Famous Salesman Billy Mays' Death: Genuine, Or Elaborate Pitch For New 'OxyCoffin' Product?
After years of yelling at audiences while sporting a beard so perfect it seemed impossible, pitchman Billy Mays was overcome by death on Sunday...or so it would seem.
Given his illustrious career of selling cleaners and unwanted children to people who, due to a genetic disorder, wanted to buy things from the television, some pop culture experts have theorized that Mays is merely staging a stunt designed to promote a new line of "As Seen On TV" coffins.
"That wily Billy Mays has done it again," said fellow pitchman Anthony Sullivan, Mays' partner on the show Pitchmen, a program on the Discovery Channel that some critics call the network's most important show. "He didn't let me in on any secrets before 'dying' from 'heart disease', but I wouldn't be surprised if he's going above and beyond to let you fine folks know about OxyCoffin, the coffin with the amazing cleaning power of oxygen."
Sullivan believes that Mays bursting out of an OxyCoffin at his funeral, his "corpse" looking clean and smelling fresh from the powerful cleaning agents on the fabric, would be an evolution of the duo's current state-of-the-art selling techniques.
"Yes, Billy built his fame and fortune on shouting things about products, but in this age of cellular phones and text messages, that can only go so far," admitted Sullivan. "Today's jaded audiences want more intrusive messaging that really speaks to them, like targeted Facebook ads or a man thought to be dead leaping up and dancing a jig -- while wearing an OxyCoffin t-shirt."
Rival pitchman Vince Offer of Shamwow fame, concerned that Mays is one-upping him, has vowed to kill himself "for real" -- using his new product SlapShooter, the gun able to be fired simply by tapping it softly -- to prove his dedication to the craft.
"I'm sure I'm gonna love this hot lead injection," quipped Offer, holding the product to his temple. "Camera guy, make sure you're HHHRRRRNNNGHHH."
But for those who don't buy the "death-as-promotion" theory, it must be assumed that Mays really is dead, even though an official cause of death has yet to be determined. An attending physician overseeing Mays' care did report seeing a "bearded" soul being carried away screaming by a horde of black demons.
"Billy Mays' descent to Hell was both intriguing and horrifying," said Dr. Stephen Hilbert in an interview with a local Tampa television station. "His loud screams will replay in my mind forever, like the endless cycle of his ads playing continuously on late night cable TV."
Billy Mays' former agent, Saul Lovenberg, released a statement saying that although Mays can no longer sell products to living humans, he is "looking forward" to selling things in the afterlife -- more specifically, the fiery dominion of Hell, since Heaven has a strict "No Solicitors, No Jehovah's Witnesses" policy.
"Billy loved putting his name on unreliable products made by sketchy companies," said Lovenberg. "And if there's one thing of which I am certain, it's that Hell is filled with people just like Billy Mays, just doing what they love."
Whether Mays is actually dead or not, he has already been both praised and lampooned on the Internet, primarily by people who will be virtually unknown for the rest of their lives.