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Hollywood Grooming Glove Gets Endorsements from “Animal Stars” and Anson Williams

A certain segment of the population—mostly those who watch a lot of TMZ and subscribe to Kim Kardashian’s twitter feed—puts a lot of weight on celebrity product endorsements, hoping to gain some of the cachet of Hollywood glamour for themselves.

But would an endorsement from “Hollywood’s animal stars” likewise validate a product for pets? The producers of the Hollywood Grooming Glove tested just this proposition:

The date on the Hollywood Grooming Glove video is 2004, but this infomercial has a much older feel to it, more like something that might have been broadcast in 1989.

Getting an endorsement from one of today’s hottest stars is usually too expensive for producers of TV infomercials. So most often the celebs will either be D-listers or people whose heyday has long passed. In the case of Anson Williams it’s both! His most famous role was that of Potsie Webber in Happy Days, a show that stopped production 20 years before this commercial aired. Everyone who has seen Happy Days knows that Potsie was a minor character on the show and the real stars were Ritchie, played by Ron Howard, and the Fonz, played by Henry Winkler…who now appears in an infomercial for reverse mortgages. We can only hope that a Donny Most infomercial is just around the corner!

But the really significant endorsements on the Hollywood Grooming Glove infomercial came from the “animal stars”—Lucy, the cat who played “Salem” on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Breezy, the dog who played “Porthos” on Star Trek: Enterprise. Both of those were recent TV series when this commercial was aired, so no one can accuse it of featuring has-been celebrity pets.

On the other hand, the magnitude of celebrity of these non-human “stars” is questionable. Having never seen an episode, I cannot comment on how important the role of “Porthos” was to Star Trek: Enterprise. But anyone who has seen Sabrina the Teenage Witch will remember Salem the cat this way:

Yes, the role of Salem was played by a creepy talking mechanical puppet, one which undoubtedly haunted the nightmares of many TV viewers. Clearly, the cat on the Hollywood Grooming Glove infomercial is not the same as the talking puppet who starred on the show. Whenever the producers of Sabrina the Teenage Witch needed “Salem” to do something like jump on a table or run out of the room, they would show a real cat for a few seconds. So “Lucy” didn’t play the role of Salem so much as act as a stand in for the puppet who actually played Salem. And, feline or not, that is about the best definition of a D-lister as I can think of.

[I just realized I spent over 400 words discussing the star power of animal actors in an 8 year old infomercial. I love my life!]

Comments

  • 3 Responses to “Hollywood Grooming Glove Gets Endorsements from “Animal Stars” and Anson Williams”

  • Salem from “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”? Ha! They probably found that cat behind the dumpster at McDonald’s.

    Comment by Kevin Truefaux on February 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm

  • The cats who played Salem were in fact rescue cats. I read it in a magazine in the 90s.

    Comment by pikapal on February 29, 2012 at 12:04 am

  • This makes me wonder why animal names are always in quotes, like they’re in the Witness Protection Program or something. I’ve seen obituaries that will mention the family pets and all their names are in quotes.

    Comment by BOTR on March 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

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