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My Hero Is Gone....
simpsons mister sparkle homer simpson
rook543

Well, he is gone. The man who's ground breaking work defined a generation and revolutionized a whole industry.

What? No...not Michael Jackson...

I am speaking of Billy Mays! The OxyClean guy & king of the pitchmen!

From the time I was a boy I was always captivated by the "As Seen On TV" ads. These colorful guys who hawked anything. The low budget commercials, and later informercials. These ads pulled in millions for device the ranged from clever (hula-hoe) to fun (stud & rhi)nestone setter) to questionable (pocket fisherman) to just plain bizzare (the bottle cutter. Make your empty bottles into 'dazzling' glassware). These ads and colorful pitchmen & women were no small reason for my interest in marketing & advertising, and later my entry in commercial voice over work. I have done a couple radio ads as a result for 'Chaser' and also worked on a series of TV spots with Detroit pitch legend, Thom Sharp!

Billy, a long time pitchman on the state fair & flea market circuit, was chosen to sell the Orange Glo line on HSN. And from there had hit after hit. Oxy Clean, Awesome Auger, Dual Saw, Mighty Putty, and many more....

Currently starring with business partner & fellow pitchman Anthony "Sully" Sullivan, he has been staring on the Discovery Channel series "Pitchmen". 

Mays had been aboard US Airways Flight 1241 from Philidelphia to Tampa that blew out its front tires as it landed at Tampa International Airport on June 27, the day before his death. None of the 138 passengers and five crew members were reported to be seriously injured immediately following the incident, but several passengers reported having bumps and bruises from falling objects .Mays told a local Tampa TV station that some of the objects "hit me on the head, but I got a hard head." It's unclear whether Mays' death was related to the incident.

I will miss Billy on TV. We shall not see his like again...

--R

Billy Mays: July 20, 1958 – June 28, 2009

PS: I am not kidding about this. I really have always had a fascination with "As Seen On TV" ads and pitchfolk. To me, this hits much closer to home than Michael Jackson, Farrah, or Ed McMahon.

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Eleanore is mourning with you. I think I need to buy his mini burger maker for her to console her.

as a side note, the FAA, getting ahead of the news, has reported that Billy Mays was not wearing his seat belt when the plan had its "hard" landing.

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