13
   

first Farrah, then Michael, now Billy Mays RIP

 
 
djjd62
 
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 11:44 am
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/74/RookeShieldsBackontheBoards008-vi1.jpg

William "Billy" D. Mays, Jr. (July 20, 1958 " June 28, 2009) was a television direct-response advertisement salesperson most notable for promoting OxiClean, Orange Glo, and other cleaning, home-based, and maintenance products. His distinctive beard and loud sales pitches made him a recognizable television presence.

Biography

Mays was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Sto-Rox High School in 1977, he began his career as a salesman on the Atlantic City boardwalk, selling the Washmatik portable washing device to passersby. Working alongside other pitchmen, he developed his style of salesmanship.

Mays later traveled to home shows, auto shows, and state fairs across the United States for a period of twelve years, selling various maintenance products and tools, including cleaning products and food choppers.

Rise to prominence

At a Pittsburgh home show in 1993, Mays struck up a friendship with rival salesman Max Appel, founder of Orange Glo International, a Denver-based manufacturer of cleaning products. He was then hired by the company to promote their line of cleaners, OxiClean, Orange Clean, Orange Glo, and Kaboom on the Home Shopping Network in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Customer response to Mays' sales pitches were enthusiastic, with a sharp increase in sales after his first day on the network, although some reviews were poor. He is very well known for shouting in an abrasive manner during infomercials. For example, Washington Post staff writer Frank Ahrens called him "a full-volume pitchman, amped up like a candidate for a tranquilizer-gun takedown."

Following the success of the Home Shopping Network campaign, a line of successful television commercials and infomercials for the products was produced, featuring Mays demonstrating the effectiveness of the products to viewers hands-on. He typically begins such commercials with: "Hi! Billy Mays here for [advertised product]." Their success led to OrangeGlo International being named among the top ten privately growing companies from 1999 to 2001 by Inc. magazine, and its eventual buyout by Church and Dwight. Appel credited Mays' brilliant salesmanship for much of the company's success.

Mays was the CEO and founder of Mays Promotions, Inc., based at his home in Odessa, Florida.[3] His services as a pitchman became highly sought-after, and he appeared in commercials for many diverse "as seen on TV" products. Mays claimed to be an avid user of the products he promotes.

In December 2008, Mays began appearing in ads for ESPN's online service, ESPN360. These ads were a slight departure for Mays as they were designed to be parodies of his and other infomercial cliches with Mays appearing to be doing a parody of himself. He also made a live appearance during the 2008 Champs Sports Bowl promoting ESPN's and ABC's January 1, 2009 bowl games.

Prior to his death Mays resided in Florida in a $1.8 million home which was built in 2005.

In February 2009, Mays publicly challenged Offer "Vince" Shlomi, also known as "Vince Offer" to a "pitch-off" between their respective products, the Zorbeez and the Shamwow. Popular Mechanics compared the absorbancy of two towel products and declared Shamwow the clear winner.

On April 15, 2009, the Discovery Channel began airing Pitchmen, a documentary series that features Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their jobs in direct response marketing. On the June 10, 2009 episode it was revealed that Mays' trademark blue shirt was the idea of fellow pitchman Sullivan before the OxiClean commercial shoot in 1999.

Mays and Sullivan appeared together on the June 23, 2009 episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

More recently, the commercials for his products have become a popular internet meme, and have spawned countless video remixes.

Death

Mays was found dead by his wife in his Odessa, Florida home on June 28, 2009. The Associated Press reported that there were no indications that the house had been broken into, and that police did not suspect foul play.

According to Fox News, Mays had been aboard a US Airways flight that blew out its front tires as it landed at a Tampa airport on June 27, the day before his death. None of the 138 passengers and five crew members were reported to be seriously injured immediately following the incident, but several passengers reported having bumps and bruises from falling objects. Mays told the local Tampa TV station that some of the objects "hit me on the head, but I got a hard head." It is unclear whether Mays' death was related to the incident.
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 11:50 am
wow -- possible brain hemorrhage from the hit on the head, I suppose.

RIP Billy.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 11:55 am
@djjd62,
Well, I'm sorry to hear of the fellow's passing, but I just had to endure several of his commercials on TV last night. I found them to be rather obnoxious. Sad
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 12:06 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/74/RookeShieldsBackontheBoards008-vi1.jpg

William "Billy" D. Mays, Jr. (July 20, 1958 " June 28, 2009) was a television direct-response advertisement salesperson most notable for promoting OxiClean, Orange Glo, and other cleaning, home-based, and maintenance products. His distinctive beard and loud sales pitches made him a recognizable television presence.

On April 15, 2009, the Discovery Channel began airing Pitchmen, a documentary series that features Mays and Anthony Sullivan in their jobs in direct response marketing. On the June 10, 2009 episode it was revealed that Mays' trademark blue shirt was the idea of fellow pitchman Sullivan before the OxiClean commercial shoot in 1999.

