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Billy Mays dead at 50
June 28, 2009 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Billy Mays dead at 50 But wait, there's no more!

Billy Mays dead at 50
posted by majikstreet (176 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
So it is true then? Damn.
posted by cropshy at 9:27 AM on June 28, 2009


Well, um... damn!

.
posted by hippybear at 9:27 AM on June 28, 2009


Well, with so many news agencies covering it I would say it's probably true..
posted by majikstreet at 9:27 AM on June 28, 2009


Damn, somebody who was still relevant died.
posted by kafziel at 9:29 AM on June 28, 2009 [15 favorites]


I can't believe it! Between Lorena Gale, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays, it's been a bad week for celebs born in 1958!
posted by necessitas at 9:29 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wonder if there were injuries from this flight he was on.
posted by 6:1 at 9:30 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


People everywhere who fall asleep to infomercials rejoice.

.
posted by sephira at 9:30 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn, somebody who was still relevant died.
posted by kafziel at 12:29 PM on June 28 [+] [!]



If that is some kind of MJ / FF snark, you should be ashamed of yourself. Derail an obit thread? Seriously?



And . for Billy. He was entertaining as hell.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:30 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


.

It's been a bad week for celebs period. Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and now Billy Mays... If the whole people die in 3s thing is true we still have two more to go now.
posted by majikstreet at 9:31 AM on June 28, 2009


Fifty appears to be the new three score and ten.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:31 AM on June 28, 2009


OK, folks, we're really reaching with the obits. We really need to establish where on the celebrity spectrum someone falls in order to post an obit.

I have no idea who this guy is...
posted by HuronBob at 9:31 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Geez - it's like some deity is playing celebrity whack-a-mole.
posted by icosahedral at 9:31 AM on June 28, 2009 [11 favorites]


What's this guy gonna do now?
posted by NoMich at 9:32 AM on June 28, 2009 [11 favorites]


No. I don't believe it. Who will convince me to buy more things I don't really need?

Sleep well, last of the old time hucksters; I guess I forgive you for the ZorbEEZ.

.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 9:32 AM on June 28, 2009


I wonder what they're going to do about Pitchmen.. That was a surprisingly good show. .
posted by majikstreet at 9:34 AM on June 28, 2009 [7 favorites]


he family doesn't expect to make any public statements and asked for privacy.

Somehow, I find this profoundly refreshingly.
posted by philip-random at 9:34 AM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Confirmation from his son on Twitter.
posted by SansPoint at 9:36 AM on June 28, 2009


Police last seen looking for Vince and a bloody ShamWow.

But totally shocking - the guy looked to be in great shape. RIP.
posted by GuyZero at 9:36 AM on June 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


More confirmation from his son on Twitter
posted by majikstreet at 9:37 AM on June 28, 2009


No good at all.

.
posted by lumensimus at 9:41 AM on June 28, 2009


So this Tool Bandit? Is that anything like an Arse Bandit?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:41 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Too bad we can't bring him back and send Vince Offer in his place.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:42 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I never bought any of his crap, but he seemed like a nice guy.

.
posted by stavrogin at 9:45 AM on June 28, 2009


.

Damn it. I really dug Billy Mays, but not as much as my Dad. My Dad's in a line of work where one comes to appreciate a solid, confident pitch and he really got a hoot out of all Billy's gesturing and shouting. Lately, when I've been home for a visit and a Mays ad comes on, we've found ourselves doing dueling Mays impressions afterward. It's a weird thing to say, but Mr. Mays gave my Dad & I something to talk about with ease, which we can't always manage on our own.

The guy came across as goddamn bulletproof on TV. His death is sad news to me, but it's really gonna bum my Dad out, I think ...

My Dad, who's fifty and has a bit of a cholesterol and blood pressure problem ....

I think I need to make a phone call.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:46 AM on June 28, 2009 [24 favorites]


Nooooo! Oh god, no! Now that he's dead, all of those bored 4chan-ers will have to just remix the same 5 videos over and over and over until we all want to die!

Oh wait, that's already happening. Rest in Peace, Billy Mays.
posted by Askiba at 9:46 AM on June 28, 2009


Billy Mays here for THE GRIM REAPER!
You know, despite the over the top obnoxious pitch from his commercials, you have to respect the guy's positive attitude.
I'd started watching Pitchmen, and got hooked primarily because I enjoyed watching the relationship between him and Andrew Sullivan. I kind of got the sense that they were a couple of hardworking dudes that found success doing what they were good at...selling stuff and didn't take that success for granted. Even amidst Billy and Sully's contentious working relationship, they seemed to genuinely like each other, and both seemed like good guys at heart. The last episode I saw was the one in which Billy's son directed Billy in a commercial for a family friend's pizza joint...seemed like a good hardworking kid who really knew his stuff.
Condolences to his family.
.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:48 AM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


.
posted by acro at 9:48 AM on June 28, 2009


Obit posting has jumped the shark.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:48 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


HI, BILLY MAYS NOT HERE!

