If you’ve ever had insomnia, you know who Billy Mays is. He’s the super-enthused shill for a variety of as-seen-on-TV products — including, hilariously, something called The Big City Slider Station, which cooks tiny burgers on both sides at once “without all the squishin’ and squashin’ or flippin’ and floppin!!”
His slicked-back hair, black beard and manic grin are so ubiquitous, I half-expected him to pop up at the start of last night’s Obama informercial and shout “BILLY MAYS HERE!” in the turned-up-to-ll voice that starts all his pitches, as if he were known for being anything other than a pitchman.
He’s so ubiquitous, in fact, that he even gets on his own nerves. From the NYT Mag:
There he is hawking Mighty Putty (“THE EASY WAY TO FIX, FILL AND SEAL VIRTUALLY ANYTHING FAST AND MAKE IT LAST!”), the Handy Switch (“BECAUSE IT’S WIRELESS, YOU CAN PUT A LIGHT SWITCH WHERE YOU NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE!”), Simoniz Fix It scratch remover (“THE SCRATCH HAS MET ITS MATCH!”) and a mini-burger cooker called the Big City Slider Station (“THE UNIQUE DESIGN COOKS ALL SIDES AT ONCE, SO YOU NEVER HAVE TO FLIP ‘EM!”).
Frankly, that’s a little more Billy Mays than even Billy Mays can handle.
“If I see myself one more time today,” he groans, sounding genuinely weary, “I’m going to pull my hair out.”
But wait! There’s more!!
He recently started hawking health insurance and might be moving into mainstream advertising for companies like Pepsi. And naturally, he’s getting his own reality show, aptly titled Pitchmen. Because that’s how we roll here in America: taking the most annoying people in the world, whose voices are the aural equivalent of being stabbed repeatedly in the face with a ballpoint pen, and giving them as much airtime as we possibly can.