Hey Reddit! After many requests from fellow Redditors, I've realized that this is inevitable and that people are interested in hearing about my dad.

Here's my Twitter account. I'll tweet this link to verify: http://twitter.com/infinitethird Also, I'll post from my Infinite Third Facebook page if that helps: http://facebook.com/infinitethird

Update 1: I'm trying to answer everything I can.. and I will continue to randomly pick off questions. Thanks for being cool, everybody! And I hope you'll all stay connected via Infinite Third: http://music.infinitethird.com

Update 2: Thanks again! I'm still going to answer more questions, just taking a short break. Also, thank you to whoever gave me Reddit Gold! I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with it but I'm sure it's mildly entertaining.

Update 3: Forgot to mention that I run this little blog as a tribute to my dad: http://wheresbillymays.com

Comments: 3379 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

ninjaginga443662 karma

I always thought there was only one Billy Mays but today reddit was like, "BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!"

InfiniteThird2547 karma

THIS is one of my favorite random comments so far.

ChrisJL2233 karma


InfiniteThird3806 karma

I appreciate this question.. and I will answer the best that I can.

My father was not a perfect man. He grew up in a notoriously shady town and it's a wonder he ever even made it out of there alive. He liked to party growing up and these bad habits did indeed follow him into his adult life. He struggled with many different impulses throughout his life. BUT...

I can say, without question, that in the years before his death (I would say the peak of his career) he was in no way a "cokehead." He was dealing with a bad hip and 2 botched hip replacements (his third was scheduled for the day after he died) and was overprescribed painkillers and other stress-related drugs. And with his history of addiction, this was not a great combination. It got to the point where he had trouble being his public self (traveling, always working on shoots, etc..) without painkillers to mask his excruciating hip pain.

And as for the "cocaine" found in his system, it is quite possible that he indulged in the drug sometime before his death but once again... HE DID NOT OVERDOSE. Actually, the drug itself was never found in his system. Only a certain residu that is usually attributed to cocaine use.

For the record, I'm not trying to cover up anything. I just think it was a shame how the headlines were written after the report came out and the fact that people say he "overdosed." I truly believe that "prescribed" drugs played much more of a role in his death than any "illegal" substance.

Notwithstanding, I will not lie and say my father didn't struggle with drugs throughout his journey. But, as I lived with him for the final 5 years of his life, I know that he was not a "cokehead" and that he tried his best to be a good human being.

Anyway, sorry for ranting. Thanks for posing the question like a real person.

EDIT: Thanks for the nice replies, everyone! And thanks to whoever gave me Reddit Gold! I will... do whatever- Reddit-Gold-is-used-for with it. And I will enjoy it, I'm sure!

smeddit2177 karma

When your father would yell at you, would it just sound awesome

InfiniteThird2967 karma

He would rarely yell when not in front of the camera. And, as he would say, "I'm not yelling, I'm projecting!"

LouReddit2143 karma

Your dad and my dad were good friends in our home town where your gram still does notary. He told me a story years ago about how your dad placed a brand new computer on this local struggling families front door for Christmas and never took claim for it. It always stuck with me that when I would see your dad on tv to know he was really a good man and never forgot where he came from. I just wanted to share this so people would know we really did lose a good man and not just someone who was on television. It's always good to see someone from your hometown make it but it's even better when you know the person deserves it. Take care.

InfiniteThird1365 karma

Thanks for sharing! And yes, he never forgot his roots!

btits1891 karma

How do you feel about Vince, the shamwow guy?

InfiniteThird2689 karma

My dad always had a grudge against him and, at first, I tried to be a peacemaker but then I decided to just let him have his silly rivalry.

Years later, I met Vince and he had only nice things to say about my dad.

For fun, I sometimes play up on the rivalry but I have no interest in any real conflict.

JSolUA2150 karma

empw660 karma


InfiniteThird941 karma

I took this photo in LA. For some reason, this blown up mugshot of Vince was in CONAN's prop room.

gg_cancer1727 karma

How did you like his portrayal in the South Park episode?

InfiniteThird2708 karma

I enjoyed the shit out it! Huge South Park fan and I'll admit, I was nervous when I heard that he would be part of the Dead Celebrities episode. I watched it alone and tried not to publicize it but was pleasantly surprised and honored. I really want to meet Trey and Matt someday.

goobersamuel744 karma

Kinda expected you to be an asshole. Famous parent thing. You seem like a really humble and nice guy.

Tokyocheesesteak661 karma

It would be hilarious if InfiniteThird came here only to promote his products and refused to answer all other questions.

InfiniteThird2374 karma



Workdawg1626 karma

Not a question, just a random fact you may find interesing:

My friends and I have a "Clan" in COD: Black Ops 2 called "BMay" (stupid clan system only allows 4 chars, it was BMays in previous games) and all of our names are products that your father pitched. As the leader, naturally I am OxiClean, but we also have AwesomeAuger, ToolBandit, GraterPlater. There are others who have played occasionally as well, but those are the main ones.

