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Happy Birthday, Billy Mays

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Informercial salesman and U.S. pop culture icon Billy Mays would have been 53 years old today. On June 28, 2009, Mays was found dead in his Tampa, Florida home. The cause of his death was rumored to have been a cocaine overdose, but was never determined.

We're not proud of it, but the Snuggie, the Shake Weight, and that ShamWow! guy sort of filled the void for a while. But we will never forget Mays' crisp blue shirt and khakis, perfectly manicured beard, or his comforting yell of endorsement.

To celebrate Mays' birthday, here are three of our favorite pitches, besides the classic OxiClean ad.

3. Tool Band-It

Back in the old days, our dads would just hold us hostage for the Saturday as their tool passer, but this works too. Mays says the Tool Band-it (get it? ha.) can turn any belt into a tool belt, so for god's sake, TAKE THE NAILS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!

2. iTie Business parter Anthony Sullivan joined Mays for the pitch that should've revolutionized the fashion world. The iTie won't fly in your face. It won't fall in your coffee. Better yet - it has a pocket. They were thinking too small when suggesting items to stash in your tie. What about a dime bag to get through that 2 p.m. hump cigarettes and snacks? Use your thinking caps, fellas.

1. ESPN360 The online sports streaming service is now called ESPN3, but in the product's earlier years, ESPN rode the Billy Mays wave and shot an infomercial-esque TV spot. It's brilliant. The tongue-in-cheek testimonials are what won us over. And no need to bog us down with science because the sports just trickle down that ethernet cable and bring the magic to our computer screens.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.