The people behind the Snuggie know they are bugging the crap out of you, and it’s working out pretty well for them. The cultural impact of the sleeved blanket, largely due to those unbelievably campy commercials by Allstar Marketing Group, might’ve exceeded that of any other “As seen on TV” product. In fact, 2009 was The Year of the Snuggie: in the last 12 months, the novelty gift has inspired pub crawls, an Oprah segment, a show at New York fashion week, and more YouTube spoofs than, dare we say, the Slap Chop? Despite the fact that the Snuggie is more or less a rip off of the Slanket, the Freedom Blanket, and numerous other predecessors, the Snuggie has survived, and thrived, on American consumer ridiculousness and, currently, on Christmas spirit. Here we present the highlights from The Year of the Snuggie, from 30 Rock Slankets to Weezer Wuggies, and beyond.
January 2009. The web site SnuggieSightings.com, which tracks Snuggie appearances in pop culture, reaches #1 on Google Trends, signifying the commencement of the Year of the Snuggie.
January 22, 2009. “The WTF Blanket” parody infomercial, one of the first Snuggie-mocking videos premieres on YouTube. (Now, there are over 4,000 of varying quality, including Snuggie Adventure and Dropping It in a Snuggie.) In this version, the original voiceover is substituted with one that lists side effects of the identical WTF blanket as “social awkwardness,” “never getting laid,” and “looking like a dick.”
January 30, 2009. The first-ever Snuggie pub crawl takes place in Cincinnati. The first Snuggie drunk snow fight follows suit. In subsequent months, there have been over 50 documented crawls, and countless more grassroots events in cities from Dayton to Albuquerque. There are seven officially scheduled for this month, and several in the works for the new year.
February 1, 2009. The Fox and Friends morning show airs a video parody of the Snuggie infomercial featuring the show’s hosts struggling with regular blankets while napping and missing phone calls. In their Snuggies however, they can comfortably pretend to read a newspaper, get their makeup done, and text message during meetings, which may explain a few other things about the productivity level and general lack of news over at F&F.
February 4, 2009. Matt Lauer sports a Snuggie on The Today Show, shortly after declaring he would never be caught dead in one.
February 13, 2009. Tony Kornheiser wears a red Snuggie on ESPN’s Pardon the Interuption. When Snuggie Sightings posts the news, Kornheiser gives the site his blessing via Twitter.
March 6, 2009. Oprah does a segment on Snuggies with Tyler Perry. The Snuggie segment lasts about four minutes, with her guests awkwardly adjusting their various blankets with arms, which she pointedly remarks they got for free.
March 9, 2009. Snuggies are featured in Life&Style magazine in the “What’s Hot this Week” section alongside the Alexander McQueen for Target collection, instigating an ongoing argument as to which one is actually hotter.
March 13, 2009. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon honors the Snuggie on its tenth ever episode, with the help of Tracy Morgan. “I’ll either fall asleep or poop on myself,” the 30 Rock star says about wearing his new fleece outfit. During the interview he calls out an audience member who has removed the garment with: “Why he don’t got his Snuggle on?”
March 2009. Snuggiebook.com (“the social network with sleeves!”) launches. It’s like Facebook for Snuggie lovers and allows users to post pictures, join groups, and send intangible digital gifts.
March 2009. The “Peekaru” or “blanket that allows one to appear as though they have a baby’s face growing out of their chest” causes quite a stir in the blanket-related fashion milieu, and is deemed “Not a Snuggie” for lack of sleeves, and generally unaffiliated producers.
April 23, 2009. NBC comedy 30 Rock features Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) in a Slanket-themed throwdown. The episode also incorporates an anti-Slanket fart joke courtesy of Salma Hayek.
April 24, 2009. Bill Maher opens his show with a video parody about a Mumbai slumdog who wears a Snuggie made of the super absorbant ShamWow (another infomercial phenomenon) and waits on his fat, lazy patron hand-and-foot.
May 2009. Weezer creates the Wuggie, which is just a Snuggie that has “Weezer” written across the front. Now available on their web site, and as part of an extra special offer, including their new CD, Raditude, a bunch of swag, and the EXCLUSIVE zebra print Wuggie.
July 2009. The Snuggie for Dogs hits the market at $9.99 a piece, just in time for Christmas in July shoppers–the kind that would consider buying a fleece blanket for a dog. The announcement also inevitably launches Snuggiedogsightings.com.
September 15, 2009. Snuggie shows at New York fashion week. All other designers are put to shame by new animal prints and groundbreaking dog Snuggies.
September 12, 2009. At All Tomorrow’s Parties New York, The Melvins wear Snuggies onstage for their entire set.
October 17, 2009. The lady from the Snuggie commercials, Jane DeNoble from Wyckoff, New Jersey, participates in the 30th annual Apple Harvest Day parade in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in a Snuggie custom-made for the event.
November 3, 2009. Urban Outfitters releases the Booty Buddy Blanket, a hoodie Snuggie for hipsters.
November 16, 2009. Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriend, and Girls Next Door reality star Kendra Wilkinson announces via People magazine that the best present she’s ever received is a blue Snuggie from her footballer hubby, Hank Baskett. The issue also features a photo of Kendra looking just as schlumpy as the rest of America in her giant fleece gown.
November 30, 2009. The next in a line of historically fantastic songs about sweaters (Yo La Tengo, Weezer) My First Earthquake turns out a delightfully synthy holiday single crammed with a surfeit of modernized Christmas references, including the line, “I knew when I saw you in the red Snuggie, that there was something about your white beard and your pot belly.”
December 3, 2009 Michael Musto praises the Snuggie as the recession-friendly gift that might just save Christmas. He admits, “they’re actually warm and useful, not to mention splashy looking.”