Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Can't Get Enough of The Magic Bullet Infomercial

One of the small joys of my life is when I stumble across another opportunity to watch the 30 minute infomercial for the Magic Bullet, the “personal versatile countertop magician”, which I’ve probably seen 50 times. Sometimes I troll the cable channels looking for it, often striking paydirt early Sunday mornings.

For the uninitiated, this fascinating commercial doesn’t just promote the product (which is basically a glorified miniature food processor). What is so compelling is that the action takes place in the kitchen of an impossibly perky and good-looking couple named Mick and Mimi, along with a ragged assortment of their friends who are apparently spending a weekend with them. Mick and Mimi spend half an hour amazing their guests with the many varieties of meals, dips and drinks they create in seconds with the Magic Bullet.

The guests are a highlight of the commercial, and apparently I’m not the only person enthralled by the interactions between them and their upbeat hosts. There are numerous web sites that have been created by other cult enthusiasts of this commercial. Many of us gather at such Magic Bullet fetish sites to dissect the personality characteristics of each guest and the finer points of banter between the characters. One site conducts a poll of favorites catchphrases. “Did somebody say muffins?” is always a top vote-getter. This is the first line uttered by the immortal Hazel, padding into the kitchen in her frumpy housecoat and a cigarette perpetually dangling from her mouth. Another favorite is balding and hung-over Berman (the first few times I saw it I thought his name was "Vermin"), There's even a nameless woman whose apparent sole purpose is to be absolutely amazed by everything.

I’m not at all interested in ever actually owning a Magic Bullet. There's no way it can work as wonderfully as advertised. In fact, the first question under the official Magic Bullet list of Frequently Asked Questions is “Why does everything I chop turn into mush?” There is a store in a local mall that sells products advertised on television infomercials, and I told them I wasn't interested in a Magic Bullet but that I'd be glad to buy the infomercial if they could snag me a copy. I guess I could copy it the next time it comes on television, but part of the charm of the whole business is being surprised when it appears, like seeing a shooting star or catching all the green lights on the way to work.

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