The Snuggie vs. the ShamWow!


Though 2008 was a disappointing TV year in many respects, there was one bright spot: the rebirth of the art of the cheesy, cheap cable commercial with a bizarre pitch for a completely useless product. The year began with Vince Offer (who looks like one of the Lawrence Brothers working as a telemarketer while on PCP) and his unseen “Camera Guy” demonstrating the miracles of the ShamWow! And toward the end of 2008, the Snuggie came along to demonstrate that even if you’re so poor and desperate that you can’t heat your home or afford a decent blanket, you can still save your health and life by purchasing a backwards flannel bathrobe.

But which of these commercials was a greater achievement? I think it’s clear that the Snuggie has made more of a cultural impact, mostly because of the fact that everyone in the commercial looks like they’re members of a cult that already controls the world. (Yes, I said “already.” There’s only one way to explain why these people would send away for a flimsy, fire-hazard Masonic robe, and that’s their certain knowledge that by doing so, they will be allowed to get the secret parking places that only world rulers know about.) Time Magazine even gave it a write-up this week. And it gets extra points for starting the narration in rhyme and then dropping the device for no reason, as if the writer just couldn’t think of any more rhymes and said “to hell with it.” But the ShamWow! was there first, and there’s something endearingly desperate about Vince screaming at us about the wonders of German efficiency.

You decide. What’s the 2008 stuff-you-don’t-need champion, or, as the Germans would call it, materialnichtbenötigenmeister? Is it this:

Or this?

Update: The most recent episode of This Hour Has 22 Minutes already addressed the cultish nature of Snuggiehood:

Also, I should point out that Dino Stamatopoulos predicted the evil Snuggie cult 15 years ago when he wrote this sketch for The Ben Stiller Show (aka “The 13 episode show that Ben Stiller borrows from every time he makes a movie”):

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The Snuggie vs. the ShamWow!

  1. All I can say is…SnuggieWow!

  2. Yes – Imagine a Snuggie made of Sham Wow

    • That would be awesome…especially after skinnydipping or the hot tub or steamroom or some other sweat-inducing activity…

      Have to work on the available colours though.

  3. Did these sorts of commercials really ever disappear? It seems like, here in the midwestern United States, anyway, they’ve been a fixture. Billy Mays has been on my TV constantly, pitching me all kinds of nonsense. What I want to see is a grudge match between Vince Offer and Billy Mays.

    • Not to mention Head-On. Or Active-On. Which I hear you apply directly to your head. Or where ever it hurts. And whose commercials I am subjected to repeatedly whenever I watch Jeopardy. And have been for what seems like a long and miserable eternity now.

  4. Not bad 22 minutes, but I still want to see a Snuggie made of Shamwow….a Snuggiewow…with Vince Offer doing the pitch in rhyme

  5. Both ads are great, but I think Sham-Wow takes the prize, if only because the entire commercial looks like it was shot for around 50 bucks.

  6. the two best infomercial products ever have to the Snuggie and the Shamwow… i wonder if it’s possible to combine the two, and make a single, super-absorbent robe?