Just when I thought we had reached our capacity for celebrity death this week (Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon), I was saddened to learn about the passing of another pop culture fixture: Billy Mays, TV pitchman extraordinaire. The man jumped off the screen and right onto my living room couch for several reasons: He had his volume knob cranked up; he wore a blue button-down shirt, emblazoned with the logo of the product he was selling; he boasted an industrial-strength beard; and he introduced his lively game with a simple ‘Hi, Billy Mays here for [insert product]….” The list of amusingly titled products that he peddled was long—OxiClean, Orange Glo, Kaboom, Zorbeez, to name a few—and he did his job well enough to earn a starring role in the Discovery Channel reality series Pitchmen. Not afraid to sell himself silly on occasion (see the tongue-in-cheek ESPN360 spot below), he earned a cult following, as evidenced by sites like this.
So, PopWatchers, have you ever purchased a product pitched by Billy? And which one of his commercials/informercials was your favorite?
Here is Billy selling Mighty Mendit:
Billy kept a low profile in this ESPN360 spot:
More infomercial coverage on EW:
Infomercial king Billy Mays dies at 50
34 ‘I Can’t Look Away!’ Infomercials
The Snuggie: Comfy blanket thing or Garment of Satan?
Snuggie warning: One size does not fit all
Wearable towels: The new Snuggie?