Vince Offer

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Vince Offer
Vince Offer.JPG
Offer in July 2009
Born
Offer Shlomi[1][2]

(1964-04-25) April 25, 1964 (age 56)
Beersheba, Israel
Other namesVince Shlomi, ShamWow Guy
OccupationSalesman, screenwriter, film director, film producer, comedian, editor
Years active1996–present
Known forInfomercial acting
Spouse(s)
Melody Claire Mandate
(m. 2014; div. 2018)
[3]
Children1

Offer Shlomi (Hebrew: עֹפֶר שְׁלוֹמִי‎; born April 25, 1964), better known as Vince Offer, Vince Shlomi, "The ShamWow Guy", or "The Slap Chop Guy", is an Israeli-American infomercial pitchman, director, writer, and comedian.[1][2][4] Offer's first major work was the 1999 comedy film The Underground Comedy Movie. Offer owns, produces, and appears in television commercials for his products "ShamWow!", an absorbent towel; the "Slap Chop", a kitchen utensil; a lint roller called the "Schticky"; a liquid cleaner called "InVinceable"; and another kitchen utensil called "Crank Chop". He has also officially advertised other products that he does not own, such as Quicky Grass.

Early life[edit]

Offer Shlomi was born in Beersheva, Israel and grew up in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York. As a child, he was fascinated by Crazy Eddie commercials. He dropped out of high school when he was 17 and moved to Los Angeles, changing his name to Vince Offer.[5]

Career[edit]

Film[edit]

In 1999, Offer directed and appeared in The Underground Comedy Movie, which was met with extremely negative reviews. DVDs of the film were marketed via television infomercial. The film also led to several lawsuits. Although the film was released and screened in 1999, Offer was bankrupt by 2002 and home video distribution plans were shelved. Offer, who had previously been a successful vegetable chopper salesman and businessman, resumed selling vegetable choppers at swap meets to support himself and raise money to complete his film project. Within a few months, he had earned enough to resume production, and the movie was finally completed, released, and marketed entirely on late-night infomercials that Offer paid for with his earnings from the swap meet vegetable chopper sales. The film has sold in excess of 100,000 copies and Offer has used the proceeds from sales to file a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.[6] He is an ex-Scientologist.[7][8]

In 2011, he appeared as himself in the Adam Sandler film Jack and Jill. Title character Jill, played by Sandler, referred to him as "the ShamWow guy".

In 2013, Offer released the universally panned InAPPropriate Comedy, which he directed, wrote and appears in as a character called 'Peeping Tom'.[9] The film was originally envisioned as a sequel to his previous anthology, called Underground Comedy 2010. The film features stars Rob Schneider, Michelle Rodriguez, Adrien Brody, and Lindsay Lohan. Examples of film sketches include comedian Ari Shaffir as 'The Amazing Racist', with deliberately offensive hidden-camera encounters with members of different minority groups, and Brody as 'Flirty Harry', a Dirty Harry spoof.[10]

Infomercial marketing[edit]

Background[edit]

Offer funded The Underground Comedy Movie with his own money, but had difficulty selling it. He put the trailer in an infomercial, and claims to have sold 50,000 copies via direct order and 50,000 more in stores.[6] In 2010, he advertised Eminem's Recovery album.[11] In 2020, Eminem celebrated the 10th anniversary of his album, Recovery, by introducing merchandise and sharing the original commercial starring Offer.[12]

ShamWow[edit]

In 2006, Offer began to market a cleaning product that he saw in flea markets, an absorbent towel that he called the "ShamWow!"[6][13] The title of the product derives from the French pronunciation of the chamois, often shortened to "shammy" in English. Offer visited the factory in Germany where the product is made, and he decided to incorporate that fact into the TV pitch.[6]

The advertisement, filmed in the summer of 2007 with a budget of $20,000, received critical praise.[6] Slate.com's Seth Stevenson praised Offer for his "impressive and subtle mastery of the pitchman's art" (with lines such as "you know the Germans always make good stuff"), and wondered if Offer's "abrasive manner might also mark a unique, new strategy in the annals of pitchdom." Stevenson compared Offer to earlier, "more upbeat" television pitchmen like Billy Mays and the Home Shopping Network hosts and concluded that Offer's "smooth-talking condescension" was more suited to the present "zeitgeist" than the "earnest fervor" of spokesmen like Mays and Ron Popeil.[13]

Consumer Reports reported that the infomercial for "ShamWow!" initially featured Offer claiming that the product held "20 times its weight in liquid". Later, the infomercial was changed to Offer claiming the "ShamWow!" held "12 times its weight in liquid", then again to "10 times". Consumer Reports did its own test on the product and found that it does indeed hold 10 times its weight in liquid but no more.[14]

