TV pitchman and Internet meme star Billy Mays found dead at home

June 28, 2009

TV pitchman and Internet meme star Billy Mays found dead at home

Well-known TV pitchman, and star of countless Internet memes, Billy Mays, was found dead in his home in Tampa, Florida this morning.

The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Deborah Mays found her husband, TV picthman Billy Mays, dead in their home this morning in Tampa, Florida.  Mr. Mays was 50-years-old, and no cause of death is known at this time, but foul play is not suspected.

Mr. Mays had become a staple of late-night television in the United States for his booming and aggressive voice that he used to sell everything from cleaning solvents to epoxies you could use to fix just about anything.  Besides his voice, he was also well-known for his tendency to give the “thumbs up” to products as a sign you could trust what he was saying.

According to his bio on Wikipedia, Mr. Mays was first discovered at a home show in 1993 by Max Appeal of Orange Glo International.  He was hired by the company to promote its products OxiClean, Orange Clean, Orange Glo, and Kaboom for the Home Shopping Network based out of St. Petersburg, Florida.  After his rousing success there, the company moved him on to doing infomercials that aired nationwide.

After a few years it got to where you couldn’t turn on the TV late at night in the United States and not see Mr. Mays promoting some product or the other, sometimes seeing him even advertising two different products in the same block of ads.  This gave rise to him being a popular Internet meme on YouTube where users would take his commercials and redub them, usually with language you wouldn’t hear on television.  While most are too saucy to be posted here, you can check out the Billy Mays videos on YouTube, but be warned, there are over 71,000 of them.

Mrs. Mays has said that she does not expect to release any public statements about her husband’s death in the coming days.  Oddly Mr. Mays was a passenger on a US Airways 737 on Saturday that blew out a tire upon landing.  He was checked out immediately after the flight and did not request any medical assistance at that time.  It is not known if that incident has any connection to his sudden and unexpected passing.

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3 Responses to “TV pitchman and Internet meme star Billy Mays found dead at home”

  1. MJ bresnahan:


    Your article about Mr. Mays Death starting with “Oddly Mr. Mays was a passenger on a United Airlines 737 on Saturday that blew out a tire upon landing” is not correct, Mr. Mays was on a US Airways flight not a United flight. Please correct Thank you

  2. long island gal:

    Condolences to the family and friends of Billy Mays. It is so sad that he died at a very early stage. Whatever the reason of his death, we all hope that he is already in peace now and further investigations will be made.

  3. Free sharing WSO Wordpress plugin WSO marketing!:

    Generally I do not learn post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice post.

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