We often get people yelling "BILLY MAYS HERE" at us, it's pretty funny. Your dad is an icon.

/random factoid

InfiniteThird976 karma

I enjoy reading this!!

Ze3ks1533 karma

Not a question, but just wanted to let you know that I have this engraved on my Caps Lock key on my keyboard.

EDIT: OP DELIVERS! Sorry for the phone quality.

Why? Not sure, I was shopping around for a mechanical keyboard at the time and WASD offered custom keys with an image of your choice. I just so happened to stumble upon the image of Billy Mays and thought it'd be awesome if I can activate Billy Mays mode at will.

InfiniteThird984 karma

I'd like to see a picture! And I'm sure Reddit would like to, as well!

HairEqualsGods1438 karma

Do you have his godlike voice?

InfiniteThird2061 karma

Not quite but I think my voice is getting stronger with age. (I'm 26)

minutemilitia1175 karma

What did your dad do before he was a pitch man?

InfiniteThird1893 karma

He played football in college (WVU Linebacker) and I'm pretty sure "pitchman" was his only real profession.

mrawsome1971064 karma

What is your fondest memory of your dad?

InfiniteThird1993 karma

There are A LOT but this is definitely up there: http://i.imgur.com/X7kSYT9.jpg

He took me to LA when he was on Conan (one week before he died). I always said that if he got on Conan that he'd HAVE to take me with him and when it was confirmed, there was no question. He said: "We're going to LA."

thirtyseven13371052 karma

What do you think about the Jabo0ody Dubs parody videos of your dad (ex. here)?

Edit: A playlist of all 16 of his Billy Mays parody videos here!

InfiniteThird1596 karma

I love them! My dad wasn't very computer/internet-literate but he would always mention "Jaboody Dubs" to people who were. We've been in contact with the man behind the dubs and he's good people.

digduggggg1032 karma

Did it ever bother you that your dad was a running gag to people? Or, were you guys laughing all the way to the bank?

InfiniteThird1578 karma

We laughed, but definitely not to the bank. My dad just enjoyed the fact that people spoofed him and I've always found it interesting that his image turned into this meme type thing.

kagemucha711 karma

Is his TV character persona much different than him in real life? Has he ever brought his character home?

InfiniteThird1364 karma

He was pretty much the most warm-hearted, generous person in regular life. He honestly never looked down on anyone. His "character" was just his long-developed skills as a pitchman personified.

chiwiener521 karma

What did you think about Pitchmen?

Do you like Anthony Sullivan?

Would you rather they continue playing your Dad's commercials or not?

InfiniteThird816 karma

I really enjoyed PitchMen and was pleasantly surprised by the way the show turned out. (I'm not exactly a fan of "Reality" TV)

I love Sully. I consider him a good friend.

And I never minded anyone playing his commercials posthumously. If there's anything I know, it's that he would have expected all his partners to continue using the image he developed to continue helping their business. But I can understand why it's weird in some cases.

Freshenstein448 karma

InfiniteThird549 karma

Yes! It is indeed EPIC.

cmp102088439 karma

Are you following your fathers career choice?

InfiniteThird789 karma

Somewhat. I've worked behind the scenes in the production of infomercials for the past 6 years and am now transitioning further into my passion, which is pretty much just general creation. (art, music, writing, media, content, etc..) I do casually represent companies that I believe in, just not on a large scale yet. Perhaps someday if the situation calls.

call911noww421 karma

Have you ever over heard someone talking about your dad or making a joke not knowing you were his son?

InfiniteThird757 karma

Yes, I usually like to let them talk and then allow them to feel slightly awkward when they find out. But I usually always assure them that I don't mind. (and I usually don't.)

KingsMountain107 karma

Can you give an example of a time that you did mind?

InfiniteThird327 karma

Honestly, no. Most people in person are generally polite when discussing him even not knowing he's my dad. I've found it's the anonymity of the internet that makes people say shitty things, usually.

Lilday380 karma

You're not answering in upper case.

Kinda disappointed.

InfiniteThird806 karma


Lilday431 karma

I'm no longer disappointed.

Also this is the first time an OP of an AMA has answered me. I think that means we're best friends.

InfiniteThird653 karma


AronBack374 karma

How many blue shirts did your father have?

InfiniteThird807 karma


steelbydesign356 karma

What was your dad like outside his job? Hobbies, etc? Do you know how he got started in his career?

InfiniteThird777 karma

He liked luxury cars... maybe too much! At the time of his death, he was leasing 4 totally unnecessarily expensive cars. I think he just liked to drive them because, to him, it represented some level of success that he had finally attained.

greengamez353 karma

How was your father discovered? Did he do any acting/voice acting prior to becoming the face of OxyClean and other products?

