Why is it that every year I find myself reading and reviewing a book by my good friend Lou Harry? Because he keeps cranking them out, that"s why. Oh. And let"s add the fact that anything Lou cranks out is a hoot.
Now, the former stand-up comic and presently the editor in chief of Indy Men"s Magazine has a new book, co-penned with Sam Stahl, called As Seen on TV. Lou"s humor books have always done well in the market - most notably his Voodoo Lou series, but I lay odds this will be his greatest triumph to date. How can you miss? Here"s a book that explores the world of infomercials, profiling over 50 products, including such favorites as the Chia Pet, Mr. Microphone, Solofex, K-Tel Records and the always popular Charlton Heston Presents the Bible. You get bonuses, too, such as a hilarious interview with the King of Infomercials himself, Ron Popeil. Throughout, Lou and Sam ply their prodigious humor, striking the perfect balance. After all, writing this book is like doing a parody of a B-movie like King Kong: Infomercial products are inherently satiric. Yet for millions, they work. They watch and they buy. Witness the current crop of infomercials, including the venerable Clapper. Infomercials won"t go away, and for those who have always wanted to know more, As Seen on TV will tell you more. Why do I think this will be a triumph? In addition to its irresistible content, the design is perfectly confluent with the writers" tone. Add to this the fact that this book is available nearly everywhere, including Target. Now, if that ain"t an author"s dream come true, I don"t know what is. I"ll bet even Jonathan Franzen would allow The Corrections to be sold at Target. If you have the opportunity to listen or see Lou and Sam on their whirlwind media tour, don"t miss it. They"re as funny in person as their book. And, if there"s a reading/signing coming your way, show up and meet the guys. You can bring Boxcar Willie albums for them to sign.
Jim Poyser is Executive Director of Earth Charter Indiana, a statewide organization that was one of over two dozen nonprofit partners in Greening the Statehouse. A former managing editor of NUVO, he won HEC’s Environmentalist of the Year Award in 2013.