Start the Countdown

|
Top 10 Most Popular Infomercials
TV Evolution Image Gallery
TV Evolution Image Gallery

No, Linda Evans isn't modeling a mask from "Friday the 13th." It's the Rejuvenique, the mask promising toned and tightened skin. See more pictures of TV evolution.

Robin Platzer/Twin Images/Online USA, Inc./Getty Images

­ ­ ­

For those insomniacs who've found themselv­es sitting in front of the television at 3 a.m. on more than one occasion, infomercials are entertainment staples. Even if you regularly sleep through the night, you're sure to have caught one of these half-hour or hour-long sales pitches at one time or another.

Who can forget hawkers like Billy Mays (OxiClean), Ron Popeil (Showtime Rotisserie), Matthew Lesko (Free Money) and Billy Blanks (Tae Bo) trying to sell us a cleaner home or a more toned body? These infomercial stars have become celebrities of sorts, as recognizable as the actors in TV shows.

And who can forget those famous pitch lines? "But wait! There's more!" "Call right now and we'll double your order!" Infomercials may make us chuckle, but they bring in some serious bucks -- an estimated $91 billion in sales each year [source: Larson].

HowStuffWorks has compiled a list of the 10 most memorable (and sometimes most outrageous) infomercials of all time. (To be honest, some of these are more like long commercials, but the lines have blurred so much these days it's hard to tell the difference.)

So have your credit card ready, and read now!

|