Entertainment and good advice rarely cross paths. This is partly because most good advice--don't run with scissors, watch your money, don't bring a bong to a job interview--isn't fun to watch. No, it's far more fun to watch people flail and flounder than to succeed at life, and that's exactly what bad advice accommodates.
With that in mind, here are five of the most entertaining purveyors of awful advice to be found on television.
5Mystery from VH1's The Pickup Artist
Mystery, the star of VH1's The Pickup Artist, has dedicated his career to teaching men how to seduce women through seminars and bootcamps that he hosts around the world. And like the other professions that exist exclusively within the conference rooms of the La Quinta Inn chain -- knife sales, pyramid schemes, sports memorabilia auctions, beauty pageant workshops for children - the fact that Mystery charges money for the advice he dispenses seemed more likely to send him to Hell than cable television.
Mystery promotes the concept of "peacocking" or wearing outrageous clothes to attract attention from girls, adhering to the "all attention is good attention" school of thought that most of us abandoned after we were no longer toddlers.
Vests. Ties. Fuzzy hat. What's missing? Oh, right. Women.
When Mystery walks into a nightclub dressed like a costume shop mannequin in Haight-Ashbury, he's not just saying "Hey, Look at Me!" - he's saying, "Hey, Look at Me: I'm a douchebag!" Mystery prides his outfits on their depth and sophistication, but it's precisely that depth that sells out his desperation, his wafer-thin personality and the fact that he's the one that's been looting the local Burlesque theater's prop room.
Yeah, the Amelia Earhart look sort of died with...Amelia Earhart.
Actually, you have to wonder how much Mystery himself buys into his own advice; he could be pulling everyone's leg when he tells men to paint their nails black and initiate conversations with women by insulting them. Think about it: These desperate lonely types watch his show, then boldly stride from their basements to attract chicks while wearing Richard Nixon masks and snow shoes. They embarrass themselves even further when they break the ice by asking a woman if her hair is real. They figure they still must not have it right, and that adds a premium to the special advice that Mystery hawks for a fee behind closed doors in the Sacramento Airport's EconoLodge business lounge.