Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Mays 1958-2009

I'd never see the day where I would analyze the Life and Times of Billy Mays, the television spokesperson who suddenly died this Sunday Morning.

For a lack of better term, Billy Mays is not necessarily an "icon" or a "legend". Yeah, you can argue that Billy Mays is icon in an ironic sense, and that may just very be the beauty of Billy Mays. He brought people joy, but it wasn't for flashing his genitalia, drug abuse or in one salesperson's case, sordid behavior. Billy Mays was a true, clean-cut person in an age where celebrities would grace the pages of the tabloids for their behavior, and politicians would lie about their morality and honesty.

Billy Mays was a salesperson. Let's be honest here; we generally hate people hawking products at us that may or may not work. We hate them as much as lawyers and politicians. It's because we always see them as pushing something at us like a drug dealer with little regard for it's customer. If you have ever seen the new show Pitchmen, which portrays Mays and Anthony Sullivan as they try to find ways to promote brand new product, you can tell that Mays was no ordinary salesperson. He genuinely believed in the products he sold. He genuinely cared for us, the consumer. Those "Billy Mays for President" pictures circulating the internet may be ironic, but might as well prove about something. We'd rather trust someone like Mays, than the ordinary politicians.

Mays will be remembered for his personality and demeanor in his commercials. Not for crimes and misdemeanors. We may have laughed at his ads, but he too also felt the need to laugh at his style of "pitching" and image. On the show Pitchmen, we saw a bit of his family, and it's a generally happy family. His son is his sometimes director of infomercials. Billy Mays is a rare breed of person in a world filled of crooks and heartless people.

Some people may see the lack of importance in Billy Mays' life. Yes, he was a TV Pitchman, but look at his life and compare to many "celebrities" today. It would be nice to see more celebrities with the personality of a Billy Mays.

RIP Billy Mays. Heaven needed a spokesperson.

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