"HI, BILLY MAYS HERE FOR TV TROPES!"
"BILLY MAYS - the only TV spokesman allowed to speak in all caps.
If the world of infomercials
and late night advertising can be said to have stars, this guy was one of the biggest. Large, loud and impossible to ignore
, this pitchman was a familiar face and voice to anyone who watches TV in the United States and Canada. Even if you didn't want him to be.
He gave his enthusiastic endorsement to such products as Zorbeez, OxiClean, Kaboom, Orange Glo, Hercules Hooks and a plethora of late night merchandise.
Beginning in April 2009 and alongside his best friend and equally recognizable pitchman Anthony "Sully" Sullivan, he co-hosted a reality show on the Discovery Channel titled Pitchmen
, which showed how his company chose the products they pitch and how they created their ads. The final episode of the show —broadcast two weeks after his death—was a tribute episode to Mays.
Not to be confused with the baseball player Willie Mays.
Before his death he called out Vince Offer
. And then someone
made an awesome video
of what their "pitch-off" would be like.
On June 28, 2009, BILLY MAYS was found dead in his home in Tampa Bay, Florida due to hypertensive heart disease. He was age 50. His funeral was on July 3, 2009 and he was buried in his trademark blue shirt and khaki pants
, which were also worn by his pallbearers
. A coroner's autopsy reports suggest cocaine may have contributed to Mays' death by accelerating the development of heart disease. His family feels that the autopsy mistook his back medication for cocaine. A second medical examination in October confirmed that cocaine was not a factor in his death.Ascended to the Pantheon
shortly thereafter as the God of Advertising.
Products BILLY MAYS hawked:
The secret's in the TV Tropes Wiki Markup technology, which describes examples that Billy Mays provides:
- Adam Westing: He occasionally had some fun with this trope - his Shakespearean skit on The Tonight Show was one of the better examples.
- Added Alliterative Appeal / Rhymes on a Dime: Notice a pattern in the product name list up there?
- And Ninety Nine Cents: Most of his products tended to be $19.99.
- Badass Beard: Most definitely.
- Berserk Button: As shown on Pitchmen, you should not mention Shamwow or Vince around him...
- Catch Phrase:
- Flanderization: He got CONSIDERABLY LOUDER over the years. It's weird watching his old, normally-spoken commercials. (HE'S NOT SHOUTING HE'S PROJECTING!)
- Full-Name Basis: Maybe. He's almost always referred to as Billy Mays. Or BILLY MAYS.
- Gag Dub: Up until his death, and even after, he was the constant (affectionate) target of Jabo0ody Dubs.
- LARGE HAM: He was remarkably cool and collected in most of the interviews he gave; his giant hamminess was explained as somewhere being pragmatic about what attitude sells and having fun in his job.
- Limited Wardrobe: His wardrobe seemed to consist solely of blue shirts and tan pants, indeed to the point that this was parodied in an ad he did for ESPN360.com in which he's on the run and his suitcase is entirely filled with just blue shirts and tan pants. This is taken to an almost illogical extreme, since, as mentioned above, he was buried in that particular outfit. Furthermore, his pallbearers wore the same outfit.
- NO INDOOR VOICE
- Averted by the show Pitchmen - when not on camera, his voice is quite average.
- Name's the Same / Legacy Character: His father's name? BILLY MAYS, Sr. His son's name? BILLY MAYS III. On the televised memorial service, BILLY MAYS III mentioned that he might name his son BILLY MAYS IV.
- Refuge in Audacity: Some of the memes and jokes immediately following his death (with surprisingly few proceeding into Vulgar Humor) were enough to make you laugh and hate yourself for it simultaneously. A good example? Images of Vince Offer holding up the Death Note with his usual wild-eyed stare.
- RIDICULOUSLY LOUD COMMERCIAL
- SHOUT OUT: South Park season 13, episode "Dead Celebrities". Full stop.
- Take That: To Vince Offer and the ShamWow in this Zorbeez commercial
HERE'S HOW TO ORDER! To order the Billy Mays TV Tropes page, call 1-800-555-5555.