RIP, Billy. We kid because we care. Also, because there is/was no way to escape from you, other than the refuge of humor. Still, no ill will. Pitchmen was funnier 'n hell.
posted by Eideteker at 9:49 AM on June 28, 2009


Wow... just saw him on Conan. Looked healthy and boisterous. I wonder what happened.
posted by sbutler at 9:51 AM on June 28, 2009


"Billy Mays here for THE GRIM REAPER!"

I think you mean: BILLY MAYS HERE for the United Appeal for the Dead.
posted by Eideteker at 9:52 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't believe it! Between Lorena Gale, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays, it's been a bad week for celebs born in 1958!

If we're gonna make something out of nothing - or at least out of celebrities/pseudo-celebrities dead before their time - can we at least not fail to mention Sky Saxon?
posted by item at 9:52 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


.

But, right now, you get a second . at no extra charge.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:53 AM on June 28, 2009 [25 favorites]


Huh. I don't know why, but for some reason he just looked so much younger than Michael Jackson.
posted by item at 9:55 AM on June 28, 2009


If you don't know who Billy Mays was, then you clearly do not watch TV.

.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2009


.

I'd really been enjoying Pitchmen. I always assumed that most of the fighting between Billy and Sully was a put-on. What always came through strong was their sense of humor and ability to bullshit and entertain each other. He's someone I'd have liked to have a beer with.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2009


Maybe Mike had a rougher life.

.
posted by box at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2009


When my grandparents are around, my grandfather parks himself in front of the television and, while being hard of hearing, loads the volume up to 38 (out of 40 max). We're all a very liberal family, but for whatever reason, he enjoys watching FOX News. Possibly just to piss us off, especially my grandmother, who comes in screaming over the top wondering why he watches such crap.

Anyway, I'll be in my room a few doors down, music blaring, and there's only one thing I can hear piercing through it all: HI, I'M BILLY MAYS!

Not only is he loud, but the production team decided to ramp up the outgoing volume on all his ads, which adds a nice, high-pitched ring to the background. Anyway, I'd come out of my room, along with my little brother and mom, everyone looking pained. We'd come around to the living room screaming over the noise for him to turn it down. And there, my grandfather, slumped in the armchair, would be fast asleep.

.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2009 [12 favorites]


For some reason I can't shake the thought that Bret Michaels is hiding under his bed right now.
posted by Cyrano at 9:59 AM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Death, don't be such a fucking nag.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:00 AM on June 28, 2009


Aw, man, I'm sad about this. There's something I respect about those old-school guys who can sell anything. At the end of this week's episode of Pitchmen, he did a little improv bit with that terrible divided cereal bowl and made it sound, well, worth buying, almost.

I saw in a couple of articles that he'd been on a plane that landed hard yesterday. I wonder if something (blood clot, etc) got jarred loose? I suppose we'll know soon enough.
posted by sugarfish at 10:00 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


:(
My dad and I used to sit and watch informercials really late at night. Billy was one of our favorites.

.
posted by sperose at 10:02 AM on June 28, 2009


We are losing our best and brightest at an alarming rate. Oh and Michael Jackson too.
posted by DU at 10:03 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan on the Tonight Show a few days ago
posted by majikstreet at 10:04 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


I literally just finished watching an episode of Pitchmen. Billy and Sully are pretty damn entertaining. They show that hard work and chutzpah can still get some people ahead.

Like him or not, 50 is too young.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:05 AM on June 28, 2009


have this many celebrities died in this time span in the past?
posted by djduckie at 10:05 AM on June 28, 2009


have this many celebrities died in this time span in the past?

Does 1974's Towering Inferno count?
posted by hal9k at 10:12 AM on June 28, 2009 [14 favorites]


As a Tampa Bay resident I'd run into him on occasion.....He seemed like really great guy.
I'm wondering if he got called up to make this final pitch at the pearly gates:
I'm BILLY MAYS for Michael Jackson!
If anybody could close that deal, it would be Billy :)

.
posted by HappyHippo at 10:13 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


As tempting as it is to contribute to the hagiography of an annoying infomercial spokesman because he's recently dead, I'll have to pass.

I'm only commenting here because I was recently on an an American Airlines flight with nothing to read and perhaps feeling a bit masochistic I picked up the in-flight magazine, the appropriately titled American Way. The June 15 issue had a feature on Billy Mays entitled "Million Dollar Bill" by one Joseph Guinto. Not that I was expecting top-notch stuff from the in-flight magazine but this article contained some of the worst writing I've ever seen published.

And now you can read it too!
posted by inoculatedcities at 10:14 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Very sad stuff. It does hit me harder than some of the other recent celebrity deaths because for all I've seen Billy Mays was a genuinely decent man with a young, loving family.

.
posted by Donnie VandenBos at 10:16 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine just said "I hope he died doing what he loved..... That is, screaming."

I will remember you fondly, Billy, as your Hercules Hooks tirelessly support my wall hangings, and as your OxiClean protects my t-shirts from the indignity of grease stains. Thank you for your passionate work and good humor, and rest in peace.
posted by jake at 10:17 AM on June 28, 2009 [8 favorites]


Very bizarre. I just saw him in a commercial and then noticed this post.

