The product has just been described, almost every amazing feature
has been described: now, how much would you pay for this little miracle?
How this is handled depends on how the infomercial is structured. Normally the demonstrator will ask this question. The host, usually female and often blond, will guess a price that is on the steep side of reasonable. The demonstrator will then correct them, and name the true price and possible payment plans
. There will often be Witty Banter
between the two as the demonstrator keeps trying to get the host to guess the price and the host keeps guessing higher and higher amounts. The host will also be shocked, shocked I tell you, about how cheap the product actually is.
Ron Popeil infomercials handle it in a different way. Popeil may be accompanied by a "host" (often his daughter) or he may act as both host and demonstrator, but he doesn't need anyone to suggest a price. He'll tell you that you're not about to pay $240 for this item, or $230, or $210 like one of those fancy department store products. (Which stores and products are conveniently not mentioned
) Not $200, not $190, and not even $180 like many of you might have been thinking. Not $175, and not $170 either. No, this product is available for four easy monthly payments
of just $39.99 each.
But Wait, There's More
- Parodied in a Good Eats episode dedicated to knives where Alton, playing Chef Klaus in an infomercial muses, "Now how much are you willing to give Klaus? One hundred? Two hundred? Heh heh, I sink so but today Klaus is feeling generous."
- Spoofed in the Dr. Tran short Roybertitos, along with other commercial tropes.
- Also spoofed on 3rd Rock From The Sun when Tommy tried to sell chocolate door-to-door by performing a skit with Harry:
Tommy: How far would you walk for a bar of chocolate?
Harry: To get a bar of chocolate or at the request of a bar of chocolate?
Tommy: ...to get one.
Harry: Oh, fifty-three miles.
Tommy: Well, now you can have chocolate in your own home!
Harry: In my own home?!
Tommy: That's right. Now, how much would you pay for that?
Harry: For my own home or for a bar of chocolate?
Tommy: A bar of chocolate.
[door is slammed in their faces]
- Used by Swindle in Transformers Animated while selling increasingly ridiculous weapons to Lugnut and Blitzwing.
- Sometimes made fun of by Colin and Ryan on Whose Line Is It Anyway? during the "Greatest Hits" game.
Colin: "Why, I'd pay upwards of- more."
- Spoofed in an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures involving an Infomercial parody where Babs tries to sell drying pins, only for the audiance to boo and hiss every time she mentions a price, forcing her to lower it and add even more "bonus" items, until the price gets ridiculously low. This backfires, however, when the offer even includes "the Sun" which she has apparently brought into the studio, thus, vaporizing everyone.
- Called out verbatim in the Weird Al song "Mr. Popeil."
- Parodied in a Mad TV sketch for the Spishak "Omni-Bowl", a bowl that can double as a cereal bowl AND a small pasta bowl. When the spokesman asks how much people would expect to pay for the product, the other actors agree that $8000 sounds about right. The spokesman shocks them by saying they would have to only pay $400 for the wondrous bowl.
Wow! That's a $7000 savings!