This may very well be the single worst infomercial ever made….and that’s saying something. It’s definitely one of the funniest, although I’m pretty sure that wasn’t their intention at the time.
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time in our not too distant past when mastering computers involved learning about a confusing maze of colons, semi-colons and backslashes. If you ever attempted to understand DOS, you’ll remember how maddening it could be.
The “Video Professor” offered computer courses on VCR to an unsuspecting public, mainly through what seemed to be a non-stop barrage of late night infomercials.
One of their “celebrity” endorsers at the time was the actor, Jeff Conaway, whose signature role was that of “Bobby” on the TV sitcom, “Taxi”.
By the early 90′s though, he was more than 10 years removed from that role and was reduced to appearing as a dazed and very confused computer novice hoping to be set straight by the “Video Professor”. To watch this is to watch a once promising career disintegrate before your very eyes.
(Sadly, Conaway would later succumb to drug addiction and pass away in 2011.)
I specifically remember watching this at the time and thinking to myself, “he has to realize that the character he played on “Taxi” isn’t real…..right?”
Even now, over 20 years later, I’m still not sure.
Fast forward to 4:40 as Jeff (as “Bobby”) proudly reads his letter to “Louie”.
(FYI, the video quality here isn’t the greatest, but it’s still worth sitting through.)