Use the Chatty Patty Fake Parrot to Effortlessly Boss People Around

Why be passive-aggressive when you can let the Chatty Patty talking mechanical parrot do your dirty work for you?

An earlier version of the Chatty Patty infomercial is very similar, but we get to hear the fake bird laugh hysterically when a pirate mentions “booty.”

Don’t assume this product is a mere novelty providing five minutes of amusement before being shoved into the back of a closet. Chatty Patty is a useful and effective way to order your family around without resorting to nagging. So we get to see a husband reminded about his anniversary; a daughter told to clean her room; a father and son instructed to hang up their coats; and a man prompted to take out the garbage. And all these people happily do these things without grumbling because a plastic parrot is the one bossing them around.

Far from a series of unrelated scenes, the vignettes in the Chatty Patty infomercial poignantly depict the alienation woven through the fabric of contemporary culture and present us with a foreboding glimpse into our bleak future.

Take, for example, the woman alone in her kitchen telling Chatty Patty, “Well, don’t you look pretty!” and “Oh, you are so nice!” in hopes of hearing those same compliments in return, even if uttered by the electronic voice of an artificial fowl. Later the commercial tells us the product will “laugh at your jokes” and can “talk on her own”—at which point Patty offers the words, “I hear you. I love you” to anyone who might be listening. Looking for affection and affirmation from a plastic pet is even more pitiable than using the Cheers to You CD to buoy one’s spirits. A house filed with fake talking birds may soon replace the home overrun by cats in quips about aging spinsters.

Another long-held cultural cliché is that of the macho laborer whistling at a sexy woman as she passes by a construction site. Yet the strictures of unrelenting political correctness have so emasculated men that even a construction worker has to outsource his whistling to a fake (female) parrot.

Then there is the situation of the sweet, genial old man in a blue pullover who behind his happy facade is so deprived of physical affection that he needs to use Chatty Patty to entice his wife to offer him so much as a kiss. The wife is quite pleased with the bird…but still doesn’t give her husband a kiss.

Young people who have to make their way through such a spiritually desiccated society will fare no better. Other than the pirate leitmotif the biggest change between the two versions of the Chatty Patty infomercial is the replacement of the boy in the “broccoli” scene. Here is the first version of that scene followed by the revised one:

The seething hatred with which the first boy intones, “Don’t make him eat the broccoli” before turning menacingly to his mother presents us with a chilling profile of a budding serial killer. If anyone in Hollywood is looking to cast young Michael Myers in a Halloween reboot, please contact that boy’s agent immediately.

Chatty Patty isn’t the only instance of a contemporary civilization attempting to alleviate the symptoms of its decay with a mechanical life form. In Japan the collapsing birth rate has led to the manufacture of baby robots to provide consolation to the elderly in the last years of their lives. But why spend hundreds of dollars on a fake baby when you can get two fake parrots for $14.99!

It will all work out fine…until the day when these mechanical parrots finally become self-aware. “Hey, somebody give me a cracker!”


  • 5 Responses to “Use the Chatty Patty Fake Parrot to Effortlessly Boss People Around”

  • Old line: “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

    New line: “Is that a plastic parrot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

    Comment by euGene on April 13, 2013 at 8:32 pm

  • This is one of your best write-ups yet, Paul. Hilarious!

    Comment by Algabal on April 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

  • I agree – you were in rare form.

    Which means – disturbingly – that Chatty Patty is some kind of robotic muse.

    Comment by Julie on April 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

  • Glad you both liked it! I was worried that I might have wound this post a little too tight.

    Comment by Paul Lucas on April 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm

  • When I first got the product, I wasn’t sure if I had ordered both the Perfect Polly or Chatty Patty. I even looked through the instructions, thinking the battery compartment was in the bird, when I later realised that it was on the stand itself. All I found were mechanical parts, which fortunately still work.
    I’m curious to know how the bird component is able to operate just by being connected to the stand. Does it work similar to headphone prods?

    Comment by Ulysses Garcia on January 29, 2016 at 11:38 pm