Bummer. I've been watching Pitchmen and I was enjoying both of these guys (very colorful characters). I wonder if the ShamWow guy will be at the funeral. Billy did not like ShamWow at all.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 12:16 pm
ok, it was bad enough when a second rate actress who was best known for a poster that boys beat-off to was compared to Jackson, but now a shrill of a huckster on tv does as well? This is nuts.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:07 pm
Don't forget that Ed McMahon passed away also.
hawkeye10
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:14 pm
@Arella Mae,
Quote:
Don't forget that Ed McMahon passed away also.


it is a toss-up with him, was he primarily the second banana on a talk show or the shameless huckster that he we in his latter life?? Neither role required talent, nor a personal character that is worthy of respect.
Robert Gentel
 
  6  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:31 pm
@hawkeye10,
What exactly is the "toss up" about again? You must be a riot at funerals.

"Really folk, what did he do to help civilization?"

It's easy to poo-poo others, and for some it seems their way to feel better about themselves, but what are your own credentials worth speaking of?

If you so callously dismiss the lives and worth of others I'd hope that you are sporting some impeccable credentials yourself.
Intrepid
 
  4  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:35 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

What exactly is the "toss up" about again? You must be a riot at funerals.

"Really folk, what did he do to help civilization?"

It's easy to poo-poo others, and for some it seems their way to feel better about themselves, but what are your own credentials worth speaking of?

If you so callously dismiss the lives and worth of others I'd hope that you are sporting some impeccable credentials yourself.


http://open.salon.com/blog/greg_correll/2009/02/11/files/applause1234363884.gif
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:40 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
It's easy to poo-poo others, and for some it seems their way to feel better about themselves, but what are your own credentials worth speaking of?

If you so callously dismiss the lives and worth of others I'd hope that you are sporting some impeccable credentials yourself.


It is not about me, it is about judging the relative value to the collective of four individuals. Micheal Jackson was so much above the others mentioned in adding to the value of the collective that he should not be made to stand in a group with the others.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:47 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
It is not about me, it is about judging the relative value to the collective of four individuals.


Why do you find judging the value of their lives so important?

Quote:
Micheal Jackson was so much above the others mentioned in adding to the value of the collective that he should not be made to stand in a group with the others.


Why? What will happen?
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:49 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

ok, it was bad enough when a second rate actress who was best known for a poster that boys beat-off to was compared to Jackson, but now a shrill of a huckster on tv does as well? This is nuts.


I fail to see where comparisons are being made. Other than, of course, by yourself.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:52 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
it is not about me, it is about judging the relative value to the collective of four individuals


your posts do seem to be about you judging the value of people, so in that sense 'it' is about you

"value to the collective" - that is a bit giggle-inducing. I'll even guess you meant to say it that way.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 01:53 pm
@hawkeye10,
..while I wouldn't have wasted half as much flame-thrower fuel on your post as Robert did, I can't for the life of me figure out all the hoopla over the passing of such mediocre actresses, musicians, second bananas and pitchmen.

IMO...of course
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 02:00 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Why do you find judging the value of their lives so important?


Who knows why we do what we do??? Upon death of an individual we take stock in what that individual has meant to us personally, in the societal conversation we take stock in what they have meant to the collective. The whole exercise is a judgment taking.

Quote:
Why? What will happen?


if we don't properly valuate the lives of the recently dead we lose an opportunity to teach and encourage the living to reach for the good, to contribute something of worth to the collective. We also are then being dishonest, which over the long term is always a negative in human society.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 02:04 pm
@ehBeth,
Quote:

your posts do seem to be about you judging the value of people, so in that sense 'it' is about you


you should be doing the same thing, I can't help it if you are not. I am fulfilling my obligations as a member of the collective, but the goal is for the strengthening of the collective.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 02:25 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
if we don't properly valuate the lives of the recently dead we lose an opportunity to teach and encourage the living to reach for the good, to contribute something of worth to the collective. We also are then being dishonest, which over the long term is always a negative in human society.


Mentioning an above average rate of death among celebrities within a few days on a forum really isn't a "dishonesty" that will have a negative long-term impact on "human society".

Nobody said anything about putting them on the same pedestal, I think humanity will survive.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 02:27 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
you should be doing the same thing, I can't help it if you are not. I am fulfilling my obligations as a member of the collective, but the goal is for the strengthening of the collective.


Why should she don your mantle of prophet crying in the wilderness (for the nothing less than sake of humanity, of course)?

Not everyone must be cut from the same cloth. If everyone thought that way you'd be advocating something else that made you feel like a man apart.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 02:28 pm
"Wait, wait...this isn't an argument. It's abuse"
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Jun, 2009 02:33 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
I am fulfilling my obligations as a member of the collective


True. You are filling the goofy quota on behalf of 'the collective'. I hope your collective appreciates your efforts.
0 Replies
 
 

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