Billy Mays 1958-2009.
Never before has a man sold so much hydrogen peroxide, in such varied forms, to so many, so loudly, for such incredible value.
Out of all the high profile celebrity deaths this week the person I most likely would have wanted to grow up as, as a kid, would have been Mr. Mays. I was fascinated with infomercials growing up, still am, although I’ve only ever bought one product ever and that was difficult to enunciate my order with my tongue planted as firmly in my cheek as it was.
Infomercials are the closest thing to the modern-day circus, they’re the snake-oil salesman, travelling potion caravans, and miracle-cures for the modern era. It’s just instead of curing hair-loss and “the vapors” they’re cleaning our filthy, filthy houses… and hair-loss. Mr. Mays was one of only a few that have that special P.T. Barnum spark that elevates a pitchman from hucksterisim to craft – and 3:00am local television will be the poorer for it.
Michael, Ed, and Farah will get the majority of media coverage… but I know whose work I’ve watched more in the past 10 years.