Entertainment magazine Variety killed off Monty Python animator and film director Terry Gilliam this week.
But to borrow from Mark Twain, who suffered a similarly premature fate, rumours of his death were greatly exaggerated.
Or to fans of Python’s famous dead parrot sketch, “he’s not dead, he’s resting”.
The 74-year-old US-born director and Oscar nominee, responsible for films such as Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Time Bandits, and The Fisher King, starring Robin Williams, had not joined the bleeding choir eternal and was still alive, despite news of his demise spreading rapidly on Twitter.
The magazine put out a retraction to its nearly 1 million followers.
CORRECTION: Variety incorrectly published an article stating that director Terry Gilliam passed away. We're deeply sorry for the mistake.
— Variety (@Variety) September 8, 2015
Probably the best joke in response came from a Twitter account purporting to belong to Will McAvoy, the fictional news anchor of TV drama The Newsroom
Variety has downgraded Terry Gilliam from dead to "merely a flesh wound".
— Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN) September 8, 2015
And Gilliam himself joined in in fine style on Facebook, apologising to fans who had tickets to his upcoming show for being dead.
Gilliam is well acquainted with near death experiences. His film based on the Spanish novel Don Quixote, titled “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote”, has suffered a similar fate twice over the past two decades.
His 1998 attempt to make the film was a train wreck, plagued by bad weather, fighter jets buzzing the set, which became the documentary, “Lost in La Mancha.”
But three months ago, details emerged of funding from Amazon to complete the epic.
Let’s hope he lives long enough to make it happen.
Meanwhile, because you can never watch it enough, the dead parrot sketch.
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