Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Mays

When I heard the news about ubiquitous TV pitchman Billy Mays passing away yesterday, I had two immediate thoughts:

1) I tend to get most of my news from Twitter these days
2) How sad it is that some hipster wannabe named Vince - he of the ShamWow and Slap Chop - is set to inherit Mays's throne.

A boisterous, garrulous personality, I nevertheless liked Billy Mays. He reminded me a lot of Al Borland character from Home Improvement. He an everyman who had credibility because he was very much like me or you, and he had a great enthusiasm for what he did. More important, he came across as genuine. You got the feel he really believed in the products, even if he was paid to hawk them.

When I see Vince pushing the Slap Chop, I don't get that warm vibe off him. It could be because of his arrest a few months ago related to an incident with a prostitute (no charges were filed). But I suspect it's more to do with the fact that he just doesn't strike me as a person I can trust. Mays, on the other hand, is someone I might have asked for advice at the local hardware store, and I'd have gladly accepted his recommendation of a good leaf blower or outboard motor. Vince, I wouldn't even ask for directions out of his neighborhood.

So long, Mays, and thanks for helping to make the world a brighter, shinier, OxiClean place to live...

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