Super Bug Away Commercial: Bad Acting or Bad Directing?

The Super Bug Away commercial from 1986 opens up with a couple of very interesting acting performances…

It would be easy to blame the actors for whatever it is they think they’re doing with their faces, but perhaps they are simply following the director’s orders to look like a sadistic serial killer who takes glee in the death and suffering of bugs and rodents…

… and then instantly turn into someone who is terrified at the very thought of possibly seeing a pest.

No human being has ever expressed a fear of rats like that woman does—so maybe she just caught a glimpse of her perm in the mirror.

This product is so effective because the insipid background music of this infomercial is the very same sound bugs will hear, ensuring every pest flees in terror as quickly as possible.

The announcer assures us the device’s “ultrasonic sound waves cannot be heard by humans or household pets, except hamsters, gerbils, and mice.” Sorry, Mickey! And how appalling that a mere 27 years ago advertisers were so insensitive to people who chose to keep silverfish and waterbugs as pets.


  • 4 Responses to “Super Bug Away Commercial: Bad Acting or Bad Directing?”

  • I’d say both bad acting and bad directing.

    On the other hand, that’s what makes it hilarious!

    Comment by Jordi on June 21, 2013 at 6:42 am

  • I assume the acting was meant to be funny, but I have no theories to explain the music. Script-wise, however, I don’t think this ad is very different than recent ads for similar products – including the super-cheesy acting.

    Comment by Julie on June 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm

  • I think these devices were popular at the time. I think that even Radio Shack end sold one. I think the latest scam of this type was the Riddex devices.

    Comment by EllisGL on August 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm

  • Wait…is that exterminator guy the one who now sells the magic pillow?

    Comment by JG on September 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm