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"Oxi Clean" Guy Found Dead

Billy Mays, the very likable promoter of the Oxi Clean products was found dead in his home Sunday by his wife. Mays was only 50. Mays was recently featured on a new reality program on the Discovery network called "pitchmen" along with Anthony Sullivan, another big name in infomercials.

Mays was actually a very popular pitchman, with plenty of fans asking for his autograph or to share their good experiences about the Oxi Clean products he promotes. Mays was originally an Atlantic City Boardwalk promoter of some made-for-TV products such as knives, but after touring state fairs and other circuits to sell his goods, the head of Orange Glow was very impressed with Mays and hired him to promote their new line of Oxi Clean products.

Strangely, Mays was on an U.S. Airways flight Saturday that avoided a serious accident when it blew out the front tires. Several passengers had very minor injuries such as head bumps or bruises after the incident.

Mays always had an enthusiastic style and an upbeat personality with great self-confidence in any product he sold, which made him one of the greatest promoters of commercial products that ever lived. Mays was always popular for his thumbs up approach.

Well, here's a big thumbs up to you Billy Mays.

(Note: At one point I was seriously considering making this into a humor post, making wacky comparisons with the tragic Michael Jackson news, wondering what comment the Sham Wow guy would have, or whether CNN would interrupt their regular news for nonstop coverage of this latest celebrity death. But the more I read about the life of Mays, the more I respect the guy. He was a very decent man who was a great minor celebrity. And I opted to respect him instead in this post rather than make jokes. I'm going to miss Billy Mays).

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Rating: 4.7/5 (10 votes cast)

Comments (8)

Doubting Thomas:

Thanks for not making it a funny post, Paul. I didn't 'like' Billy Mays much, but I respected him as being good at what he did - and the couple of "Pitchmen" episodes he did impressed me with how honest (and surprisingly gentle) he was with potential entrepreneurs with innovative and unusual products that weren't quite ready for production.

I'm going to miss him...

Paul Hooson:

Hello Doubting Thomas. My past brand of stage humor usually involved making death jokes way too soon, much like Gilbert Gottfried also does. But I had to resist that urge this time to instead respect Mays as a decent man. I really liked. He was one of the good guys out there in his field.

One of the worst TV infomercial products that I ever bought was a short-lived product made by Blue Coral which was advertised like a form of wax for cars with an old finish, but was instead greatly diluted clear coat paint that you apply with a sponge. Boy did that ever make a mess on a car I owned, and sure made me made at Blue Coral. That product didn't last long on the market. In order for it to look any good, you really needed this clear coat to be professionally sprayed, a result you could never achieve with the supplied sponge. By comparison, the products that Mays promoted actually worked, and worked darn good. He was an honest man in a field filled with con artists and ripoffs.

no doubt Oxi-Clean is going to see a 300% increase in sales over the next couple of days


Good for you! Thanks for having at least a little bit of compassion for another human being!! That's awesome! Need more of it online!


Way to go and not make this a post about you. Your comment about you reining in your sense of humor out of respect for the man basically negated any credibility you had and any sincerity the post had. Next time, believe that your readers actually trust you to have good intentions as opposed to placing a marquee around them.

Paul Hooson:

Hello Mr. Otis. I went to do research on Billy Mays to make funny comparisons with the current media circus surrounding Michael Jackson, and instead I was so impressed with Billy Mays as an honest man in a field filled with so many hucksters that I simply had to write a very respectful piece on the man.

I'm glad you didn't do the humor thing. I've seen so many bloggers out here lately making light of other people's tragedies and it makes me wonder what kind of world do we really live in. It amazes me just how much people allow themselves to be influenced by what they see on television and the opinions they form over people they don't even know. A celebrity doesn't have a shot in hell once the media gets a hold of them.


I liked the commericals tha the did. He made them sound very good. He will be missed!!


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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