As Seen On TV Video • Top 20 Billy Mays Commercials
This page is dedicated to the greatest pitchman who ever pitched a product. Rest in peace, Billy Mays.
“Hi, Billy Mays here!” For years, that was the opening line for scores of commercials featuring this master pitchman. Mainly associated with products used around the home, his commercial gigs included ESPN360.com, health insurance and even snowboards. Although some found his maximum-volume voice annoying, his old-school pitchman technique put millions in his pocket and a Bentley in his garage. In April 2009, Billy achieved even greater fame by starring with Anthony Sullivan in Discovery Channel’s PitchMen. The hit series profiled the behind-the-scenes world of inventing and marketing “As Seen on TV” products.
We’ll never forget you, Billy Mays. You live on through your many TV commercials and infomercials. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Fix It! Pro
We made this spot #1 because you can still actually buy Fix It! Pro from an official As Seen on TV website. Sure, they re-shot the commercial with different talent, but an As Seen on TV product’s direct marketing lifespan is usually measured in months, not years. We love the sheer poetry of Billy’s delivery: “Now the scratch / Has met its match!”
2. Mighty Putty
A true classic, with all the Billy Mays hallmarks: demonstrations of how to use the product creatively, like sticking up a shelf, sealing a leaky pipe or even replacing the handle of a coffee mug. And then the show-stopper – Billy uses Mighty Putty to connect cables pulling an 80,000 lbs. tractor-trailer down the road. And more verse: “Any job / Big or small / Mighty Putty repairs them all.”
3. Mighty Mendit
Billy was a Mighty, Mighty Man – in this commercial he employs microscopy to show us how Mighty Mendit bonds fabric for a permanent repair job that’s quick and easy. For the Big Demo, he goes up in a plane and shouts his pitch as a skydiver uses a parachute repaired with Mighty Mendit to jump 13,000 feet and land safely. As Billy rhymes, “Before you throw it away / Let Mighty Mendit save the day.”
4. Awesome Auger
Shouted over shots of a lady getting medieval on her landscaping, Billy sings the praises of the Awesome Auger: “Takes the hard work / Out of yard work!” “Awesome Auger is #1 / Because it gets the job done!” Even PopSci thought it was conditionally awesome.
5. Grater Plater
Some products inspire Billy to great verse, but this one is even grater: “Grate cheese / With ease / Parmesan / Romano / Evan Asiago.” And we do love the George Romero special effects at 1:05 — that red, red blood on the black and white video is simply grate.
6. Jupiter Jack
When it came to Jupiter Jack, Billy was all business. No doggerel, just the facts, ma’am.
7. What Odor?
There’s a back-story on this one – Billy was worried about the skunk spraying him in the face, but Anthony “Sully” Sullivan and the crew knew the skunk was de-scented. They just enjoyed watching Billy jump back when the skunk aimed his tail in his direction.
8. Dual Saw
Dual Saw – a product so big, Billy invited Sully and Frederic (the saw’s inventor) to help him cut a car in half.
9. Big City Slider Station
Billy was always a pro, but his heart and his rhymes were not always 100% invested in a product. Like his pitch for the Big City Slider Station: “Double or triple stack ‘em, / and watch your family attack ‘em!” Not his best, but still better than “The family that presses ground beef together / Chases away grief together”, I guess.
10. Tool Band-it
Billy could take care of business like no other — narrating a montage of people having fix-it failures, followed by happy scenes of Tool Band-it users getting the job done. “Any job / Big or small / Tool Band-it handles ‘em all.”
11. Steam Buddy
This strange and rather sad commercial features his widow, Deborah Mays, who reaffirms Billy’s belief in the products he pitched, and then cuts to Billy touting the Steam Buddy. But even with his posthumous help, Deborah just can’t pitch like Billy – only he could deliver the couplet “Remove them fast / With just one pass” and make it sound convincing.
12. Impact Gel
On the April 15, 2009 episode of PitchMen, we get a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of this commercial. Billy really does bash his Impact Gel-wrapped hand with a hammer, but he was unwilling to risk his hand in the 6000 pound car demo. If you watch closely, you’ll notice a cut to close-up as the tire rolls over a hand – Sully’s hand, in real life.
13. Mighty Tape
This spot for Mighty Tape completes the Mighty Trifecta, but alas! it aired after Billy’s untimely demise. The dramatic underwater leaky air hose repair demo was even blamed by some for Billy’s death until the coroner’s report laid that theory to rest.
14. Flies Away
“Get the ultimate green invention / For your fly prevention!” This poem really only works when recited by Billy Mays. A later Flies Away commercial kept most of Billy’s dialog, but the new voice talent sounds like my second cousin trying to imitate Rudy Ray Moore as Dolemite.
Filmed in front of an enthusiastic live audience, Billy turns the Zorbeez commercial into a not-so-subtle dig at Vince Offer’s “ShamWow!” spot – “Did you get that, Camera Guy?”
16. Quick Chop
Calling his rival Vince’s kitchen product the “Crap Chop”, Billy launches a no-nonsense attack with the Quick Chop. Claiming it to be the original, Billy skips the poetry with many of the same demos as Slap Chop — moves he said Vince copied. Give it a tap!
17. DC Shoes Iikka Backstrom Snowboard with Billy Mays
Billy showed his hipster side in the DC Shoes “Enjoy The Ride More” commercials with professional snowboarders, Devun Walsh and Iikka Backstrom. In this one, he spiels as Iikka uses his board to chop carrots, clean a shower door and as a beautiful shelving unit. No rhymes, but killer self-parody.
18. MaxGrip Dash Tray
No product was too small or useless for the full Billy Mays’ Versifying Treatment: “No more searching and reaching / And tires screeching / Dash Tray has the grip / That’ll never slip!” It’s hard not to add “Burma-Shave” after that.
19. PitchMen 30 Second Promo
In a rare pitch for themselves, Billy and Sully promo PitchMen: “Find out why there’s more to selling / Than just the yelling”.
20. Simoniz Liquid Diamond
An unusual example of Billy Mays at a lower volume, and minus his poetics. Simoniz wanted his selling power but toned down his trademark style for their car care product pitch. We think it’s a waste of Billy’s talents, especially since “Simoniz” is so easy to rhyme.
But Wait, There’s More!
More Billy Mays videos for your viewing pleasure.
PitchMen Tribute to Billy Mays
Billy Mays on the Run
You Don’t Need a Cabinet Full of Cleaners
Billy Mays Has a Moment
Billy Falls into Bathtub
Behind the Scenes of the Ultimate Ladder
Billy Mays Orders from a McDonald’s Drive-Thru
Billy Mays ERA Tribute