Billy Mays to yell, sell posthumously
“BILLY MAYS HERE…”
The Discovery channel will air a special one-hour documentary tonight about famous pitchman Billy Mays, who died unexpectedly June 28 of apparent heart failure. Several companies have also announced that they will begin airing Billy Mays commercials again, after having pulled them off the air immediately after his death.
I make mention of the fact because, gosh darnit, I kinda liked Billy Mays and his goofy commercials, which generally began with “BILLY MAYS HERE…” and continued to tell me why his product was great.
Usually when someone is yelling at me about a product, I get annoyed. But with Mays, there was a likable charm to it. When he was yelling, he wasn’t really “yelling” but simply talking at a very high volume. And his pitches always had such an earnest, good-natured quality to them.
Pitches by various versions of the “But wait, there’s more!” TV announcer — inevitably ending in a blue screen and a 1-800 number in Helvetica typeface — usually might as well say “Hurry up and get ripped off!” But Billy Mays was different. He was the pitch guy who you wanted to trust. He had the voice, the volume, and the velocity. But high-energy never seemed high-pressure.
We’ll miss you, Billy. Now excuse me while I go buy some OxiClean. I’m not sure what it does or if I need it. In Billy I trust.