Sunday, June 28, 2009

Death of a Salesman

Really? Billy Mays, too? It's not enough that this past week has been the most prolific celebrity death spiral in recent memory, we have to throw in the beared one as well? It's enough to suspect that there's some sort of real life version of "The Dead Pool" going on. Ed was old and Farrah was ill, but the completely unexpected and sudden deaths of two seemingly healthy middle aged guys with everything to live for starts to smell a little fishy. I vaguely remember someone once telling me that if you can make it through this relatively dangerous period from about 50 to 65 where statistically many of the heart attacks, life threatening illnesses, and accidents happen, the odds are you'll live to at least to 80. If I was around 50 right now I'd be staying up late, totally ridden with anxiety. MJ's health is (as with almost everything with his life) a mystery, but a strapping model of fitness like Billy Mays just suddenly keeping over? What hope is there for the rest of us?

For all the tragedy, you know what the worst thing about losing Mays is for me? The fact that now that he's gone, the title of king of the infomerical unofficially goes by default to this unsavory character:

The most prominent figure in late night product pitching has been changed from a clean cut, family man with an ever present smile and gregarious attitude who sold his wares not by deception but by his sheer, booming enthusiasm and genuine belief in the product, to the above pictured smarmy degenerate who's entire selling method consists of an aggressive fast talking hard sell with a healthy dose of insult and condescending attitude towards the audience.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still endlessly entertained by Vince and I eagerly await his next miracle product, but he really is the kind of shady character that gives late night commercial guys a bad name. For timeless class and respect, you couldn't beat Billy. For me he'll always remain the undisputed "King of Shop".

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