Gimme, Gimme!: TV-B-Gone Universal Remote

This may be the coolest keychain ever. Yes, the dream catcher I got from Mackinac in fourth grade was righteous. But it didn’t give a whit about battling noise pollution and childhood obesity – or pulling pranks.

Little doubt, that last part is why your kids will love TV-B-Gone. This palm-sized universal remote control has one button that turns any tube two ways: "on" or "off." Yup: Just about any television. From hot air to dead air, with a single press. Usually in a matter of seconds (about a minute, max).

Picture the perks for you, dear parents. Judge Judy in the doc’s waiting room? Gone. Blaring flatscreen while at a family restaurant? Poof. And when you’ve heard one too many Yo Gabba Gabba ditties – instant, covert relief.

Our new buddy is Mitch Altman. This San Fran-based "hacker" and inventor created his irresistible TV-control gadget for three reasons: philosophical, practical and, our favorite, "simply to have fun."

And Mitch – a fun looking dude who’s dyed his long gray hair green and red – has his screen beefs. "TV takes time," he says on his site. "And time is precious. There are so many things to do that are fun, healthy, relaxing and good for your social life!" Kids are especially in his crosshairs. Enter TV-B-Gone. Zapping off Barney on a sibling? What sane brother or sister can resist?

Now in its fourth generation, TV-B-Gone boasts faster turn-off speeds, "Stealth Mode" (no visible light) and a 20-to 50-foot range. It even works through glass. You can buy TV-B-Gone for about $20. Learn loads more on Cornfield Electronics, Mitch’s retro-cool website.

Oh, and if that isn’t enough to sell you, allow the TV-B-Gone theme song to seal the deal. Happy non-viewing!

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