Home > Uncategorized > Bill Maher, the Snuggie, Extenze and the American Psyche

Bill Maher, the Snuggie, Extenze and the American Psyche


man-baby2Do you know what the Snuggie is? I wouldn’t have known if we hadn’t watched A Fistful of Dollars on AMC a few weeks ago on a cold and snowy Saturday night. Almost better than the camp of Sergio Leone‘s spaghetti western classic, were the array of “you’ve gotta be kidding me” commercials.

Standouts include Extenze penis “enhancement” capsules and the Snuggie, which is a blanket with sleeves that, “leaves your hands free to use the remote and have a snack” (or perhaps another activity if you’re also an Extenze customer). In addition to these fine products, there were advertisements for bankruptcy and foreclosure attorneys, credit card attorneys, no exercise required weight loss pills, and cash for your old gold, jewels, and coins, “Mail us your jewelry and we’ll send you a check.” I repeat, you’ve got to be kidding me.

At first, we laughed so hard we nearly choked on our beers. Then we tried to figure out who the AMC programmers think their target audience is and hoped that we weren’t among them. Apparently, AMC’s target audience is broke, overweight, lazy, gullible and suffering from a collective case of erectile dysfunction and inadequacy issues.

If advertisements are a barometer for our fears, dreams, needs, and desires, then the roster of commercials AMC and other cable networks serve up is pretty alarming. These ads symbolize our wish for quick and easy fixes to complex problems in the forms of “natural” supplements and lawyers who can “get money for you.”

Enter Real Time with Bill Maher. I’ve been a fan of Maher‘s for years. During his New Rules segment this week he mentioned the Snuggie—yes, the Snuggie. My first thought was, “I wonder if Bill was at home getting stoned watching Eastwood like we were at home having a few beers? Hey, maybe we are the target audience!” But then I listened to what Bill had to say:

He’s spot on in this closing monologue. However, the Snuggie isn’t like a giant bib. It’s like a giant baby bunting that represents our childish, unrealistic  desires to be taken care of and to have some parental authority figure handle life’s issues while we nurse and entertain ourselves.

It’s time for us to step up, to be accountable for our choices and to quit blaming others for our problems. It’s time to stop waiting for a grown-up to come along and “make it all better” and become the grown-ups. We have to be the ones to make it better and stop outsourcing our personal responsibilities. Enough already.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Private Consultation and Coaching

I provide confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. My practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit Services and Products for professional inquiries.

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Photo credit:

Man baby on sucksorrules.

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  1. The Tick
    September 24, 2010 at 2:12 am

    This includes displacing responsibility to an invisible friend (aka “god”) for making our lives what we want.

  2. Ms Reason
    March 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Dr. Tara,

    I LOVE Bill Maher too (have for years, and occasionally put his clips on my FB page.) And what a great post! Love this site & love you!

  3. Lorenzo
    February 3, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Since the 1st Day I saw the Snuggie it made me a bit ill. I couldnt believe I was watching a commercical about a cloth that provided the ultimate laziness. You can actually use the phone without….get this…taking the blanket off of you because it has holes for your arms! Of course, our country ate this up and to the Snuggie’s originators credit he is laughing to the bank. In essence, I have always joked about how the snuggie was a symbol of our country’s downfall to being the ultimate glutons of laziness….I would never ever wear one….my wife loves them…she bought them for her mother, the Queen Narc, and prefaced buying it by saying it will be great she can use the Remote Control without having to take her arm out from the blanket…..Pigs get fat, Hogs get Slaughtered.

  4. Lee Clark
    February 1, 2010 at 3:12 am

    This Snuggie commercial reminded me of my XXXXXXXXXXXXBPGF. Too funny. I was thinking, “Gosh I miss snuggling with her on the couch.” I think she HAS a Snuggie! OMG. DANGER WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!

    I’m over it.

  5. Freedom
    November 11, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    The Snuggie is a robe put on backwards. kinda reminds me of when you go to the doctor and they make you put on that gown with no backside to it. to me, there’s just something not quite right with the Snuggie.

  6. Snuggie
    March 18, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I can’t belive that the snuggie has gotten so much press. I mean really Bill? I just saw a video of Oprah wearing one to. Its out of control.

    • shrink4men
      March 18, 2009 at 7:26 pm

      I don’t know what’s with the snuggie. Why don’t you tell me since you’re working for the company by spamming blogs like mine.

  7. coffee
    March 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    instead of “Snuggie” i prefer to call them “Power Blankets”

    • shrink4men
      March 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm

      “Power Blankets.” I like it. They are rather monastic looking ina 21st century fleece Torquemada way. Now we can stay snuggly warm during a modern version of the Inquisition!

  8. Mark
    March 5, 2009 at 12:45 am

    I love your site. I am in a BPD relationship and you have a lot of helpful ideas.

    However, sometimes blanket is just a blanket. The Snuggie seems somewhat silly, but I find it difficult to muster up the kind of moral outrage that you guys are showing here. Now the Sham-Wow on the other hand….. (just kidding)

    And I am also a die hard Maher fan; it is the only reason I buy HBO.

    • shrink4men
      March 5, 2009 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks! I’m happy you like my site and find it helpful.

      Sometimes a blanket is just a blanket—that’s funny. Don’t know if I’m morally outraged. My experience was more, “What is wrong with us?!” Is it that difficult to take a sip of water while using a blanket? Now, the Sham-Wow might actually be useful. I mean, at least you’re doing something active with it.

      Thanks again and good luck with your relationship.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr T

  9. March 2, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Ahhh… the Snuggie cult! A group of people in Chicago wore these things around town one night as a “clubbing” gimmick.

    What’s so funny — in a scary real life way — from Maher’s clip was “what the Chinese must think about us?”. I saw a documentary several years ago from Chinese line workers who stamped out plastic happy meal toys or other worthless crap that we love to buy. One guy actually said “Americans must be out of their minds to buy this stuff” and subsequently gloated that our arrogance would be our undoing.

    Dare I request an article for perpetual overspending and the narcissistic need to over-consume to impress?

    • shrink4men
      March 3, 2009 at 8:25 pm

      I agree with you about the global perception of Americans—scary. Back in the 1980s, the world thought we were cowboys and Carringtons (Dallas and Dynasty). Now we’re viewed as entitled, self-indulgent, ineffectual, and self-centric.

      You may request any article you like. I’ll add it to the list. Thanks for commenting!

      Dr T

  10. Mike
    March 2, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    • shrink4men
      March 2, 2009 at 8:37 pm

      Thanks, Mike! I hope you visit again.

  11. March 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Fabulous, Dr. T. We couldn’t agree with you more and are die hard fans of Bill’s! Remind me to stay away from AMC, if at all possible. Count us in among the responsibility takers!

    • shrink4men
      March 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks, Victoria. I don’t know if AMC is the problem or if we’re the problem. If they’re running the ads, there must be a market. I kind of like the new free digital networks that air reruns of The Twilight Zone and All in the Family. They’re a lot better than America’s Next Top Shoe Repairman.

      Thanks,
      Dr T

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