Spoiler alert: this gadget kinda sucks
A friend recently sent me this clip - a little old, but still hilarious - of David Duchovny on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Somehow the topic of the Chop-O-Matic comes up, and Jimmy happens to have one handy. Evidently Duchovny has talked about his experience with the Chop-O-Matic before; apparently he bought one for his mother, when he was a child, because he loved her and wanted her to have an easier time in the kitchen.
Quite the contrary, the Chop-O-Matic turns out to be ridiculously hard to use. First, they have some trouble positioning the gadget over their target, a potato. The plastic hood keeps falling off, having to be constantly screwed back into place.
Once they center the Chop-O-Matic properly, the chopping turns out to be pretty hard, too. As Duchovny points out, on the ads, the people just tap on the plunger and poof, their vegetables are instantly reduced to chopped bits. In reality, it turns out that pushing the equivalent of six knives at once through a potato is a difficult job.
Not only are Duchovny and Kimmel both unable to chop their potato with the Chop-O-Matic, Kimmel eventually resorts to picking up an old telephone and using it to beat the plunger with. And it still doesn't work!
Meanwhile, Duchovny picks up a knife and slices the potato in six quick strokes. Chop chop chop! It really impresses upon the viewer what a simple and elegant tool the knife is.
Kimmel discovers that once the potato has been sliced, it's a little bit easier to chop with the Chop-O-Matic. Begging the question, why go to all the trouble of slicing the potato before handing it over to the Chop-O-Matic? It's obviously a lot easier to just slice it all with the knife. Easier clean-up, too.
And while the Chop-O-Matic promises to be a safer gadget, you can still see the potential for disaster. Kimmel at one point has to warn Duchovny to clear his hands from the device so that he doesn't accidentally chop off one of David Duchovny's fingers on broadcast television.
All of this is a woeful contrast from the sparkling, simplistic world of the Chop-O-Matic infomercial. (Not to mention the catchy, hypnotic nature of the Slap Chop ad.) It's a great illustration of the difference between the promise of advertising, and the reality of trying to use these gadgets yourself.