Offer says that he has sold millions of the towels. In contrast to claims that the absorbency of the towels is over-hyped, he responds that returns are low.[6]

Pitchman Billy Mays had been promoting a similar product called Zorbeez two years prior to Offer's "ShamWow!" product. Mays noted that the "ShamWow!" commercials use many of the same product demonstrations as the earlier-produced Zorbeez commercial. Popular Mechanics tested the absorbency of the two towel products and declared "ShamWow!" was the more effective of the two, but noted "If you have reusable cloth rags (and a roll of paper towels for backup), then neither product is necessary."[15] During the episode, it was suggested that the Popular Mechanics tester did not use the Zorbeez correctly.[16]

Following the popularity of the commercial, TMZ in 2009 posted a remix of the commercial on their site.[17] The remix was originally created by DJ Steve Porter and uploaded on YouTube.[18]

In 2020, Offer started to sell "ShamWow!" masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He appeared in an infomercial showing the cloths, followed by wearing the face mask, which are made up of viscose/polypropylene thermally bonded non-woven cloth, and then giving a thumbs up.[19]

Vince pitching the Slap Chop in August 2008

Slap Chop[edit]

In December 2008, Offer, who had previously sold kitchen utensils at swap meets,[13] appeared in another kitchen-gadget infomercial, advertising the Slap Chop and the Graty. The Slap Chop is a hand-held chopping device with internal blades; to operate it, the user places it over a food item and slaps down the button on the top. The Graty is a cheese grater operated by placing the cheese inside and then turning the outside housing of the utensil which causes the cheese to be grated.[20] Offer's aggressiveness and use of double entendres like "you're gonna love my nuts" have been noted by AdWeek,[21] and, according to an Adweek blog, helped make Offer "the man who could beat Billy Mays at his own game."[citation needed]

Billy Mays had been promoting a similar product set which included the Quick Chop utensil and the Quick Grater utensil prior to Offer's Slap Chop/Graty product set. Mays again noted that the Slap Chop commercials use many of the same demos as the earlier-produced Quick Chop commercial. Mays said in the same Adam Carolla radio show interview in February 2009 that Offer stole not only the Zorbeez product idea, but also the Quick Chop idea.[22]

In April 2009, DJ Steve Porter posted an electro-themed "Slap Chop Rap" Auto Tune remix which grew a cult following during July 2009.[23][24]

An excerpt from a televised Slap Chop commercial featuring Offer is briefly on screen during the 2013 blockbuster Marvel superhero movie Iron Man 3.[25]

In April 2019, DJ Steve Porter posted a 10-year anniversary video of the original electro-themed "Slap Chop Rap" Auto Tune remix.[26]

Schticky[edit]

In 2012, Offer returned to television selling the "Schticky", a reusable lint roller that comes in three sizes: little Schticky, Schticky, and big Schticky.

The commercial makes many references to his other two commercials for the ShamWow and the Slap Chop, with Offer saying many of his catchphrases. He also pokes fun at his 2009 arrest by posing for a fake mugshot.[27][28][29]

An excerpt from the Schticky commercial can be seen in the TV show Breaking Bad during season 5, episode 7's “Say My Name”.

The Schticky commercial was co-written by the comedian Dante.

Canada Green[edit]

In April 2014, Offer appeared in a "Canada Green" commercial advertising their "Quicky Grass" product.[30]

Crank Chop[edit]

In December 2015, Offer appeared in a Crank Chop infomercial demonstrating the abilities of the product that slices and dices food with the pull of a nylon cord.The official product was registered in May 2014.[31]

Legal issues[edit]

Lawsuits[edit]

The Underground Comedy Movie was the subject of a lawsuit filed on September 23, 1998, by Offer against 20th Century Fox and Bobby and Peter Farrelly, the co-directors of There's Something About Mary. Offer claimed that 14 scenes in Mary were lifted from his film. The case was dismissed in 2000, with the judge ordering Offer to pay over $66,000 in attorneys' fees.[32]

In 2004, Offer sent out a press release through prnewsonline.com announcing his intention to sue the Church of Scientology. In 1997, while production on The Underground Comedy Movie was in progress, the Church of Scientology had allegedly begun a large-scale smear campaign against Offer and his film. (Offer was a Scientologist at the time.)[8] The director claimed the Scientologists' "Celebrity Center" in Hollywood threatened his Scientology friends in the movie business if they did not write malicious reports against Offer.[8]

Arrest[edit]

On February 7, 2009, Offer and a 26-year-old escort were arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, after a physical altercation.[2] The police report stated that the escort had bitten onto Offer's tongue and refused to let go, at which point Offer began beating her to a pulp and left her with lacerations and fractures.[33] Police later released photos of the bloodied Offer, hotel room, and the battered woman. Prosecutors later declined to file formal charges against either person.[2][34][35] When Offer later spoke of the arrest, he stated, "It probably saved my life."[33]

