On Monday of this week, we were all reminded that it was the third anniversary of Michael Jackson. Songs were spun, tweets were sent, and heads hung in silence. Which brings us to today, June 28th — the third anniversary of TV pitchman Billy Mays‘ passing. Yes. If you’ll remember, the Infomercial King shuffled off this mortal coil just three days after Jackson. So, where is the fanfare? Where are the rememberance tweets?
Have we as a nation forgotten Billy Mays?
Rather I should ask, have we moved on from Billy? Let’s take a look at how the world has changed without its most charismatic salesman.
Today’s headlines are dominated by the news that Obamacare has been passed by the Supreme Court. In a 5-4 victory, the Court upheld the bill which means every American will now have to buy healthcare by 2014, and those with existing conditions will no longer be faced with prejudices.
Ann Curry gave a tearful farewell on The Today Show this morning. Suspicions have been that Curry was blamed for the show’s sagging ratings, and she was reassigned out of co-anchor chair. This was confirmed by her farewell speech. Ann Curry is a peach and didn’t deserve this treatment. But what do you expect from the network that consistently stiffed Conan O’Brien in favor of Jay Leno? Thank goodness Billy wasn’t around to see this.
Since Billy May’s passing, our whites have lost their gleam, our putties are a bit less mighty, our hooks less Herculean. But that’s not to say that there haven’t been wonderful advances. We all now carry a personal assistant around with us in our pockets thanks to Apple’s Siri. It means we’ll never have to use our fingers to text again nor have to deal with the complicated mechanics involved with converting ounces to pounds. We’re practically higher beings now.
But that’s not all! The last few years have given blessed the world with several bounties. The Bladeless Fan is now all the rage (though you can’t use it to immitate Darth Vader), we can clone and genetically alter our pets, and the WorldFirst F3 project has created a racing car made from food items. It’s an edible racecar. There’s even an Amtrak train that runs on rendered cattle fat. Take that, Henry Ford!
But let’s now take a look at the lives Mays touched directly. Surely, their finding ways to honor the man and keep his torch lit.
The beef continues.
It’s no secret that Mays was not a fan of Vince Offer after he publicly called him out and challenged him to a “pitch off” on the Adam Carolla Show. The feud started after Mays rose to prominence with products like his Zorbeez and Quick Chop. Then, failed filmmaker Vince Shlomi rebirthed himself as Infomercial pitchman Vince Offer, with products like ShamWow and Slap Chop — both direct rip-offs of Zorbeez and Quick Chop. The hatchet would not be buried before Mays passed away.
Instead, the hatchet was picked up by Billy’s former business partner Anthony Sullivan. Who has now reverse-Offered Offer by releasing a commercial for Sticky Buddy, a product that’s a blatant (and improved) version of Vince’s Schticky.
I have to admit, I’m pro-Sticky Buddy. It’s just a better value and Anthony Sullivan doesn’t punch women in the face. Okay. This Sticky Buddy parody may have helped put me over the top too.
Billy’s son, Billy Mays III, has found a way to both honor his father and give back to the fans. #WheresBillyMays is a website he founded where he curates interesting and respectful tributes to his dad found across the Internet. Like this awesome one:
If anything, it serves as a daily reminder that Billy Mays might be gone but he is in no way forgotten.