You'd think one hooker scandal would be enough to ruin the ShamWow (and its pitchman) forever, but you'd be wrong. Even the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is trying to cash in on the ubiquity of the super-absorbent towel infomercial with a YouTube parody designed to lure younger, tech-savvy souls to its services in New York. Dubbed "SoulWow," the commercial spoof features "Father Vic" (whose resemblance to ShamWow spokesman Vince Shlomi is downright eerie) hawking the only product that lets you "clean yourself from the inside out."
While the ad is a fairly dead-on spoof right down to Shlomi's signature "You followin' me, camera guy?" it's not the first time the ad agency that created it, Forza Migliozzi, has convinced religious elders to embrace satire. Last year, the company decided the best person to shill for a revamped Christian cable network was the Devil himself. As Forza Migliozzi spokesman Ted Faraone told TIME, "Were there some misgivings in the church about running this kind of ad? Sure. But in the end, the bishop said, 'No guts, no glory,' and went for it."
As for avoiding the whole controversy surrounding ShamWow's fallen ad man, Michael Migliozzi, founder of the ad agency, says simply: "Maybe it has come full circle with folks pointing out that the ShamWow guy needs to get some SoulWow." After all, he notes, "It was Jesus who said, 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.'"