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September 21, 2014

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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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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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