.
posted by purephase at 10:18 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


OK, folks, we're really reaching with the obits. We really need to establish where on the celebrity spectrum someone falls in order to post an obit.

I have no idea who this guy is...
posted by HuronBob at 9:31 AM on June 28


It's Billy Mays! Haven't you ever seen an Oxy-Clean commercial? He's the overly friendly Bob-Villa, makes-you-feel-comfortable-about-spending-$20-on-one-product guy.
posted by Malice at 10:21 AM on June 28, 2009


As a Tampa Bay resident I'd run into him on occasion.....He seemed like really great guy.
I'm wondering if he got called up to make this final pitch at the pearly gates:
I'm BILLY MAYS for Michael Jackson!
If anybody could close that deal, it would be Billy :)

.
posted by HappyHippo at 1:13 PM on June 28 [+] [!]


So....Michael needs help getting into Heaven? Heaven exists? What am I doing in this thread?
posted by lazaruslong at 10:21 AM on June 28, 2009


I seriously just got finished KaBooming the shit out of my bathroom, and I am happy to think of him making heaven's whites just that much whiter with the power of Oxy Clean!

.
posted by palindromic at 10:21 AM on June 28, 2009 [9 favorites]


Mays was on a jet that landed hard, and he got struck in the head. I think it'll turn out that he died from delayed effect of that trauma.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:26 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


goddamit, when i saw the picture i thought it was dennis miller.
posted by kitchenrat at 10:26 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wonder if there were injuries from this flight he was on.
posted by 6:1 at 12:30 PM on June 28
yup. i immediately thought about that given the article announcing his death mentioned he was in that flight. that's gonna be one heck of a mini-scandal if in effect he died of undetected injuries from that flight.

for one, airlines are so content on treating passengers like shit that something like having EM personnel check people after banging their heads and/or innards in a rough flight wouldn't even be considered good practice.

if Mays did indeed die due to rough handling during that flight's landing, i hope they sue the airline for all they've got.
posted by liza at 10:27 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


TMZ is confirming head trauma? They seem to have their tentacles in
every hospital in the nation. We'll see how this turns out.
posted by liza at 10:30 AM on June 28, 2009


.!
posted by FireballForever at 10:30 AM on June 28, 2009


.

Billy Mays pitched a rotato?

.
posted by xorry at 10:35 AM on June 28, 2009


have this many celebrities died in this time span in the past?

Someone had to say it.

I am fast coming to believe that what's really going down here is nothing less than The Rapture, with the weird twist, that it's not the pure and true believers that the Lord is taking from us all at once, it's a weird mix of His favorite celebrities.

Which, if you follow, suggests that the good Lord's communication with us here on earth comes mainly via television ... and other broadcast media.

This explains a lot.
posted by philip-random at 10:37 AM on June 28, 2009 [42 favorites]


Maybe there's a celebrity killer on the loose, trying to take out the people who annoy him (or her) the most through elaborate methods that don't seem like murder. This killer is sneaking around, adjusting people's Demerol dosages and sabotaging commercial airliners. Now, if you'll excuse me, I just got a brilliant idea for a Lifetime Movie of the Week and need to go bang out a script.
posted by dortmunder at 10:39 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Guys, isn't it obvious. Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson are reunited. This is bad, bad news for any and all celebrities. The dynamic duo is assembling a guest list for the most spectacular reunion show that Valhalla has ever seen.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:41 AM on June 28, 2009 [49 favorites]


I have no idea who this guy is...
posted by HuronBob at 9:31 AM on June 28

I first discovered Billy Mays here, and I've seen every remix of his infomercials here as well. You must be doing a pretty good job avoiding the SLYT posts, HuronBob!
posted by orme at 10:43 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Billy Mays. Natasha Richardson. I feel like I should wrap my head in bubble wrap.
posted by oaf at 10:44 AM on June 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


Damn, I loved Billy Mays. That guy could have sold me cancer.

.
posted by lilac girl at 10:46 AM on June 28, 2009 [8 favorites]


FIRST MICHAEL JACKSON AND NOW THE OXY CLEAN GUY?!?!?! HOW WILL AMERICA GO ON?!?!?!

Condolences to his family, but he will always be an also-ran Ron Popeil, in my eyes.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:47 AM on June 28, 2009


You shut your whore mouth when Billy Mays is talking.

Seriously, the man was a talented gangster.
*Pours out 20oz of liquid*
posted by now i'm piste at 10:49 AM on June 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't know whether it's sad or a good thing that I only know Billy Mays: The Meme and not Billy Mays: The Infomercial Personality.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:53 AM on June 28, 2009


What a strange month. I, too, was just watching Pitchmen this morning. I actually liked it when I managed to catch it. Thoughts going out to his family--even if he annoyed the crap out of a lot of people he seemed like a decent guy. He's from around here, originally, so I wonder if we'll see anything at the local level about it...
posted by miratime at 11:00 AM on June 28, 2009


If we are counting Carradine then it's only one more death to go.

