of a weekly pub quiz in Bloomington, Indiana.

Lou Harry currently resides in Indianapolis. Lou Harry was born in 1963.

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Improve our customers experience by registering for an Artisan Biography Center Homepage.

Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Business & Finance > Marketing
2Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > Communications > Film Studies
3Books > Special Features > Substores > jp-unknown3
4Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General
5Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales > Marketing > General
6Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Performing Arts
7Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Television > General
8Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Industrial, Manufacturing & Operational Syste > Industrial Design

Reviews - What do customers think about As Seen on TV?

"As Seen On TV" is a fond look back at those Kitschy products and their even tackier commercials for products as diverse as the Chia Pet to K-Tel records. These products would make household names out of people like Ron Poeil, Billy Mays, and Susan Powter as they pushed products to enhance yourself, your cooking, or your home. These 50 products, most of which are still on the market today and still being seen on TV were the forerunners of the dreaded infomercial which made their way into our homes back in the 1984 when the FCC loosened regulations on TV advertising. You'll chuckle as you read about these products, many of which you probably haven't thought about in years.

The book is arranged by product type including Kitchen Marvels, Fashion and Beauty Wonders, Fabulous Fitness, Entertainment Breakthroughs, Home Improvement Miracles, and Get Rich Quick. A history of each products is provided along with details about its use, inventor, and other interesting facts as well as photos. Ron Popeil is certainly the godfather of these products who got the ball rolling with the Veg-O-Matic, actually invented by his father. Popeil's list of products is long and often notorious and includes things such as GLH Formula #9 spray for balding men, as well as the Pocket Fisherman. The book includes a lengthy interview with Popeil as well.

Other items in the Kitchen gadget category include the legendary Ginsu knives...and who doesn't fondly remember those commercials where they sawed through knives and aluminum cans? Then there is a modern classic as former boxer turned pitchman, George foreman introduced the grill bearing his name.

There's the Blue Blocker glasses, Hairagami, Thigh Master, Matthew lesko's books on free Government money, Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, The Clapper, and Life Call Alert in which Edith Fore uttered those words that would become grafted into American lexicon, "I've Fallen...AND I CAN'T GET UP!!!" But perhaps my all-time favorite for pure cheesiness would be Mr. Microphone. Who can forget the goof in the convertible telling the girl walking on the street, "Hey Good Lookin', We'll be back to pick you up later!" It was the epitome of tackiness back then and would probably get him arrested today.

Oh...and the book is informative as well. I never knew that the K-Tel in K-Tel records stood for Kevis Television named after its founder Phillip Kevis. A true pop culture treasure trove!

Reviewed by Tim Janson
Hi, my name is __ and I am an Infomercial addict....  Aug 24, 2005
What a fun book! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has ever gotten caught up watching infomercials or home shopping channels. It's fascinating to read about products that became hugely popular, even though in some cases, you look at them now and say "what were they thinking?".

It was especially fun for me because... as I turned each page, I had to wonder if the next product was one I've bought. LOL
Yes, I have succumbed to the "power of the pitch" and bought into the hype. And yes, I have purchased a few of the items in this book (George Foreman Grill, Steamer, etc... and I LIKE the Dr. Ho's Muscle Massage System!) but I'll never admit to how many.

Anyone who has heard "and that's not all" will enjoy the fact that a section with that title is included AFTER the index.

I only gave this book 4 stars because I wanted more products to be in it! It was so fun to read, I wanted more of it.
Did we really buy one of these?  Jan 6, 2003
Did folks buy this stuff? They sure did, by the millions according to Harry and Stall. Some of these products would really be hard to parody, the Chai Ceramic Pet that grows vegetation, the Turbi Twist, a hair towel with an elastic loop (with the predictable AS SEEN ON TV on the box) the Copper Tongue Scraper, PROVEN EFFECTIVE was the bold statement on its packaging but it really does look just like a piece of bent metal! Each product has a spread with photos, copy and several colored panels (more on these later) containing background material and other trivia. I liked the Product panels best with their Description, Availability, Claimed Innovation, Upside and the Downside, just read the Downside to each product and really get the truth.

The six basic chapters are Kitchen Marvels, Fashion and Beauty, Fabulous Fitness, Entertainment Breakthroughs, Home Improvement Miracles, and finally Get Rich Quick, between these chapters are some interesting features, pages 122 and 123 cover the rise of the home shopping channels where you will be amazed to find that QVC have studio tours (yours for only [x ammount of dollars]). Ron Popiel, the founder of Ronco, has four pages explaining the background to the infomercial techniques he uses to shift the goods. Incidentally the Ronco story is covered in 'But, Wait! There's More!' by Timothy Samuelson, lots of product photos, vintage ads and packaging and a fairly accurate history of the Popiel family. Ever wonder what happened to yesterday's celebrities, check out pages 74 to 79 to see the Top 100 infomercial-land stars from Allen (Debbie) to Zappa (Dweezel) you'll be surprised who's listed, well, perhaps not. 'As Seen On TV' is a fascinating and fun book covering a subject that most of us would hardly think twice about.

But, wait! There is more! DON'T TOUCH THAT DIAL! Buy this book and get absolutely FREE hundreds of words that only come out in daylight! The book's designer (unfortunately) decided to use pink panels, on many of the product pages, with text in light blue. Big mistake, because it is very hard to read in a normal domestic lighting environment and the type used for the headlines on these panels is hard to read even in daylight!

Hey good lookin', we'll be back to pick ya up later!  Dec 24, 2002
If you recognize this catch phrase from the Mr. Microphone ad, you'll love this book. Indeed any child of the '70s or '80s can appreciate the nostalgia and humor of the infomercial era, which is vividly and humorously captured in "As Seen on TV". It's all here, from Abtronic to Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute. If you have any doubt about whether your money would be well spent on this gem, then to paraphrase Ron Popeil: "Just forget it and GET IT!"
If you read this review in the next ten minutes...  Dec 11, 2002
This book read itself!

I bought this trip to entertain myself for a long drive home from Wisconsin to Florda. (Don't worry- I was the passanger, not the driver. Gusee I should've used the word 'ride' but I'm too lazy to backspace!)

I think the ultimate compliment to a book is when your constantly interupting other people around you to read the next wonderful thing you've read. I lost my voice from this book.

There's not too much to tell in this review. You've simply got to read it for yourself. It is so much more than just a list of goofy things sold via infomercials and TV ads. We get interviews, product history, trivia and much, much more.

We also get the lowdown on what was legit and what wasn't.

So the next time your using the flow-bee and screw up so badly your running to the store for some GLH (if you don't know what that sentence just meant, buy the book)... think of this book. It'll help ya.

And if you're just looking for some easy entertaing reading... this is it folks!


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