InfiniteThird669 karma

He was trained by some of the best boardwalk pitchmen of Atlantic City and beyond, a dying breed.

xanidue324 karma

I've been browsing your Infinite Third band page and I love your music. You have lots of albums listed, any suggestions on where to start if I wanted to hear more?

I was also wondering how you got into music and what other bands, if any, you get your inspiration from (my first thought was Explosions In The Sky). Thanks, Billy.

InfiniteThird404 karma

I would recommend "Gently" which was the album o wrote dealing with my father's passing: http://music.infinitethird.com/album/gently

Or (eardrops) which is my more recent ambient collection: http://music.infinitethird.com/album/eardrops

And I would say some big influences on my music are: Hammock, Eluvium, Reggie Watts (Beatbox improv), Mogwai, EITS and many more...

OutofSpaceOutofTime323 karma

What is the best piece of advice your father gave you?

InfiniteThird940 karma

He always said that "Nerves are good." (Like before doing something intense, public speaking, etc..) "It means you're alive."

bro_digz310 karma

Your father motivated and inspired me to pursue my inventions for years. I'd stop and make time just to watch him sell anything. I was shocked when he died. I miss him still, and you have my deepest condolences.

I don't have a question, but thanks for doing this AMA.

InfiniteThird318 karma

Thank YOU for being motivated and inspired. Keep going!

-4-8-15-16-23-42-298 karma

His beard was so powerful and dark. Did he color it or was it naturally that dark and powerful?

InfiniteThird490 karma

He colored it! I don't feel like I'm letting out any kind of big secret. His father has full white hair/beard and I think my dad would have had a high percentage of grey hair all the way back in his thirties.

Jcrooklyn267 karma

Hey Billy III, Thanks for your AMA. I'm sorry for your loss.

-Other than monetarily, how has being the son of Billy Mays affected your life before and after your father's passing?

Any funny stories about your father that you can share as well?

InfiniteThird425 karma

I've always used the analogy of a blanket from The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo: Something like... a blanket helps you stay warm in the winter but can be a burden in the summer.

Sometimes, it's of benefit to be "Billy Mays" and sometimes I just want my privacy/anonymity (Thankfully, no one cares THAT much.) But it's ALWAYS an interesting experience.

I'm thankful for all of it, really.

dICKBOMb224 karma


InfiniteThird610 karma


cmp102088211 karma

How did your father groom his beard so well?

InfiniteThird312 karma

He did it all himself!

EDIT: With the occasional help of production makeup artists on shoot days.. (Hi Makeup Artists, thanks for doing what you do!)

SpruxHD165 karma

I see on your twitter that you have a Les Paul. How old, what kind, and other guitars?

InfiniteThird225 karma

Fairly new, American Standard Classic. And that's pretty much my baby. I also have an American Fender Strat but I'm about to pass it along to a friend.

jk2470152 karma

Your father was the best pitch-man i've ever witnessed. Anytime he'd come on TV, you would just be drawn to watch him. Very charismatic. He seemed to have that genuine enthusiasm for life that makes people just want to be around him. What is the coolest or funniest memory you have of your dad?

InfiniteThird308 karma

One time (after he was already mildly famous), he got chosen out of the crowd to be part of a David Copperfield illusion. Needless to say David recognized him and so did the crowd.. It was a uniquely funny moment. (As an epilogue, my dad ended up being the only person NOT to sign the non-disclosure agreement about how the trick was done. Of course, he told me and I was not impressed.)

nsgiad119 karma

I was hoping I would see this AMA pop up soon after the Hulk pic. I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your loss, the last episode of PitchMen got me right in the feels.

InfiniteThird152 karma

Me too! To this day, it hits me hard in the feels.

Helix_van_Boron67 karma

Just wanted to come by and say that your music is pretty cool. Not long after your father passed, I saw an experimental music show where somebody played triggered and manipulated audio from various Billy Mays commercials over drone loops while another person played the drums.

InfiniteThird69 karma

Nice! I'd love to see that.

crimsonnate56 karma

How often do you have this conversation:

"Well yeah, I produce and I'm a musician and I'm trying to get--"


InfiniteThird66 karma

Quite often... But I don't mind. : )

Badgercunt46 karma

Me and my friend spent a summer imitating your dad, at first we made fun of him but after a while we realized that we wanted to be him.

InfiniteThird62 karma

Haha, I feel like this concept could make a silly short film or something..

Baned0n30 karma

Obviously from your other post, you were able to meet Hulk Hogan as a result of your dad's career....any other celeb meetings?

InfiniteThird68 karma


Aerron19 karma

I'm sorry you lost your father so soon. Are there any recordings of your dad in his normal speaking voice?

InfiniteThird38 karma

Yes. If you can find it, I would recommend his interview on the Tonight Show. (with Jay Leno. The Conan one was more silly and less personal.) EDIT: But Conan is THE MAN.

EDIT 2: Also, there are some great personal interviews with him from the PitchMen series on Discovery.