But if we are counting Natasha Richardson, we should be good for awhile?
posted by Lizc at 11:06 AM on June 28, 2009


Don't forget Bea.
posted by miratime at 11:08 AM on June 28, 2009


I wish no ill will on the guy, but I will not miss being shouted at by my television one bit...tho just as a human being I would much rather he just retired.
posted by nevercalm at 11:08 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


It seems that a bump to the head that he sustained on the crash landing might have had something to do with it.
posted by Flashman at 11:11 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Death of a salesman.
posted by jeremy b at 11:11 AM on June 28, 2009 [8 favorites]


I am sadder about this than Michael Jackson, because to the best of my knowledge Billy Mays is not a child molestor.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:11 AM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


PERIOD
posted by belvidere at 11:14 AM on June 28, 2009 [10 favorites]


I am sadder about this than Michael Jackson, because to the best of my knowledge Billy Mays is not a child molestor.
posted by jeremy b at 11:16 AM on June 28, 2009


Between Lorena Gale, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays, it's been a bad week for celebs born in 1958!

LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALA PAUL WELLER WAS BORN IN 1958 AND WILL LIVE FOREVER LALALA SAME GOES FOR NEIL FINN LALALALA

*cries*
posted by scody at 11:17 AM on June 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


According to TMZ (sorry), the FAA seems to be blaming the death on the fact that Billy Mays wasn't wearing a seatbelt...which might make sense if there was turbulence and the lack of a seatbelt caused him to careen upwards. But how exactly was a seatbelt supposed to protect him from falling debris? Not to pass judgment so early, but their response seems incredibly defensive, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a lawsuit coming out of this, particularly when you consider the untold millions of "lost income" for his family.
posted by dhammond at 11:21 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


If your last words are going to be twittered, you can't do much better than:

You can always count on US Air.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:31 AM on June 28, 2009 [6 favorites]


4chan is calling for the DDOSing of US Airways in retaliation for the murder of Billy Mays.

There's also a petition circling that /b/ be renamed "/b/ILLY MAYS" in his honor.
posted by Eideteker at 11:34 AM on June 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


Investigators discover overhead compartment was repaired with Mighty Putty in five... four... three...
posted by Sys Rq at 11:40 AM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


A moment of silence would be too ironic.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:41 AM on June 28, 2009 [6 favorites]


Need a new period key on my laptop.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:42 AM on June 28, 2009


Is it irony that in a recession pitchmen are the first to go?
posted by parmanparman at 11:44 AM on June 28, 2009


So will his tombstone say "BILLY MAYS HERE" on it?
posted by Eideteker at 12:04 PM on June 28, 2009 [10 favorites]


And here I thought the Michael Jackson obit post had raised the bar for celeb obits. I guess it's business as usual in the "OH GOD I MUST BE THE FIRST TO POST THE NEWS!!!!1!!1!!11" area.
posted by Justinian at 12:08 PM on June 28, 2009


A moment of silence would be too ironic.

Whereas 10 minutes of Elton John is entirely appropriate.
posted by philip-random at 12:09 PM on June 28, 2009


Billy Mays died in 2009.
Bob May also died in 2009.
Billy May died in 2004.
Billy Mays died in 1959.

But Bill May and Willie Mays are both still alive.

When I figure out the significance of all this, I'll let you know.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:16 PM on June 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


Dear God,

If there were to be one person to NOT die this past week other than me, my family, friends, friends of friends, and so on and so forth, this was it.

-Joe

***

Dammit my head cannot remove Billy Mays going: "HI, I'M BILLY MAYS HERE FOR OXY CLEAN"; "HI, I'M BILLY MAYS HERE FOR ORANGE CLEAN"; 'HI, I'M BILLY MAYS HERE FOR POPS-A-DENT" (His loud, permanently excited, and somewhat hoarse voice included... FOR FREE (a $29.95 priceless value in the first place))

Thoughts and Prayers with him and his family...

.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 12:37 PM on June 28, 2009


"Condolences to his family, but he will always be an also-ran Ron Popeil, in my eyes."

now, Ron Popeil I know...

I'm thinking I just got old and stopped staying up late before this Mays guy came around... afterall, who sets a tivo for an infomercial?
posted by HuronBob at 12:38 PM on June 28, 2009


*goes out to buy oxy clean*

No, really, my whites just aren't white enough.



.
posted by Night_owl at 12:40 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Spike at 12:42 PM on June 28, 2009


.

Towing the truck with Mighty Putty was on my "top ten TV moments of 2008..."
posted by callmejordan at 12:42 PM on June 28, 2009


.
posted by cerebus19 at 12:44 PM on June 28, 2009


.

Im not old enough to have seen Ed McMahon or Farrah Fawcett and was never a big Michael Jackson fan but I used to watch infomercials all the time and Billy was entertaining to watch. Yeah he was yelling all the time but he was the best and he did his job. So while you can say that you don't know who he is and that people are stretching the "celebrity obit threads" know that people did know who he was and made an impact on people.
posted by lilkeith07 at 12:50 PM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Your 7:30 is here, Mr. Offer," said the voice over his headset.

