5 Strangest Products Pitched by Billy Mays

Everybody knows that Billy Mays is TV pitchman for OxiClean ("powered by the air we breathe!) and Kaboom ("tough on grime, easy on you") ... but wait, there's more! Did you know that the loud, bearded uber-salesman also pitched strange products like the Grater Plater and the Hercules Hook? (There's also the Green Now, a spray paint to paint your dead lawn green, but I couldn't find the video for it.)

In memory of Billy Mays, the king of infomercial, here are 5 of the strangest product he ever pitched:

The Grater Plater


[YouTube Clip]

What do you get when you combine a cheese grater and a plate? The plate that grates, of course, here's The Grater Plater. (The name alone is golden: Grater. Plater. Grater plater. Gotta love it!)

The Gopher


[YouTube Clip]

While my wife likes OxiClean, The Gopher is actually my favorite item Billy Mays had ever pitched (in the words of another late-night infomercial, "I'm not only a blogger, I'm also an infomercial customer!"). It just works well - many years later, I still use mine to grab things too high to reach (saves me from getting the step stool out).

Tool Band-It


[YouTube Clip]

The Tool Band-It is another in Billy May's long line of making a product out of two existing ones. This time, it's magnet + armband, to give you a magnetic arm band. Genius!

The AwesomeAuger


[YouTube Clip]

I distrust a $20 drill, but the idea behind the AwesomeAuger is pretty solid (I have a similar device - the drill bit alone cost me $20. It works well for boring holes in hard ground for small plants). The only thing that works better is The Garden Weasel's Garden Claw.

Hercules Hook


[YouTube Clip]

The Hercules Hook is in a class by itself: here, Billy Mays used his infomercial prowess to sell you a bent pin for hanging stuff on your wall. I myself am a nail-and-hammer kind of guy, but the Hercules Hook does work well (if you don't damage the drywall while you're pushing it in) though I wouldn't use it to hang shelves or anything like that ...

Billy Mays, RIP.


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It's unfortunate that Billy died. He seemed like quite a character (from what bit I saw of Discovery's Pitch Men) and would probably have been fun to work with, even if his pitches often skirted the edge of being annoying. But some of the more gimmicky products were fun to watch, simply because it left you wondering why people would actually buy them.

But for some reason, his untimely demise leaves me picturing a new curse to put on people: May the ghost of Billy Mays haunt you for the rest of your life! Just picture it, if you would... "BILLY MAYS HERE! BLAH BLAH..." (And yes, always talking at FULL BILLY VOLUME!) I hope nobody is too upset, but my humor is wierd like that.
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I bought a grater plater after seeing the Pitchmen episode on it. I already had something like it, but the one I had was really sharp and hurt my fingers. The Grater Plater is better, it is a little slower at grating but it doesn't grate your fingers when the garlic or ginger piece gets small. And it's nice to look at too, you really can put it on the table.

So I'm happy with the product, but I HATED the online ordering site. They don't summarize your order before you click the PAY NOW button and start entering your shipping/payment info. I thought I was only ordering two (you get the 2nd one free if you pay the S/H) but somehow I ordered three. Then when the box arrived it contained SIX! (Fortunately I was only charged for three, maybe they come in pairs?) But of course I don't blame Billy Mays for the website. I too was more touched by Mays' death than MJ's.
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