One messageboard wit described Matthew Lesko as “a libertarian fashion designer’s nightmare”—and that has to be the most perfect description of the man and his works. Sporting the wardrobe of the Riddler and the charm of Urkel, Matt Lesko promises to reveal the secrets of how to snatch money from the government.
Matthew Lesko Presents Another Annoying Spaz
With his incessantly enthusiastic shouting, horn-rimmed glasses, questionable wardrobe, and flailing body motions, Lesko would seem to have few rivals who could match him for sheer obnoxiousness. Yet, incredibly, this infomercial introduces a being nearly as disturbing as Matt Lesko himself.
The creature in question is a giant book with limbs and features.
This humanoid book is supposed to be a metastasized version of Lesko’s own authorial output, and it shares its author’s fondness for spastically gyrating limbs. The book is somewhat reminiscent of Clippy, the Microsoft Office user agent that has haunted the nightmares of a generation of PC users—except that Lesko’s book is scarier because it’s in three-dimensions and is big enough to kick your ass. The running gag throughout this infomercial is that Lesko doesn’t notice this monstrosity stalking him even though it is never more than a few feet away.
The Life’s Work of Matthew Lesko
Meanwhile, Lesko appears in various spots in our nation’s capital encouraging you to suck at the government teat. “[Washington] is where they give out money for taxpayers to do almost anything,” Lesko insists, and he offers plenty of evidence to back up his claim. Indeed, much of this infomercial could double as a National Taxpayers Union brief against porkbarrel spending:
- “$20,000 to travel overseas”
- “$50,000 to build a website on hiking trails”
- “…making pasta for the government for $80,000″
- “…hundreds of thousands of dollars a year framing artwork for the government”
- “$5,000 grant to put on a new coat of paint”
Lesko began his career farming the government as an advisor to wealthy clients who wanted to line their pockets with federal funds. But after a few years he got “sick of helping fat cats” feed at the government trough and decided instead to help average people like you feed at the government trough.
It really is possible to receive cash from the government, Lesko assures us, and as real-life examples he cites George W. Bush, who received money for his baseball team, and Dick Cheney, who was affiliated with a company which received government funds. No doubt this will reassure sons of U.S. presidents who own professional sports franchises and former cabinet secretaries on the boards of global conglomerates that even someone like them can hope to obtain a grant from government.
And just in case you feel a twinge of guilt about having the Feds ransack someone else’s pockets for you, Lesko insists, “By using these programs you’re not only helping yourself—you’re helping America.” So by all means apply for that subsidy to build a Hef-style grotto in your crib because “Remember, the better your house looks, the better America looks.”
Matthew Lesko Finds His Soul Mate
After all this cheerleading for looting the Treasury ends comes the most disturbing part of the infomercial. Matthew Lesko catches a glimpse of the enchanted book and, quite naturally, starts screaming and running full bore in the other direction. But then Lesko, recognizing the mutated product of his own pen, runs to embrace his creation. The two proceed to walk hand-in-hand as Lesko utters the following sweet nothings to his book (and I am quoting verbatim!):
You look terrific.
Your shoes are so shiny.
Your pages they’re so white.
I mean the print is so adorable.
And your book is so big I don’t even need my glasses anymore to read you.
Oh, you’re just the highlight of my wonderful life.
Oh, it’s so great to see you.
This scene leaves the gender and orientation of both creatures in as much doubt as ever. But it is safe to assume that the two will stroll down to the nearby Supreme Court and have their union blessed in a dignified ceremony presided over by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.