Eric D. Snider

Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System

The Garrens Comedy Troupe:

"Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System"

by Eric D. Snider

Originally performed by The Garrens Comedy Troupe on July 5, 1996

CAST:
STEVE HARDCASTLE: Eric D. Snider
KATHIE LEE GIFFORD: Lisa Valentine Clark
ANNOUNCERS: various cast members
PARTNER: Randy Tayler

(It's an Infomercial! But ANNOUNCER #1 speaks before the lights come up.)
ANNOUNCER #1:
The following is paid promotional programming.

(Lights up, and cheesy informercial music starts.)

ANNOUNCER #2:
And now it's time for ... Amazing Inventions, the program where we showcase new inventions and discoveries that make your life easier! Here's your host, star of stage and screen, Kathie Lee Gifford!

(KATHIE LEE comes bounding on. She is every bit as cheesy and cheerful as she can possibly be.)

KATHIE LEE:
Hello! Hi! How are you? It's so good to be with you again here on Amazing Inventions! And you are not going to believe the product we have for you today. How many of you in our audience today have ever tried to get in shape, only to be disappointed with the weight-training systems on the market today? Well, today we've got an invention that will help you get in shape once and for all!!!!! Here to show us this Amazing Invention is the inventor himself, Steve Hardcastle! Give him a hand!

(STEVE comes bounding on. He also is every bit as cheesy and cheerful as he can possibly be.)

STEVE:
Hi, Kathie Lee! Hi, everyone! It's great to be here today.
KATHIE LEE:
So what's this great new invention, Steve?
STEVE:
Kathie Lee, this new invention will change your life.
KATHIE LEE:
Whoa! Don't beat around the bush, Steve! (they laugh merrily) How will it change my life?
STEVE:
Well, I'll tell you. As you know, there are many personal weight-training systems on the market today. I'm sure many members of our audience have tried these products, and perhaps you have too.
KATHIE LEE:
(raises her hand) Guilty!
STEVE:
So you know that most of these products simply don't work. You spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours, and yet you still don't get results.
KATHIE LEE:
(agreeing) Still out of shape. Yes. Yes. You're right. But what can you do? I mean, we've tried the best personal weight-training systems available!
STEVE:
No, you haven't. You haven't tried the best one yet.
KATHIE LEE:
What? What do you mean? You mean there's another one?
STEVE:
That's right, Kathie Lee. I'm here to introduce you to the Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System.
KATHIE LEE:
Terrycloth 2000?! Sounds high-tech, Steve! (laughs)
STEVE:
It's actually very simple, Kathie Lee. Let me show it to you. (he picks up the Terrycloth 2000 from off the piano bench, which is going to be a weight-lifting bench in a minute. The Terrycloth 2000 is an ordinary bath towel.) Here it is. (holds it up proudly)
KATHIE LEE:
Oh, Steve, you silly goose! You're having a little joke, aren't you? Why, that's just an ordinary towel!
STEVE:
To the untrained eye of an annoying and irritating TV talk show host, it probably looks like 'just an ordinary towel'. But it's much more than that. This is the Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System, and it will do wonders for you. Would you like to see?
KATHIE LEE:
How about it, audience? Do we want to see this thing in action? (audience hopefully responds positively. If not, lights down and on to the next sketch.)
STEVE:
All right then. Let's go. (as he talks, he walks over to the side to pick up a curl bar and some weights) Let's say you wanted to do some arm curls. With a conventional weight training system, you'd have to get a curl bar. Then you'd have to put some weights on it, and then you could do the curls.
KATHIE LEE:
Yes, and it's so much hassle. Isn't there an easier way?
STEVE:
There is now, Kathie Lee. With the Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System, arm curls are as easy as pie -- but of course you shouldn't be eating pie if you're trying to get in shape! (KATHIE LEE laughs hysterically) All you need is a partner. (PARTNER walks on) Have him hold the ends of the Terrycloth 2000, and you curl away! (demonstrates this. PARTNER pulls down on the ends of the towel as STEVE pulls up on the middle. Understand?)
KATHIE LEE:
(along with the audience, she is amazed and impressed) Oh, my. That is fabulous! (to audience) Isn't that fabulous?! Steve, this is amazing.
STEVE:
Would you like to try it?
KATHIE LEE:
I would love to! (she does some curls, and speaks as she does so) Oh, my. Steve this is absolutely amazing. I never thought curls could be so easy!
STEVE:
You can see how simple it is. And that's not all it can do, either.
KATHIE LEE:
(this is the most shocking and incredible thing she has ever heard in her long, miserable life) You mean there's more!?!??
STEVE:
Yes there is, Kathie Lee. The Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System can do any number of exercises. For instance, you can do squats. Ordinarily, you would take a bulky, heavy bar, put weights on it, put it on your shoulders, and squat, right?
KATHIE LEE:
Yes, and it's such a hassle. I've always loathed squats. I wish there were an easier way of doing them.
STEVE:
Well, guess what.
KATHIE LEE:
You don't mean --
STEVE:
That's right, the Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System makes squats as easy as 1-2-3 -- but of course, you can do more than three if you want to! (KATHIE LEE laughs like the hyena she is.) You simply have your partner hang on like before, and you squat, squat, squat away! (demonstrates this several times, with PARTNER hanging from the ends of the towel) It's a great workout!
KATHIE LEE:
I cannot believe this is happening. This is the most stunning invention I have ever seen! You've got your arm curls, your squats -- that's a full-body workout right there!
STEVE:
Guess what, Kathie Lee -- you can do even more exercises.
KATHIE LEE:
(Remember the last time she heard something shocking and incredible? That pales in comparison to this latest announcement.) Oh my goodness!! Do you mean there's even MORE?!?!
STEVE:
That's right, Kathie Lee. With the Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System, you can do bench presses!
KATHIE LEE:
(freaking out, as Lisa is so fond of doing) Steve, you are a liar from the infernal pits of HELL! There is NO WAY that you can do bench presses with this thing!
STEVE:
Au contrair, mon ami! (aside) That's French for, "Oh yes, you can!" Simply lay down on the bench and have your partner lay down under it. There you go! (he demonstrates this. The PARTNER, under the bench and holding on to the ends of the towel, will no doubt come up and hit his head on the bench every time STEVE does a "bench press.")
KATHIE LEE:
Oh, my heavens. That is simply the most incredible thing I have ever seen in my entire life! If there were anything else it could do, I think I would have an aneurism right here on the stage, lapse into a coma, and spend the rest of my life as a vegetable.
STEVE:
Well, call the hospital and tell them to prepare a bed, because this is gonna knock your socks off! Let's say you've just spent a vigorous few hours with the Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System. You're tired, you're sweaty, you want to take a nice cool shower and spend the evening sitting in front of the TV with a warm mug of camomille tea. Well, after you've had your shower, you can use the Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System to dry yourself off!!!
KATHIE LEE:
(she is nearly ready to begin worshipping him as a god) No! There is no way! This can't be true. This isn't happening. It's all just a dream, just an evil, awful nightmare.
STEVE:
It's all true, Kathie Lee. Just look. (pours a glass of water on himself, then uses the Terrycloth 2000 to dry it off) Isn't that something?
KATHIE LEE:
Oh, my.
STEVE:
Now, can you do that with a conventional weight training system? (pours water on KATHIE LEE)
KATHIE LEE:
(picks up a regular 10-pound weight and rubs it on her wet arm, trying to dry herself off) No! You can't do it! You can't do it!
STEVE:
You can't, can you?
KATHIE LEE:
You can't do it!
STEVE:
You can't can you?

