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August 30, 2015

We're going to keep seeing Billy Mays in commercials

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 2nd 2009 6:01PM
Billy MaysFirst off, everyone keeps using the word "infomercial" when describing the ads that Billy Mays did, including this piece at TampaBay.com. Actually, infomercials are longer form ads, usually 30 minutes. What Mays did were commercials (though yes, he did infomercials too). After a meeting between his widow, his son, friend Anthony Sullivan, and marketers, they have decided to resume running all of Mays' ads next week. I'm sure that's going to seem weird to some viewers.

I guess it's not completely odd, because we still watch a TV show that a celebrity has starred in after they die. But commercials are more recent, more "alive," more "of the moment" than some TV show that we all know is a repeat from one, ten, thirty years ago. And that's what's going to be odd about seeing these ads.

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I watched Billy Mays on infomercials for over 10 years. I still have the very old partially filled bucket of OxyClean under my kitchen sink. It got so I trusted everything he said and would frequently buy whatever he was selling (provided I needed it). I was very sad when he passed away. In fact, more sad than I thought I would be. Somehow he wormed his way into my heart. I grew to be very fond of him. The world is a little less brighter and a little more quieter now. I am actually glad to see his commercials still. It's a little comforting somehow and yet I still get sad from seeing/hearing him. I stop whatever I'm doing and watch his commercials because I know now they won't be around forever.

July 29 2009 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leslie Ann

This is a little off topic but I think they should change the next season of Pitchmen to have a contest (a la the Apprentice) to find a new pitch man. Nobody will ever take the place of Billy Mays, nobody will ever be able to put Sully in his place the way Billy did, but it would be interesting television and a good legacy of his spirit to continue on to find someone who could carry the torch. The blue shirt, however, is retired.

July 03 2009 at 10:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There were these TV commercials here in Portland, for I think auto glass. The guy in the commercials got killed by a hooker in some hotel somewhere, and right after the local news reported on that, they went to commercial and there he was. It was hilariously creepy.

July 03 2009 at 4:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pierre-Luc Allie

Because Vince owns Shamwow, he isn't just their pitchman... That's the only reason he's still on tv.

July 02 2009 at 11:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Pierre-Luc Allie's comment
Scott K

I've only seen him lately for the Slap Chop.

Stop having boring tuna, stop having a boring life.

July 03 2009 at 1:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's more going to be sad, knowing what he likely died from, and then hearing him scream at the top of his lungs at me.

But look at Vince from ShamWow. He beats women and I never expected his commercials to continue airing once that was confirmed...

July 02 2009 at 11:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I saw him in a Mighty Putty ad last night on MSNBC.

July 02 2009 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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