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Nine Awesome Gadgets Only Available from Late Night Television

In the days before Sky Mall and Hammacher Schlemmer, Americans had just one option to purchase their gimmicky gadgets—late night TV. Whether you needed a vacuum-equipped razor, an in-the-shell egg scrambler, or the best damn rotisserie $19.95 could buy, all you had to do was pick up the phone. Our friends at Oobject have collected nine of the coolest products you never knew you couldn't live without.


Be sure to also check out a dozen condom commercials from as many countries, robotics ads throughout history, and these spots for the Apple II.

Popeil Pasta Maker breaks during commercial

Ronco Smokeless Ashtray

So you can smoke in the car with your kids.

Demonstration of the Ronco inside the shell egg scrambler

Possibly the strangest Ronco product of all - why would you want to scramble the egg inside the shell?

Ronco Mister Microphone TV Spot - 1981

"Hey, good looking, I'll be back to pick you up later!" Broadcast your voice on any FM radio.

Very early demonstration of the first Popeil product, the Pop O Matic

David Duchovny and Jimmy Try to Use the Chop-O-Matic

The was a very large gap between the demonstrated product and the reality.

70s Dial O Matic ad in context, preceded by car dealerships

Popeil anchoring numbers. Ronco rotisserie price guessing

A classic demonstration of anchoring - mention a number and then the lower ones seem like a bargain.

1970's Ronco Auto Cup

Love the image of the guy drinking from a ceramic cup in a burgundy leather interior.

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You left out the Flowbee. Laugh if you want but I bought one in the early '90s from Damark (remember them?) and it's still going strong. No, it doesn't give you a salon cut but it's a usable haircut and at $15 a pop at my local barber it's paid for itself many times over. Full disclosure: I'm old and don't much care how I look.