(They repeat this exchange incessantly, laughing cheesily all the while.)

KATHIE LEE:
Now Steve, let's talk brass tacks here. We've all been very impressed with the Terrycloth 2000 Personal Weight Training System and all its many features. I'm sure it's going to cost far more than the average person can afford.
STEVE:
No, Kathie Lee, it's under $500.
KATHIE LEE:
You're kidding me.
STEVE:
No, in fact it's under $100.
KATHIE LEE:
You have got to be a crazy man.
STEVE:
No, in fact it's under $75!!
KATHIE LEE:
OH MY GOSH, YOU'VE LOST YOUR MIND!!!!!
STEVE:
The Terrycloth 2000 is available now for just three monthly payments of $19.95 each, for a total of $59.85! (under his breath) Plus $100 shipping and handling.
KATHIE LEE:
That is incredible, Steve. Sign me up, I want fifty of 'em!
STEVE:
You got it, Kathie Lee!
KATHIE LEE:
Thanks a lot for joining us today, Steve!
STEVE:
It was my pleasure.
KATHIE LEE:
(to audience) We'll see you next time on Amazing Inventions!

(Cheesy music up and lights down.)

Stumble It!

Notes:

One of mine and Lisa's favorite sketches, because it lent itself so well to ad-libbing and improvising, especially in the area of me insulting her (I called her a "hyena" frequently). The script originally had her as Sandy Duncan, but after the first performance, someone commented that she looked and acted like Kathie Lee Gifford anyway, and so the script was changed. (We also threw in a few Kathie Lee-oriented lines, like how the Terrycloth 2000 allows you to "turn any room into a sweat shop.")

My character, Steve, was based on a real informercial guy, Don LePre, who goes on and on about making money by placing "tiny classified ads" in the paper. He's very cheesy, and very annoying, and I tried to imitate his voice and manner in my performance.

The idea of using a towel for weight-lifting comes from real life. Two of my friends who went to high school together told of how their football coach would have them work out that way. One person provides the resistance by hanging on to the ends of the towel, and the other person gets the workout. The idea was so amusing that I turned it into a sketch.

Randy Tayler, the smallest Garren at that time, got to be the "Partner," because he was the only Garren I could lift. The bench press scene, with him under the piano bench and me pulling him up, was truly hysterical. We eventually had to tape some padding to the bottom of the bench so he wouldn't knock himself unconscious on it, the little trouper.

And the "cheesy infomercial music" we used? The theme from "Knott's Landing," from one of those TV theme song compilation CDs. It was perfectly suited for an infomercial; I don't know why it was ever used for a prime-time soap opera.

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