After a pause, he responded. "Send him in."

A well-dressed man strutted into the office, adjusting his cufflinks as he surveyed the dark room. The only light in the room came from the large window occupying the entire outer wall. Behind the desk, there was a chair facing away from him, with a few spikes of hair rising over the back silhouetted against the window. The seated figure said nothing, and so he spoke into the twilit darkness. "It is done."

Still, the seated figure said nothing. But the hair spikes could be seen to move over the back of the chair, as if he were regarding something outside. Finally, the thick silence was broken. "And you made it look like an accident?"

"No one will suspect foul play. It will look like he had undiagnosed injuries from his flight yesterday. It will be as if the impact jarred loose a blood clot which found its way into his brain. To all eyes, it will be as if he just never woke up."

The spikes moved as if the listener had cocked his head and perked up his ears. "Sounds very professional."

"I know my craft."

"Do you?" At this, the chair swiveled and finally the well-dressed gentleman came to face his employer. The man leaned his chin into steepled fingers, elbows resting on the large blotter on his heavy desk. His eyes rose over his fingertips, up to catch those of the well-dressed man in their critical glare. But not for a second did the elegant man let his composure drop. Having appraised his employee's steely resolve, the seated figure swung his chair a quarter turn to the right, leaving his profile in silhouette, the row of spikes broken only by the band of the headset. "Ah, Billy, Billy, Billy... The CoS couldn't stop me, what made you think you could? And now look what you've done. All because you just. Couldn't. SHARE!" His left fist crashed down on the dark wood of the heavy desk. He trembled with a deep-seated rage for just a moment before remembering himself.

The room was once again draped in silence, though the sound of the impact seemed to reverberate still. Finally, he spoke again. "You've served me well. Go. Disappear for now. You will receive your payment in the usual fashion." Still facing the wall lined with tall bookshelves, the seated figure disdainfully waved his dismissal. The well-dressed gentleman straightened his tie, pinky extended, and turned on his heel to leave. After a carefully-timed pause, the seated figure stopped him by uttering, "One more thing." As the gentleman turned back, his face registered horror as the chair swiveled back to face him. He saw a hand rise to the side to the spiked head. There was no time to move as the hand slapped a button on the headset, releasing the giant set of blades from the ceiling. The horrified look remained frozen on the gentleman's face as he was chopped into several vertical segments. The floor swung open, dropping the chunks of flesh through a trap door below. The seated figure rose, having removed something from the center drawer of his desk. As the floor swung shut again, he draped the large cloth over the bloody spot on the carpet. He tamped it down with his foot, clucking his tongue all the while. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Now there's your mildew." He flipped the cloth over, and started tamping down the other side on the spot. Already, fifty percent of the color was starting to come up....
posted by Eideteker at 1:03 PM on June 28, 2009 [21 favorites]


Great. Thanks, Eideteker. Now /b/ will probably raid the ShamWow guy.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:07 PM on June 28, 2009


I kept reading Anthony Sullivan as Andrew Sullivan and had a total "WTF, are they dating? what?" moment.

Carry on.
posted by The Whelk at 1:12 PM on June 28, 2009


.
posted by pwicks at 1:13 PM on June 28, 2009


The Whelk has given me a mental image. I am not sure whether I am happy about this or not. Still, it's quite the picture.
posted by hippybear at 1:16 PM on June 28, 2009


The thing is, news that he had a family kind of surprised me. I'd always figured him for a leather daddy out of uniform. Goes to show you never can tell.

Isn't it weird how we can be largely inured to ongoing tragedies in Darfur and so on, and yet the death of a (n awesome) TV pitchman brings everyone out? Not moralizing, just noodling.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:16 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dr. Zira: "Billy Mays here for THE GRIM REAPER!
You know, despite the over the top obnoxious pitch from his commercials, you have to respect the guy's positive attitude.
I'd started watching Pitchmen, and got hooked primarily because I enjoyed watching the relationship between him and Andrew Sullivan. I kind of got the sense that they were a couple of hardworking dudes that found success doing what they were good at...selling stuff and didn't take that success for granted. Even amidst Billy and Sully's contentious working relationship, they seemed to genuinely like each other, and both seemed like good guys at heart. The last episode I saw was the one in which Billy's son directed Billy in a commercial for a family friend's pizza joint...seemed like a good hardworking kid who really knew his stuff.
Condolences to his family.
.
"


Yea I was gonna say the same thing. I thought the guy was super obnoxious but when I saw Pitchmen for the first time I was hooked. His persona on T.V. was pretty drastic compared to his "off" persona. The fact that him and Andrew Sullivan basically taunted each other at a moments notice was pretty funny too me. But when the cameras started rolling they went all business and helped each other out.

I liked the episode where they told Billy the skunks still had their scent glands and he was freaking out that the skunk's were going to fuck him up.


