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DogPedic and Beyond: Montel Williams Tries to Take Over the Universe One Infomercial at a Time

Montel Williams watches a dog dance on the DogPedic infomercialFormer talk show host Montel Williams will soon crown himself Emperor of Infomercials. In addition to the ubiquitous HealthMaster, three other Montel Williams “Living Well” infomercials are currently being broadcast: DogPedic, AbCoaster, and LifeLock. (This is in addition to Montel’s previous infomercials selling Living Well Pain Relief Spray, Living Well Pressure Cooker, My Rotisserie, and a white label Snuggie brand called Toasty Wrap.)

Not since the late, great, sweater-wearing Mike Levey and his “Amazing Discoveries” has one person been willing to hawk such a variety of disparate infomercial products. Of course, Montel Williams disguises all these infomercials as a talk show called “Living Well with Montel” in hopes enough people don’t realize his real talk show was canceled years ago.

Montel’s three most recent infomercials are all for products that have already been heavily advertised on TV.

DogPedic Bed

Three-legged heroine Calamity JaneThis weepy infomercial drenches us in pathos and bathos to sell the DogPedic “memory foam” bed for dogs. The most tear-jerking moment comes when Montel trots out a three-legged Golden Retriever named Calamity Jane. The story of this woebegone dog includes getting shot, having a leg amputated, giving birth to seven puppies, and saving a neighbor family from burglars. How did she “save an entire family from death?” Four masked intruders had broken into a neighboring house and held the terrified family at gunpoint. Going out for her daily walk, Calamity Jane “sensed the evil that was next door” and started barking furiously in front of the neighbors’ house. The four gunmen—who had been bold enough to hold people hostage in their own home—suddenly became so frightened at the sound of a dog barking outside that they fled the house like scared little girls. For her bravery and heroism, Calamity Jane has been nominated for a “People’s Hero” award from the Humane Society of the United States. Oh yeah, she also really likes her DogPedic bed.

Audience member cries over a dog on the DogPedic infomercialMontel then introduces what he describes as the “most talented dogs in the entire world.” After that build up, seeing the actual “talents” of these pooches is quite anticlimactic. You’ve almost certainly seen better dog acts at your county fair. There’s “Uggie” who just rides around on a skateboard. There’s “Gin” who does “canine freestyle,” which basically means the dog walks on two legs and hops around her owner. The most disappointing has to be “Teddy,” who sounds like he is choking on a chicken bone but is supposed to be saying, “I love you.” Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite dog online. (Montel also announces the “Pawsitively Fabulous” contest, for viewers to send in photos of their own dogs.)

We also get to meet a Boxer who nurses her litter on a DogPedic bed. Montel resists the urge to do a DNA test of the puppies and reveal the name of the “real father.”

Montel tells viewers that he has “negotiated with the manufacturer” for a special price on the DogPedic bed. Montel’s negotiating skills leave something to be desired because the price and offer is the exact same one that has been advertised for months.

This exercise in treacle and melodrama goes on for a full hour.

AbCoaster

Montel’s infomercial for the AbCoaster also goes on for a full hour—a long, slow, dull hour. The AbCoaster is a piece of exercise equipment that works out the ab muscles. As with the DogPedic infomercial, Montel announces a photo contest; this time it’s the “UItimate Abs Challenge” for viewers to send in their before and after ab pictures. He also trots out a couple of Olympic medal winners (neither of whom have had their leg amputed nor foiled a burglary). Unless your Unisom isn’t working, please do yourself a favor and skip this one.

LifeLock

Eileen N. talks about having a porn site created in her nameThis infomercial promotes the LifeLock identity theft protection service. Montel Willams claims his personal identity has been stolen and introduces us to LifeLock CEO Todd Davis. Davis is famous for publishing his Social Security number in LifeLock ads because he was so confident in LifeLock’s security. He had his identity stolen anyway.

We get to hear the story of a strange identity theft case. Apparently someone stole the credit card number of an “Eileen N.” and started buying items online, but the items were sent to Eileen’s house. What kind of idiot would take the risk of using a stolen credit card and then repeatedly send items to the address of the victim? Maybe they meant it as some sort of consolation prize for her. (“Sorry for stealing your identity, but here’s a coffee machine to make you feel better.”) Then we are told that “an adult website was created with her account information.” They make it sound as if the criminals created a brand new porn site, rather than opened an account at an existing site so they could get free porn (which seems more likely). The infomercial never tells us the URL of this unscrupulous website so that we can all be sure to avoid it. The biggest outrage in all this is they didn’t even offer Eileen a free account at the site! The funniest part comes when Montel dramatically tells Eileen, “A pornographic site that has got your credit card attached to it. Somebody sends an image of children, you’re going to jail.”

Everyone in the studio audience receieved a free subscription to LifeLock, but a disclaimer tells us, “Free one year subscription available only to studio audience present during live taping, 12/12/09.” I guess they don’t want a bunch of losers calling up and demanding free LifeLock, claiming they were in the “audience” because they watched the infomercial while eating Doritos on their couch at 2am.


A three-legged salute to readers Steve D. and Joseph for letting me know about the Montel Williams canine extravaganza.

Comments

  • 3 Responses to “DogPedic and Beyond: Montel Williams Tries to Take Over the Universe One Infomercial at a Time”

  • Is there any single product sold through direct marketing that is actually worth a full hour of airtime? None of these products seem like they need more than a half-hour to sell themselves.

    To me, the strangest one has to be LifeLock. I can’t think of another product to be advertised in regular broadcast commercials and print ads that moved into the realm of infomercials. Those commercials and print ads used to be all over the place, so it’s funny to see it turn up here again. Especially to find out that CEO Todd Davis actually did have his identity stolen after all that.

    Comment by Thomas on June 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm

  • Montel also has some commercials for Money Mutual running too.

    http://www.moneymutualtvcommercial.com/tvcommercial.php

    Comment by pikapal on June 27, 2010 at 1:21 am

  • If I were Montel, I would have considered doing porn at this point of time.

    As someone hooked to trash TV (but having only basic rabbit-ear antenna TV), I am fed up of seeing Montel appear every 30 minutes, or even less, in some commercial or infomercial or some such thing.

    Comment by Znkp on August 5, 2010 at 11:42 am

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