Shaving Cream - The True Story 

How much is inside got started with Shaving Cream.

Mark, Leif and I shot the photos in December, 1998, and I pasted them into a webpage a few days later. Now, there is no easy way to say this...


The sad truth is that the episode was faked.

When we emptied that can of shaving cream, only a tiny, pitiful pile of shaving cream came out. We were very disappointed. 

At that moment, that night in my kitchen, it seemed like a good idea to fabricate a new result: We introduced an inverted saucepan to the pile, coated it with a second can of shaving cream, and called it science.

The fraud was complete.


When James and his cameraman came to shoot some footage for Evening Magazine, he asked me to re-make the shaving cream episode. I realized this was my chance to break my bonds of silence. It was also my chance to put an end to the hush money I'd been sending to that clever professor Ignarro!

I agreed to remake the episode... honestly! It was time for the shaving cream misrepresentation to end!

James (pictured)  is a television producer, so he was used to setting up shots and organizing the flow of a news story.

It was certainly strange to have someone directing me.

I gave up some of my role as "entertainment producer" and became "zany talent" for an afternoon. The best part was insisting that my trailer be filled with pink "snowball" cakes, a player piano, ample Heineken and four dozen frozen lilies. I also got to throw four "prima donna" style star-tantrums.

Instead of just dispensing the shaving cream into a pile, I decided to show how many dollops of shaving cream a can of Barbasol would provide.

The lumps were about as big as golf balls, and they weighed about 8 grams each.

I use about this much shaving cream each morning. Usage will vary depending upon your application.

  • Shaving your face
  • Shaving your legs
  • Shaving your goat
  • Shaving your goat's legs
  • Teaching it to walk backwards
  • Point shaving
  • Firefighting
  • Food photography


The can yielded 39 piles of shaving cream. HONEST!

The cameraman attached this gigantic black honeycomb grid on his light for the indoor filming, but before he got too far, it fell face-first into the shaving cream pile.

I thought it would be a disaster, but the light was fine.. perhaps even a bit more comfortable with it's clean, close shave. 

We cleaned up the shaving cream, tried out two new products and re-created a few more classic "how much is inside" moments. 

Original Shaving Cream Episode of How much is Inside | Original episode outtake photos | Frozen Shaving Cream | More photos from the KPIX visit

How much is inside other stuff? | Paper Towels | Sharpie | Christmas Tree | Bacon Bits | Dial Complete | A Pumpkin | An Acre | A Keg
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 Oct. 23rd, 2003.

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