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'Pitchmen' star Billy Mays' funeral scheduled, informercials pulled


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/30/2009 

Billy Mays, the infomercial star who passed away suddenly on Sunday morning at the age of 50, will be laid to rest on Friday in the Pittsburgh suburb where he was born and raised.

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The funeral mass for Mays -- the star of Discovery Channel's Pitchmen reality series -- will be held on Friday at 9:30AM ET/PT at St. Mary Church in McKees Rocks, PA, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Mays was found unresponsive by his wife on Sunday morning at his Tampa home and was subsequently pronounced dead at 7:45AM.  Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Vern Adams stated on Monday that the likely cause of death was heart disease, however final autopsy results will not be known for eight to 10 weeks.

In the wake of his passing, Media Enterprises said it will pull Mays' Mighty Putty and Mighty Mendit product spots until July 6 per his family's wishes, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Tuesday.

However beginning July 11, the Daily News reported Media Enterprises will air commercials Mays recently filmed for two new products -- Mighty Tape and the Super Pack, which includes Mighty Putty, Mighty Putty Wood and Mighty Steel.

"After 10 years as Billy's business associates and personal friends, there is no doubt that Billy would expect the show to go on," Media Enterprises president Bill McAlister told the Daily News. "A brief moment of advertising silence seems to be fitting tribute to the world's greatest infomercial voice. He will be missed."

Pitchmen, which premiered on Discovery in April, follows Mays and fellow master marketer Anthony "Sully" Sullivan as they attempt to sell various inventions and products via infomercials in test markets to see if the commercial is ready for the mass public. 

Discovery Channel has yet to make a decision on renewing Pitchmen for a second season but has scheduled a marathon of the series for Wednesday, July 1 beginning at 11AM ET/PT.

(Photo credit Discovery)


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