.
posted by Gravitus at 1:26 PM on June 28, 2009


dirtynumbangelboy: I did enough low-level cyber stalking of Mays (read: Wikipedia and other easy Google hits) to know he was married with kids. His son has the full stamp of Cute Cub Boy, and Billy's father has the hot older bearded man look down pat. Here's a sequence from Discovery Channel's Pitchmen series (sorry about the commercial) showing all three generations of Mays men. (I apologize now for the exploitative nature of the clip.)

Let's face it, the Mays family has good male genes.
posted by hippybear at 1:29 PM on June 28, 2009


"The fact that him and Andrew Anthony Sullivan basically taunted each other"

Seriously, the Billy + Andrew thing is already running rampant in my mind. Let's not reinforce it more than necessary.
posted by hippybear at 1:31 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are you imagining a lot of shouting, pointing and ordering?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:34 PM on June 28, 2009


I'm not sure, but I know it will be blogged about afterwards...
posted by hippybear at 1:36 PM on June 28, 2009


Seriously, the Billy + Andrew thing is already running rampant in my mind. Let's not reinforce it more than necessary.

Can you imagine the in-act verbal ? You'd have to soundproof the bedroom.
posted by The Whelk at 1:37 PM on June 28, 2009


You'd have to soundproof the bedroom.

Well, or not.. but I can be a bit of a voyeuristic perv.
posted by hippybear at 1:38 PM on June 28, 2009


"NORMALLY THIS WOULD BE A HUGE VALUE WITH TWO EASY PAYMENTS OF 19.95 BUT FOR YOU I'M GOING TO LET YOU HAVE IT JUST 20 DOLLARS, SAME AS IN TOWN."
posted by The Whelk at 1:40 PM on June 28, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wait! What? TMI?
posted by hippybear at 1:40 PM on June 28, 2009


this has been an interesting derail.
posted by The Whelk at 1:41 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


hippybear: ""The fact that him and Andrew Anthony Sullivan basically taunted each other"

Seriously, the Billy + Andrew thing is already running rampant in my mind. Let's not reinforce it more than necessary.
"

Ooops. I meant Anthony. Whateva!.

Why would that run rampant in your mind? It's not like they were serious. They liked to fuck with each other. /shrugs.
posted by Gravitus at 1:42 PM on June 28, 2009


Sullivan would probably completely change his mind about an important position about halfway through.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:43 PM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Gravitus: someday, I'll sit you down and explain the appeal for someone like of me of the mental picture of Billy Mays and Andrew Sullivan somehow fucking with each other. Let's just say, it's a conversation not safe for children.
posted by hippybear at 1:45 PM on June 28, 2009


Damn you Marisa, I was drinking something.
posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on June 28, 2009


and now, out of respect for poor Billy, I'll stop talking about that.
posted by hippybear at 1:48 PM on June 28, 2009


.
posted by hamida2242 at 2:00 PM on June 28, 2009


I'LL MISS HIM.

.
posted by maryh at 2:08 PM on June 28, 2009


It's been a bad week for celebs period. Ed McMahon, Farah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and now Billy Mays... If the whole people die in 3s thing is true we still have two more to go now.

Gale Storm dead at 87.
posted by blucevalo at 2:08 PM on June 28, 2009


SHOULDN'T THIS THREAD BE IN ALL CAPS?

SORRY FOR HIS FAMILY BUT I'M NOT GOING TO MISS WHEN HIS COMMERCIALS FINALLY DISAPPEAR AND I DON'T HAVE TO LUNGE FOR THE REMOTE EVERY TIME I SEE HIM.

HE WAS LOUD LIKE A ROCK CONCERT OF A BAND THAT USED TO BE BIG BUT NOW THEY ARE PLAYING THE COUNTY FAIR AND ONLY THE BASSIST WAS IN THE ORIGINAL BAND.
posted by Bonzai at 2:09 PM on June 28, 2009


Kaboom! The pearly gates will never have been pearlier.

Reading YoungBillyMays' Twitterstream makes his dad's death so poignant. It's no consolation, since his dad was so young, but at least the death was in his sleep, not painfully prolonged.

A spokeswoman for the Tampa Airport Authority told the St. Petersburg Times newspaper that paramedics responded to the Boeing 737 after it came to a stop on the runway, but that none of the passengers -- including Mays -- requested medical attention.

''All of a sudden as we hit, you know, it was just the hardest hit, all the things from the ceiling started dropping,'' a Tampa Bay television station quoted Mays as saying. ''It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head.''


hmm. Perhaps his death was from the head injury, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a Subdural hematoma? The autopsy will hopefully have some answers.

My condolences to Billy Mays III, his friends and family.
posted by nickyskye at 2:09 PM on June 28, 2009


Wait, Gale Storm died.... now that deserves an FPP...
posted by HuronBob at 2:25 PM on June 28, 2009


"#wearblue4billy - Wear blue tomorrow in memory of Billy- I didn't come up with this but it made me smile and my dad would surely be honored."
posted by majikstreet at 2:26 PM on June 28, 2009


NOW WHO'S GOING TO DO ALL MY SHOUTING FOR ME?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:26 PM on June 28, 2009


I'm mixing one scoop of OxyClean with 40 ounces of water right now.

