Billy Mays, R.I.P.

Billy Mays, R.I.P.Just a few minutes ago, I learned of the untimely death of legendary infomercial pitchman Billy Mays at age 50. (Details here.) With his trademark dark beard, blue shirts, and booming voice, Mays appeared on TV pitching hundreds of products of all sorts, everything from bug repellents to stain removers to health insurance. People throw around the words “icon” and “unique” a lot, but Billy Mays was one person who truly deserved those labels. Recently people got to know the man more intimately on the reality TV show Pitchmen, which took viewers behind the scenes of the business run by Mays and his partner Anthony “Sully” Sullivan. Unlike the cases of some of the other celebrities who have passed away recently (Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Ed McMahon), Billy Mays’ tragic death occured at the very height of his fame and popularity.

I’m very sad to see him go.


Enjoy this interview with Billy Mays and Anthony Sullivan:


  • 16 Responses to “Billy Mays, R.I.P.”

  • That sucks for him

    Comment by Emilin8r on June 28, 2009 at 3:42 pm

  • A very sad day, indeed.

    Comment by Jan on June 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm

  • I heared that Billy Mays challenged Vince Offer to a duel earlier this year. Perhaps he shouldn’t have done that. Rest in peace Billy.

    Comment by Mark on June 28, 2009 at 4:34 pm

  • I wonder if any of his infomercials will continue to run,if not alot of airtime just opened up. He wasn’t a fav of mine but he was damn good at selling anything. Hopefully his death along with Natasha Richardson’s will teach people is that if you get whacked hard on the head spend the night at the hospital or you’ll drop dead 24 hours later

    Comment by Bruce on June 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm

  • So sad, Pitchmen showed that he seemed to be a really nice guy. I feel so bad for his wife and family.

    Comment by Eric on June 28, 2009 at 7:51 pm

  • My friends are teasing me for being upset about Billy Mays’s death, but it’s really upsetting to me for some reason. Maybe it’s because both of my parents are older than he was or maybe it’s that Natasha Richardson and I have the same birthday, but hearing about another death was heartbreaking.

    Comment by Devika on June 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm

  • Is so tragic… And what’s even more tragic is that meanwhile Kevin Trudeau and Klee Irwin are still alive. NOT FAIR!!!

    Comment by Evgueni Mlodik on June 28, 2009 at 8:25 pm

  • Billy Mays is someone, whom I’ve seen on TV for the last 5 years, and then today, he is gone. He feels like one of the people I knew personally.

    I’ve seen people, who used to come regularly to a particular chat room (in my case, Books & Literature chatrooms in Yahoo), suddenly taken away by death in more than one occassion.

    Similar feeling!

    R.I.P., Billy Mays.

    Comment by znkp on June 28, 2009 at 10:24 pm

  • Damn shame, he was a fine man though he was a bit annoying at times with his commercials, but he had some damn good commercials.

    Comment by Anthony on June 29, 2009 at 7:09 am

  • R.I.P. indeed.

    I think we’ll miss his eternal optimism that with this or that doodad, one’s life will be perfect.

    He was also a big enough man to be directed by his son.

    Comment by AngloAm on June 29, 2009 at 10:43 am

  • I thought Billy was the Best, I worked a few booth’s down from him in Pittsburgh Trade shows. I’ll miss him more than Mike Jackson or F Fawset. A true american icon. See Ya

    Comment by Peter on June 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm

  • His infomercials are still playing Im watching the one for the dual saw now, kinda freaky and very sad.

    Comment by Donna on July 1, 2009 at 9:13 am

  • Perhaps the most jarring moment regarding Billy Mays’ death, was, for me: when the news on TV reported his death, then went to commercial.

    The first commercial was for the Awesome Auger, which starts with the line “Hi! Billy Mays here, back again!”

    I honest to god almost wept.

    RIP Billy, you were one in a million.

    Comment by J.G on July 2, 2009 at 4:54 am

  • Seriously…I couldn’t believe the news when I heard it. What a week – first MJ and then Billy Mays.

    I sucked it up and bought a RIP Billy Mays t-shirt from Don’t mean to spam, but I figured the masses need one.

    RIP my friend.

    Comment by Larry Provost on July 2, 2009 at 3:24 pm

  • Billy might have been loud and a little obnoxious sounding sometimes, but his enthusiasm for whatever he was selling was infectious. That’s a great pitchman.

    If he was around 100 years ago he could have been a traveling salesman selling miracle creams and what not. Mays was born to pitch. RIP.

    Comment by Mel on July 2, 2009 at 5:26 pm

  • best pichmen that everlived R.i.p

    Comment by justin on July 18, 2012 at 11:33 am