But Wait, There’s More

[reddit-me]Of all the recent celebrity deaths, the only one I’ve really cared about is Billy Mays. As the comic states, I was in sales for 10 years and I did fancy myself an inventor when I was younger. I have notebooks full of “inventions” that I hoped would one day be sold on TV or in stores. Both of these aspects of my past made me instantly respect Billy Mays. From a sales-guy perspective I recognize that he busted his ass traveling with trade shows to make a living for his family and eventually, through perseverance and perfecting his craft, he made it big. I appreciate the “self made man” entrepreneurial spirit that he epitomized. From a wannabe-inventor stand point, I have to praise him for giving average workshop and garage tinkerers like me the opportunity to bring their products to market and make their fortunes.

These sentiments might seem odd coming from me if  you only know me as a webcomic artist, but you can’t do a job for 10 years without learning to love it (or aspects of it) just a bit. That’s a side of me people don’t often see, but it’s there. I guess I feel like Billy and I were kindred spirits in that respect. Plus I tend to “project” when I talk, which he made into an art form.

I’ve really been enjoying his show Pitchmen” on Discovery. I would assume the show’s future is uncertain at this point, but I encourage you to watch the first season to see what a kind and talented man Billy was.

If you have any warm thoughts to share about Billy Mays, I also encourage you to share them with his son, Billy Mays III on twitter at @youngbillymays. He’s obviously having one of the worst weeks of his life, but he’s been saying that the kind tweets from Billy’s fans are cheering him up.

Godspeed, Billy.

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  1. At first I thought you were wearing a blue robe (as in, "I'm so distraught that I can't possibly dress myself right now"), but now I notice it's a blue button-down, a la Billy.

    It's subtle touches like that that underscore the humor so well. Much love and my condolences, Joel, I know Billy meant a lot to you.

  2. Okay, you know what, I'm going to track down everyone who mocked me for being, and I quote "kinda bummed" when Kurt Cobain died, and I'm going to slap the shit out of them.

    All this for Billy Mays? REALLY? Humanity, you disappoint me sometimes.

    • Wow. Yeah, you aught to. Kurt Cobain was one of the most significant deaths in modern music before Micheal Jackson's untimely demise.

  3. Ed McMahon's death kinda gave me pause only because I was briefly a student at his collegiate alma mater; Billy Mays' death was the only one that really bummed me out, mostly for the reasons you mentioned. He had to have worked his ASS off not only coming up with shit that works, but also shlepping all over the place promoting and shaking hands and appearing confident while secretly losing hope…I know I couldn't do that. The guy earned every last ounce of fame and notoreity he had and in a fairer world we wouldn't be eulogizing him for a very long time.

  4. Now he may have been a great, charistmatic salesman, but how much of the stuff that he sold worked? Were they all shams like the Shamwow? Or was it more useful stuff like a remote control light switch?

  5. I feel mildly embarrassed that, as I'm from the UK, I have next to no idea who Billy Mays was. He's something I've only been exposed to via friends online.
    From what I've heard recently he seems to have been a really genuine, nice guy though. The Shamwow thing is also (thankfully) lost on me.

  6. Lordy, what a week. For me its 5 big deaths in the past 2 weeks, starting with my Uncle Ed. Just goes to show we must enjoy the people around us while they're still here.

  7. "Of all the recent celebrity deaths, the only one I’ve really cared about is Billy Mays."

    Ditto. Well, him and Jan Rubes and Jackie Washington, but in terms of proper celebrities, it's just been Billy's death which has upset me. A friend of mine is refusing to buy anything he didn't endorse as a tribute for a week.

    RIP, Billy- you will be missed.

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