!
posted by wendell at 2:27 PM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


In order to save everyone a lot of trouble in the future, I'm posting this link every morning.
posted by HuronBob at 2:34 PM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Perhaps his death was from the head injury, a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a Subdural hematoma? The autopsy will hopefully have some answers.

Same thing that took out Natasha Richardson, as mentioned above:

“Ms Richardson was having a private lesson. She fell during the lesson. The ski instructor saw that. She called the ski patrol,” Catherine Lacasse, a spokeswoman for the resort, said. “They checked her out completely. No signs of impact. No blood. She was fine. She was laughing and making jokes. She refused to go to see a doctor. She wanted to go to her room.”
posted by @troy at 2:39 PM on June 28, 2009


Walter Cronkite "very ill and not expected to recuperate." It's a busy season, indeed.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 2:46 PM on June 28, 2009


OK, apart from my initial snark about knowing him more as a meme than a person, it seems he's managed to entertain a lot of people with a sales pitch. That's a very rare talent indeed. And it can't be easy for his family to have to cope with this so suddenly. My condolences.

.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:51 PM on June 28, 2009


Now cracks a noble heart; good night, sweet prince/
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

posted by champthom at 2:51 PM on June 28, 2009


Billy Mays isn't the only "regular guy" with a wife and kid to die today, or even this afternoon.
posted by johnj at 2:58 PM on June 28, 2009


I was just as suprised to hear he had a family. He looked and sounded just like many of the bears I know, he was almost a walking stereotype. I feel a little less crazy knowing that I wasn't the only one that thought that. Thanks Dirtynumbangelboy and hippybear!

That said, my condolences to his family. From what I saw on the discovery channel, he seemed like a really good person that loved what he did.

I'll never be able to spam Billy Mays sound bites in Team Fortress again.

(wasn't there some other celebrity that died from a similar delayed head trauma incident while skiing?)
posted by kzin602 at 3:00 PM on June 28, 2009


[Pointless derail removed. If you have literally nothing to say other than that you don't know and don't care, please consider doing your not-knowing and not-caring elsewhere.]
posted by cortex at 3:23 PM on June 28, 2009 [10 favorites]


(wasn't there some other celebrity that died from a similar delayed head trauma incident while skiing?)

Natasha Richardson.
posted by Dr-Baa at 3:23 PM on June 28, 2009


Billy Mays isn't the only "regular guy" with a wife and kid to die today, or even this afternoon.

But he's the only one I know about.

Seriously though, what's your fucking point? Why are you people in this thread? Get out.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:39 PM on June 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


Billy Mays Orders Food From A McDonald's Drive-Thru.
posted by ShawnStruck at 3:49 PM on June 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am fast coming to believe that what's really going down here is nothing less than The Rapture, with the weird twist, that it's not the pure and true believers that the Lord is taking from us all at once, it's a weird mix of His favorite celebrities.

I had this same exact thought when I saw this post.
posted by Wen at 3:57 PM on June 28, 2009


I'd started watching Pitchmen, and got hooked primarily because I enjoyed watching the relationship between him and Andrew Sullivan.

I read this and got terribly confused until I looked Pitchmen up on IMDB. The show that was playing in my brain sounds vastly more entertaining.
posted by EarBucket at 4:01 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


My apologies for the confusion. Unless you are interested in bear slash fiction, in which case I will comment again for $9.95 plus s/h.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:29 PM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


hippybear: "Gravitus: someday, I'll sit you down and explain the appeal for someone like of me of the mental picture of Billy Mays and Andrew Sullivan somehow fucking with each other. Let's just say, it's a conversation not safe for children."

I interpreted your initial post wrong and thought you were goin all soft belly and were on the verge of tears. Now after reading the quoted response and if you were thinking what I imagined then we are already on the same page. /shrugs.
posted by Gravitus at 4:34 PM on June 28, 2009


Does anyone else who watches Pitchmen not think Billy comes off as a huge prima donna behind the scenes? He's always complaining about something or talking about how famous he is. Though people generally seem to like him so maybe it's pushed over the top for the show. Either way I'm certainly not glad he's dead, but...more jobs for Vince? Nothing wrong with that.
posted by Roman Graves at 4:42 PM on June 28, 2009


.
posted by UseyurBrain at 5:02 PM on June 28, 2009


RIP! WE'LL MISS HIM! MAYBE SOMETHING FEEL ON HIS HEAD? BET THEY"LL SUE THE AIRLINE!
posted by fixedgear at 5:19 PM on June 28, 2009


Of course, I didn't know him personally, but Billy Mays seemed like one of those guys who I'd want to be my dad. I'd want him to pick me up, grind my face against his sandpaper stubble, and whisper words of wisdom into my ear at 140 decibels. And you know what? I wouldn't even care if they didn't rhyme. Rest in peace, Big Blue. The world's going to be a much dirtier place without you.
posted by aftermarketradio at 5:54 PM on June 28, 2009


He hadn't made enough money yet to afford a private jet? Weird.
posted by longsleeves at 6:18 PM on June 28, 2009


Tampa radio personality Todd "MJ" Schnitt interviews Billy Mays' friend Anthony Sullivan.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:19 PM on June 28, 2009


5 Strangest Products Pitched by Billy Mays.
posted by youarenothere at 6:32 PM on June 28, 2009


Vince has nothing on Billy in the morals department.

