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December 20, 2014

billy mays

'PitchMen' Returning to Discovery in August

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 26th 2010 8:30PM
Anthony SullivanIf you've ever wondered how Discovery could carry on the highly entertaining reality series 'PitchMen' without the highly electric personality of the late Billy Mays, you're about to get your answer.

The second season of the Discovery Channel series will begin on Aug. 21 starring the other "pitchman," Andrew "Sully" Sullivan.

'PitchMen' will pick up where the first season left off, with our intrepid infomercial maverick traveling the country looking for new and exciting products to sell insomniacs and soap opera watchers around the world. Sadly, he'll be doing it without his old partner in crime. Mays passed away last year after suffering a heart-attack, and an autopsy would later reveal that he had cocaine in his system at the time of his death.


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Top TV Stories of 2009: People we lost

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 13th 2009 4:03PM
So we come to that time of year when we list all of the TV celebrities that have died over the past year. We hear about these people passing away at various points of the year (sometimes a few the same week), but it's really odd to see them all listed together at once like you'll see after the jump.

It's like 40% of pop culture dies every year.

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Billy Mays' widow contradicts chronic cocaine claims

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 15th 2009 7:35PM
Billy MaysThe wife of the late Billy Mays once again came to the side of her late husband over allegations that a cocaine overdose killed the pitchman.

This time Billy's wife, Deborah, claims she has conclusive proof that her late husband was not a habitual drug user.

The family paid for a second review of Billy's autopsy and doesn't deny that he may have used cocaine in the days leading up to his death, but does deny that he was a "chronic" user. The latest release from the family said the independent investigation concludes cocaine use did not contribute to his untimely death.

[via TVTattle]

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Hi, Billy Mays III here for South Park...

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 9th 2009 1:02PM
Billy Mays on South ParkIf you're a celebrity and you appear on TV's South Park, chances are it's not going to end good for you. You're either going to end up dead, in Hell, or dead and in Hell.

So you can probably imagine the reaction from the family of the late TV pitchman Billy Mays: exuberant joy and ecstatic excitement.

Billy's son Billy Mays III said on his Twitter page that he was "proud" and "honored" his late father was included in their "Dead Celebrities" episode. He's also trying to get a cel of his father's caricature autographed by Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

He hasn't said if he's gotten it yet or not, but he's reportedly sweetening the deal for the South Park creators by throwing in an extra bottle of Chipotlaway absolutely free. Matt and Trey, call now!

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South Park: Dead Celebrities - open thread

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 8th 2009 2:01PM
South ParkYou knew that when South Park returned it would work in one of the many celebrity deaths that happened over the past several months. But last night's episode actually had, well, all of them: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine, and all the others. Ike started to see their ghosts and was sent to a psychiatrist for it. Here's the full episode. Chipotlaway is disgusting but hysterical.

What did you think?

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Why no love for Billy Mays, Emmys?

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 21st 2009 11:00AM
Pitchmen's Billy Mays and Anthony SullivanI'm not saying that I necessarily think Billy Mays should have won a posthumous Emmy, or even that his show Pitchmen should have been included in their "The Year in Reality" segment. But leaving him out of the "In Memoriam" segment? You have people from every facet of the television industry, and you leave out the most famous infomercial personality ever. Infomercials are television programming.

Yes, they're annoying at times and yes, they're not as exciting as Lost or The Amazing Race, but it's still television. Billy Mays was famous because of television. And he was famous. Virtually everyone in this country recognizes "Hi, Billy Mays here!" and that almost patented way of shouting talking he had.

But hell, even if you don't buy any of those arguments, he was one of the stars of Pitchmen, a successful reality show. You honor reality shows, right? I'm just saying, It seems to me that one of the most famous faces of the modern era on television, and one of the most powerful men in the commercial industry, could have maybe earned a quick mention upon his passing.

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Coke contributed to Billy Mays' death

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 8th 2009 9:02AM
billy_mays_deathSo now we know why Billy Mays was so hyped in his commercials -- he used cocaine. The autopsy results for the TV pitchman confirm that he died of heart disease, but there were also traces of cocaine in Billy Mays' system from a few days prior to his demise.

There was a family history of heart disease, and cocaine can elevate blood pressure and contribute to coronary blockages. The coroner, Dr. Chrostowski, reported that "cocaine use caused or contributed to the development of Mays' heart disease and thereby contributed to his death."

