Billy Mays, the lovable salesman who managed to hawk some of the finest, err, most alluring automotive wares ever to grace the television airwaves in spite of his AMBER Alert beard has died. With his new show “Pitchmen,” Mays’ popularity was reaching an all-time high and the future was looking even more promising.
Then without warning he hit the windshield of life harder than an insect shot from the canon of the “bug bazooka” he used to demonstrate the cleaning power of a heavy-duty windshield wiper. From St. Petersburg Times:
“‘This is a bug bazooka,’ Billy Mays bellowed. “‘It's filled with hundreds of bugs.’”
“They blew through 3,000 crickets in eight takes. There were malfunctions and a misfire that littered a craft services food table 30 feet away with crickets. But a paint ball gun held in reserve never was needed. Asked before one take if the crickets were dead, bazooka prop master Justin Stamper replied: ‘Some are.’” (1)
Classic. In memoriam, I'd like to steal an idea I saw on another blog and take a moment to relive three of Mays’ finest moments selling auto care products:
1. What Odor? - A spray used to eliminate unwanted odors, perfect for use in a smelly car.
(Mays is holding a live skunk with its rear end pointing towards his chest)
“This is a real live skunk! The worst smell of all!
(The skunk sprays him)
“I’ll spray myself down with some What Odor?
(Sprays himself with What Odor?)
“And it get’s rid of the worst smell of them all, a skunk!”
2. The Ding King - Removes dings and dents with professional results.
“What do you do when you get a ding or dent in your car?”
(Smashes hood with a maul.)
3. Simoniz Liquid Diamond - The most durable shine ever put in a bottle.
(Close up shot of a skillet-sized fire burning on a car hood.)
(A fire extinguisher poofs it out.)
(Mays’ hand appears and wipes the blemish off the paint with a cloth)
“Not even fire can penetrate the protection of Liquid Diamond!”
4. Mighty Putty - The epoxy equivalent to welding.
(Mays fashions a chain link out of Mighty Puddy, adds it to a real chain, attaches the chain to a cinder block and holding the chain around his arm drops the cinder block between his feet; the chain holds. A crewmember that is lying on the floor off camera swings his hand confidently into the frame under the block).
“It has the muscle to support up to 350 pounds!”
RIP Billy. You will be missed.
Billy Mays Videos:
Ding King - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JGXbIfeuRY
Mighty Putty - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkvBib3Zndk
What Odor? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m40Oa2VzIVs
Liquid Diamond - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_IBGQIo9EE