Tag Archive | "billy mays"

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Classless and Funny

Posted on 05 August 2009 by Thraxxus

Billy Mays’ new product. We miss you man.

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A Quick Note Regarding Enthusiasm

Posted on 03 August 2009 by GlazednConfused

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My spouse and I have a lot of education, relative to our friends. For some reason, that makes them believe that we know what we really want to do in life. That could not be farther from the truth. In reality, except for doctors and lawyers, secondary education after four years is generally just procrastination and maybe something cool to hang on your wall. This is especially true now as MBAs serve you breakfast at IHOP. What really gets anyone anywhere in life is drive and ambition. What do I tell people who are desperate enough to ask me for advice? Unless you are super smart and/or starting your own business, just do what you enjoy. Throw your entire being into it, or get really good at faking it.

Faking enthusiasm is important in life – a survival instinct, in fact. Take for example a crazy successful singer who has never written his or her own songs. Cher or Celine Dion sing like their songs and the feelings expressed come from their heart and soul, although 99% of them were just paychecks. Singing convincingly about heartbreak although you are richer than God and you’ve been married to your manager for 15 years? That is a lot tougher than it looks. Myself, I couldn’t keep from rolling my eyes when I listen to Sarah Palin, even if I had a gun to my head. Needless to say, I did not earn the “Pretend I Care” merit badge in Boy Scouts.

Witness the Daily Show video below, about the epic battle of two companies over the rights to publish “pull my finger” apps for the iPhone:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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Yes, you heard me right. If you listen carefully you will also hear “$10,ooo a day” and “number two application in the iPhone store” mentioned. That is indeed a lot of success for an app that produces a whoopie cushion noise with a fingerstroke. A lot more money has been made on dumber ideas, so that detail is unimportant. What really interested me was the professionalism that these men, especially Eric Stratton, describe their pointless creations. I don’t think Jarvik presented his artificial heart with this much pride. How can they possibly be this zealous about something so dumb? Who knows, but Eric Stratton had faith and is selling it like a cure for cancer discovered by Sean Connery that must now be protected by the evil corporations.

The recent parting of Billy Mays is another perfect example. When I first saw him, I actually thought he was just some guy who got recruited to be a pitchman. The awkward gestures, the staccato delivery – I thought he was just some assistant handyman dragged off set construction. Mays had actually been a salesman since 1996 (here is a brief but great article from Fortune magazine). Although he was essentially a self-secribed mercenary, he still realized that a salesman’s faith in the product is important in convincing people to buy in. How many times have you looked into a salesman’s eyes and wondered “He can’t really believe that, can he?”? I never thought that of Billy Mays.

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Pat Sajak or Billy Mays?

Posted on 31 March 2009 by GlazednConfused

I was forced to watch the Wheel of Fortune a couple weeks ago for the first time in probably a decade (except for funny clips, of course). If you haven’t watched it in years, you are in for a shock. Wheel of Fortune was always one of the dumbest game shows on television, if not unapologetically so. But my Lord when did it turn into one long infomercial?

I am not exaggerating even the slightest. I got stuck watching a couple times, each one was during a theme. Both were the worst kind of commercial tripe. When I watched back in the day, they would mention the brand of car you won or maybe where you would be staying during your vacation. Looking back, that was sadly quaint. Not only do they do that, but they have actual logos on the wheel itself. You cringe when a contestant wins a vacation, because that prompts a full-length commercial for some desperate resort. Furthermore, the Sea World theme show was gawddawful – they took every damn opportunity to show a water mammal and the Sea World logo. This includes before and after commercial breaks. You heard me right – they had commercials on top of commercials. You may wonder how the producers even have time for the weak-ass puzzles, but the answer is nefarious: the puzzles are even shorter and easier than ever. It amazed me how fast they whizzed through them, even when morons insisted on buying a vowel although the solutions were obvious. Do they not know the meaning of the word “buy”?

You know the above clip where Sajak looks embarrassed trying to shove the Snoop Dogg wannabe into a car? That was his permanent expression during the Sea World and Hilton Waikoloa Village theme shows that lasted four weeks each for crissakes. I know he’s getting paid, but wow did he look uncomfortable petting whales or telling Vanna to “be quiet now” when she wouldn’t shut up about the nuts she was eating. I like to think Pat is better than this, but Vanna seems proud up there flaunting her unique style. She is over 50 years-old and has been in the limelight for over 27 years, yet even her Wikipedia page can not generate any meaningful accomplishments. She did “write” an autobiography, which even Miley Cyrus can accomplish after 15 years. Hell she doesn’t even have to flip letters now, just point in the general direction.

Wheel of Fortune has always been the Sara Palin to Jeopardy’s Lara Logan (Excuse me for taking every opportunity to mention that goddess). The gap now could not be wider, and bless Alex Trebek and Co. No embarrassing promos or themes, no “What is Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion?” answers, no winning morons, no compromises of which I am aware. They filmed at CES, which is cool with me. I still can only answer half the questions. Contrast that with Wheel of Fortune when I smack my forehead more often than not.

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