Billy Mays, the television pitchman that has been a staple of late night television commercials for years, has passed away.
The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Deborah Mays, Billy’s wife, found him dead this morning in their St. Petersburg, FL home. No cause of death is known at this time, but foul play is not suspected. He had been on a US Airways 737 flight yesterday that blew a tire upon landing, and was questioned by company representatives after wards, but did not request any medical attention. It sounds like this may have been more of a coincidence than anything.
Mrs. Mays has released only one public statement at this time:
Although Billy lived a public life, we don’t anticipate making any public statements over the next couple of days. Our family asks that you respect our privacy during these difficult times.
An autopsy is expected to be conducted tomorrow, but is unknown when, or if, those results will be made public. According to the police, as of 6:00 PM local time last night he was discussing business with his father-in-law, and everything appeared fine with him health wise.
Mr. Mays was a television pitchman that advertised just about everything you could think of, including:
- Orange Glo
- Engrave It
- Handy Switch
- Mighty Mend-It
- Mighty Putty
- Hercules Hook
- Steam Buddy
- Big City Slider Station
- The Ding King
His popularity made him a prime target for Internet memes making Billy Mays videos hugely popular on YouTube, many of them featuring alternate audio tracks that simply aren’t appropriate for mixed company. Do go take a look though, there are nearly 72,000 of them!
He teamed up with fellow pitchman Anthony Sullivan for a reality TV series called Pitchmen that tried to reveal some of the process behind the selection of what products they would choose to advertise, and the competition that existed between the two men as to who was better at the job.