A Cultural History Of The Snuggie

It is not often that an item from an infomercial takes off quite like the Snuggie did. And when you consider that it is nothing more than a blanket made out of fleece material with sleeves, the meteoric cultural rise of the Snuggie is even more head-scratching. However, strange as it may be, the Snuggie has successfully inserted itself into the public consciousness over the last few years, generating a cult following and becoming an important part of pop culture history in the process. And to think that it all started with a 2-minute infomercial.

One of the earliest forms of the Snuggie, as seen in Star Wars.

The Origins of the Sleeved Blanket

Legend has it that the very first sleeved blanket was created in 1998 when college student Gary Clegg’s mother created the first Slanket as a solution to his cold dorm room. The idea was eventually picked up by Snuggie, who soon took over the world with their super cool and on-point advertising. There are now many different variations on the sleeved blanket theme.

3. Viral Videos and Liberated Limbs

In what has become known as one of the best advertisements of all time ever, Snuggie released this infomercial—highlighting the daily struggle that our arms have to break free from constricting blankets, and the perfect solution to it—which quickly achieved viral status on YouTube.

Soon, everyone was talking about the Snuggie, and it was brought to a wider global audience after attention from shows such as Ellen

And Leno

Liz Lemon is working on her night cheese in a Slanket. / Via pennilesssocialite.blogspot.com

But the popularity of this item and its commercial also soon led to a number of parodies, some more popular than the original ad itself. It also cemented its place in the popular consciousness through a number of references in popular movies and television shows. One famous example is the NBC program 30 Rock.

As with most cultural phenomena, you have to wonder when the Snuggie will finally run its course, remembered only by pop culture annals of time, such as Buzzfeed. One thing is certain however, that won’t be anytime soon. As if to prove this, here is a video clip of Ellen Degeneres giving a denim Snuggie to Jay Leno on her recent visit to his show.

So Snuggie owners, hold your arms high (because you can)! The sleeved blanket is a national treasure, and it is not going anywhere any time soon.

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