Billy Mays sold ’em all, and sold ’em all well. His dark-colored black beard, loud voice and blue dress shirts were trademarks, and he became famous worldwide for hawking all kinds of products. There was just something about him that made you put the remote down at least for a second or two, so you could see what new product he was offering at the time. Most infomercials are obnoxious, but there was something likable about Billy.
So when I heard this morning that Mays was the latest celebrity who’d passed away, it made me a little sad.
Mays lived in Tampa, just about 60 miles up the road from me. His wife found him unresponsive in their bed Sunday morning and medical personnel were unable to revive him. Mrs. Mays said he’d been on a flight Saturday afternoon during which he’d bumped his head from a rough landing at the Tampa Airport.
It was such a rough landing that both the front tires blew out and news reporters made their way to the airport to investigate. In fact, WTVT Channel 13 interviewed Mays at the scene.
“All of a sudden as we hit, you know, it was just the hardest hit; all the things from the ceiling started dropping,” he told them. “It hit me on the head, but I got a hard head.”
On his Twitter page, his last entry came in just after 2 pm Saturday afternoon. “Just had a close call landing In Tampa,” Mays wrote. “The tires blew out upon landing. Stuck in the plane on the runway. You can always count on US Air.”
Last week we lost the “King of Pop.” This week, the “King of Informercials” is gone. He was just 50 years old. It’s a shame.