In recent days, we’ve lost quite a few celebrities: David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson. Although there have been a few exceptions, we don’t usually post about these things; and we’re not ones to glom onto any tragedy in search of hits and ratings.
But sometimes a character is so compelling that you just have to comment. There was something about Billy Mays that was annoyingly endearing. Made you want to like him in spite of yourself. (We like to say he had a very high “Vince” factor.)
Loud, brash, enthusiastic. Hawking wares from Mighty Putty to OxyClean, Billy’s brassy voice was unmistakable. We here at Grand Rants have long had great affection for him, and surprisingly enough, he has crept into our posts more than once.
Why not use Billy Mays as a national health care adviser? Could his plans possibly fail more spectacularly than did Hillary’s way back when? Besides, anyone who can sell the cheap epoxy putty as “Mighty Putty” for $20 must have something on the ball. (By the way… Being a hobbyist boatbuilder, etc. I tried MP, and got to eat crow for my initial disdain. See “Why I owe Billy Mays an Apology”. The stuff is far from perfect, but it isn’t a rip off.)
Top of the Ticket, the LA Times, wrote movingly about Billy today, and yet even eulogizing him, they couldn’t extinguish those elements of humor and joie de vivre that were his hallmarks.
Recently, Billy was filmed going through a McDonald’s drive-through, ostensibly for a morning radio show, but clearly Billy was in it just for the fun of it.
A voice is now silent. A loud, raspy, annoying voice, to be sure; but also a voice filled with zest and joy. I hope he’s up in heaven selling harps and halos to the other angels, with no shipping charge, and if they buy now, he’ll double the order!