According to my friendly neighborhood (Tampa) coroner, cocaine was a major contributor to the death of pitchman Billy Mays. He didn't die of an overdose, exactly...he just compromised the health of his heart by being a frequent user.
Well, that explains a lot! I had often, upon being startled awake from my accustomed TV-induced torpor by that unmistakable bellow, wondered why he was impelled to such loud, obnoxious demands that I buy one cleaning product or another. I should have recognized the signs of coke-mania even as I muttered "STFU!" at my TV screen while frantically fumbling for the mute button. I had snorted enough white powder in the olden days to recognize the signs. Only someone loaded on coke could sustain that manic decibel level. Those stains weren't removed by OxyClean or Orange Glo...he scared them off by roaring at them!
According to the AP, Mays honed his craft on the boardwalk at Atlantic City, hawking knives, mops and gadgets to the passing tourists. He also worked state fairs and home shows, evidently intimidating buyers by yelling at them in competition with the other button-holing shills for shell games and "guess your weight" cons.