.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 6:39 PM on June 28, 2009


Mayor Curley:I am sadder about this than Michael Jackson, because to the best of my knowledge Billy Mays is not a child molestor.

HI, I'M BILLY MAYS AND I'M GOING TO TOUCH YOUR PENIS.
posted by dr_dank at 7:37 PM on June 28, 2009 [3 favorites]


Here's a nice segment on pitchmen, including Billy Mays, from On the Media in May.

.
posted by armage at 7:38 PM on June 28, 2009


Aww, that's sad. He was a dynamo, it seemed. He was too young, too.

.

Anyway, since I have no tv reception anymore, I rely on MetaFilter to let me know who's died. It's a morbid job, but somebody's got to do it.
posted by Mael Oui at 7:40 PM on June 28, 2009


Wow. A whole derail had time to happen and get deleted while I was out having beers and a burrito? Dang. Thanks for the quick work with the Oxyclean, cortex.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:26 PM on June 28, 2009


BTW, it's OxiClean (note, "i", not "y").

No, I don't know why they spelled it wrong, either.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:31 PM on June 28, 2009


Billy Mays orders from a McDonald's Drive-Thru

and

Billy Mays calls out Vince Offer
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:42 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aww, dammit. I loved Billy Mays. I have a weird thing about commercials for cleaning products, though.

.
posted by naoko at 9:32 PM on June 28, 2009


Billy Mays on the Run. [espn360 commercial]
posted by peep at 10:32 PM on June 28, 2009


Can you imagine the in-act verbal ? You'd have to soundproof the bedroom.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE, ANDY!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:01 PM on June 28, 2009


This is going to save me a lot of strain injuries reaching for the mute button.
posted by OneOliveShort at 11:05 PM on June 28, 2009


Man, this made me very sad when I found out this evening. Watching Billy Jr with his son Billy III on the show Pitchmen really made me come to like both Billy Mays. It is such a shame that Billy Jr is gone, I feel for his family and friends. And, I'll never look at direct marketing ad without a tiny bit of sadness, again.
posted by SuzySmith at 11:47 PM on June 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF HE HAD WRAPPED HIS HEAD IN A SHAMWOW! OR CLOSED THE DOORS OF THE OVERHEAD COMPARTMENTS WITH THAT MAGICAL PUTTY STUFF!

.

(he always made me laugh, at least).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:57 AM on June 29, 2009


Now how will i know what to buy?
Not going to believe that hooker beating methhead Shamwow guy!
Goodbye to the best pitchman probably ever.
posted by Capt Jingo at 6:38 AM on June 29, 2009


Well at least he had the garden weasel to dig his own grave.
posted by dasheekeejones at 6:48 AM on June 29, 2009


I swear to god, I broke the Billy Mays news to my wife and daughter and my wife had no earthly clue who Billy Mays was. My daughter and I were slack-jawed in disbelief. We quickly did a Billy Mays festival via YouTube for her. Still utterly unaware.

Her excuse seems to be that, even though she spends about as much time in front of the tv as I do, she's asleep much of that time. And she's sticking to it.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:03 AM on June 29, 2009


The ad agency I work for recently tried to hire this guy to do a commercial for us. He was too expensive (?!) so we hired a look-a-like and are calling him 'Willy Hayes'. No shit.

Also '.' for Mr. Mays. 50 is too young.
posted by Pecinpah at 8:58 AM on June 29, 2009


.
posted by joedan at 9:55 AM on June 29, 2009


.

Late to the party, but in the spirit of Mays here's a second . absolutely free
(just pay separate shipping and handling)

This news does genuinely bum me out, and it's in large part due to the Pitchmen show, which was educational and entertaining. He was truly one of the last real 'salesmen', in the old school sense of the word.
posted by indiebass at 10:29 AM on June 29, 2009


Looks like he died of a pulmonary embolism, resulting from his heart disease (link to LA Times article); no evidence of head trauma.

As pitchmen go, it seems like a good investment to pitch things like the Juice Tiger.

.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:35 AM on June 29, 2009


RT @TFLN (972): they say celebs die in threes. leave it to billy mays to throw in one extra COMPLETELY FREE!
posted by daHIFI at 10:35 AM on June 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will miss him

.
posted by hexxed at 10:44 AM on June 29, 2009


I'm wearing blue today, in tribute. Turns out I've only got one blue shirt, which doesn't fit and has something pretty stupid printed on it, but whatchagonnado? I guess I'm not leaving the house today in tribute as well.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:20 AM on June 29, 2009


Quite possibly my favorite image associated with this so far: http://twitpic.com/8t98r
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:37 PM on June 29, 2009


Tribute celebrity death wallpaper.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:31 PM on June 29, 2009


Billy Mays' Magical Beard

Billy Mays Power Mask
posted by Sailormom at 7:37 AM on June 30, 2009


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