Personal life[edit]

Vince Offer married Melody Claire Mandate on April 18, 2014.[3] Mandate filed for divorce on October 18, 2018.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rovellurl, Darren (January 27, 2009). "First Interview with Vince from ShamWow!". CNBC.
  2. ^ a b c d "ShamWow Guy In Slap, Chop Bust". The Smoking Gun. March 27, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "'ShamWow Guy' Vince Offer Ties the Knot!". toofab.com. April 23, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  4. ^ Brian, Greg (January 22, 2009). "Who is Vince Offer? He's Changing the Style of Pitchman for Infomercials". Yahoo! Voices. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  5. ^ https://www.nbcnews.com/businessmain/shamwow-guy-cleans-his-act-8C11094914
  6. ^ a b c d e f Rovell, Darren (January 27, 2009). "First Interview with Vince from ShamWow!". CNBC.com. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  7. ^ Cochran, Jason (September 13, 1996). "Low-Rent Riot". Entertainment Weekly.
  8. ^ a b c "Filmmaker Sues Church of Scientology"
  9. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (March 22, 2013). "'InAPPropriate Comedy,' Directed by Vince Offer". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Someone Thought It Was a Good Idea to Spend Money On This, Rope of Silicon
  11. ^ Griner, David (June 17, 2010). "Eminem taps ShamWow guy for infomercial". Adweek. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  12. ^ Kapralau, Marina (June 24, 2020). "Eminem Promotes 10th Anniversary Of 'Recovery' With The Slap Chop Guy". TheThings. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Stevenson, Seth (May 13, 2008). "Salesjerk; Meet the next great TV pitchman". Slate. The Slate Group. Retrieved December 15, 2008.
  14. ^ "Consumer Reports: ShamWow fails to wow in Consumer Reports tests". Consumer Reports. May 1, 2009.
  15. ^ Sawyers, Harry (March 29, 2009). "Shamwow vs. Zorbeez: Which works Better? As Seen On TV Lab Test". Retrieved March 7, 2009.
  16. ^ Pitchmen, episode: "Revenge of the Pitchmen" (July 1, 2009).
  17. ^ TMZ Staff (October 22, 2009). "ShamWow Guy -- Sir Remix-a-Lot". TMZ. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV6puTS14Ho
  19. ^ Liffreing, Ilyse (May 4, 2020). "ShamWow gives away branded face masks in its dystopian infomercial". AdAge.
  20. ^ Hoffman, Ken (January 16, 2009). "Hoffman: A vote for Jay, against Conan". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved February 4, 2009.
  21. ^ Griner, David (January 19, 2009). "How Vince Became an Infomercial Superstar". adfreak.com, an online publication of Adweek. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
  22. ^ The Daily Tube: Billy Mays 'ShamPows' ShamWow Guy Archived May 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Edwards, Jim (July 6, 2009). "Slap Chop's Vince Shlomi Spawns Remix Cult on YouTube". CBS News. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  24. ^ Montgomery, James. "Eminem And Snoop Dogg Recognize Vince 'ShamWow!' Offer's Street Cred". MTV. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  25. ^ "Iron Man 3 (2013) - Full Cast & Crew".
  26. ^ therealvinceoffer (April 25, 2019), Slap Chop Rap (10 Year Anniversary), retrieved May 5, 2019
  27. ^ Official Schticky website
  28. ^ "The Schticky by Vince Offer". advertfix.com. January 10, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  29. ^ Nudd, Tim (January 9, 2012). "Infomercial Pariah Vince Offer Returns With Brand-New Spot Pokes fun at 2009 arrest in Schticky pitch". Adweek. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  30. ^ "Vince the 'ShamWow' Guy Returns With a New Product". prweb.com. May 13, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  31. ^ Aaron, Kurt. "Does It Really Work: Crank Chop". WNEP-TV. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  32. ^ Offer v. Farrelly, Case No. CV 98-7697 RAP(RCx) (C.D. Cal. January 13, 2000); id. (March 14, 2000).
  33. ^ a b "The 'ShamWow Guy' cleans up his act". NBC News. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  34. ^ "ShamWow Guy arrested after hotel fight with woman: Smoking Gun". Ottawa Citizen. March 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 31, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  35. ^ Chalupa, Andrea (March 27, 2009). "ShamWow Guy the Movie: Noooo!". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
  36. ^ "Wife of ShamWow Guy Vince Offer Files for Divorce: Reports". www.msn.com. Retrieved October 18, 2018.

External links[edit]