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Jimmy Kimmel explains how Billy Mays keeps doing commercials

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 3rd 2009 6:30PM
Yes, Jimmy Kimmel went there.

I was wondering when someone would do some sort of parody related to the death of Billy Mays, and it's Jimmy Kimmel Live. There have been jokes here and there, including some by Kimmel himself, but this is the first all-out segment I've seen. Over the line? Judge for yourself.

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Discovery renews Pitchmen

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 15th 2009 12:04PM
PitchmenWhen Billy Mays died a couple of weeks ago, we were trying to figure out what exactly Discovery was going to do about their show Pitchmen. Would they cancel the show? Renew it with just Anthony Sullivan as the star? Try to find another pitchman (or woman)? Turns out it's going to be none of those things.

Instead, the show is going to continue with the addition of Mays' son, Billy Mays III. No word yet if the younger Mays will step into the co-host role with Sullivan or be involved in other ways, but I'm sure he'll have at least some on-screen role.

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Pitchmen pays teary tribute to Billy Mays

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 10th 2009 3:03PM
Billy MaysI don't know how true this axiom is, since I just made it up out of thin air. But it seems to me that, in the world of reality TV, you can edit a nice person to look like a jerk, but it's much tougher to edit a jerk into looking like a nice person. It's just harder to fake being a good person than it is to fake being a jerk. And what I learned by the entire season of Pitchmen, including last night's tribute episode, was that Billy Mays was a good guy.

Sure, he had an ego. Sure, there are probably production staffs out there who think the guy was a jerk because he was having a bad day when he worked with them. But, the entire season of Pitchmen showed that Mays was a fun-loving guy that seemed to be a dedicated family man; he also seemed to be truly committed to helping people realize their dreams through their inventions. Considering how many different people teared up during the tribute episode last night, I could tell the guy was loved and admired.

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What's On Tonight: Big Brother, Billy Mays Tribute, Burn Notice

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 9th 2009 4:04PM
  • Attack of the ShowAt 7, G4 has the 1000th episode of Attack of the Show.
  • At 8, ABC has two new episodes of Samantha Who?
  • CBS has the season premiere of Big Brother at 8.
  • At 9, Discovery has a Billy Mays tribute episode of Pitchmen.
  • USA has a new Burn Notice at 9, then a new Royal Pains.
  • Spike has a new TNA Impact at 9.
  • At 10, NBC has a new episode of The Listener.
  • Comedy Central has a new Tosh.0 at 10.
  • Bravo has a new episode of The Fashion Show at 10.
  • Also at 10: Showtime has a new Penn & Teller's Bullshit.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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Blue shirts honor Billy Mays

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 6th 2009 5:30PM
Billy Mays funeral

This isn't usually a blog with photos from funeral services, but I thought this one was appropriate for TV fans to see. Pallbearers at Billy Mays funeral the other day all wore blue shirts in a tribute to the commercial king.

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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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What should happen to Pitchmen now?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 30th 2009 5:40PM
PitchmenThe season finale of Discovery Channel's Pitchmen airs tomorrow night at 10PM (after a day-long marathon of the show). But now that Billy Mays has passed away suddenly, what should happen to the show?

Discovery hasn't made a decision yet. They could continue the show will just Anthony Sullivan, they could get another commercial/product icon to take Mays' place, or they could simply cancel the show. What do you think they should do?

What should happen to Pitchmen?
Continue it with just Anthony Sullivan394 (29.9%)
Get another commercial icon to take Mays' place355 (26.9%)
Cancel the show569 (43.2%)

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Billy Mays died of heart disease, says autopsy

by Joel Keller, posted Jun 29th 2009 2:16PM
Billy MaysIf you're wearing blue to pay tribute Billy Mays, you were probably as shocked by the pitchman's death as I was. Heck, I was even more surprised by Billy's passing than I was by Michael Jackson's. The guy seemed as healthy as a horse, sporting nothing more than the slight beer gut anyone of his age that's not a fitness fanatic and lives the good life is likely to have.

So in a perverse way, some of us approaching middle age were hoping that the cause of Billy's death could have been explained by the bump on the head he got after his flight had a rough landing the day before he died. We figured it was a delayed response to head trauma, a la what happened to Natasha Richardson earlier this year.

But autopsy results, verified by Billy Mays III on his Twitter feed, showed that there was no head trauma. Mays simply died of heart disease.

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