Variety found out this morning that being prepared for a celebrity death is one thing, but pulling the trigger on a celebrity death notice is quite a different fish. Most big news agencies have them, prepared obituaries of celebrities, world leaders, and other notables that are refreshed every now and then with new information so that when the unfortunate occurs, they can jump right into the news cycle without a lot of rushed research. Yesterday afternoon something happened over at Variety that caused the posting of an obituary for director Terry Gilliam, most famously part of the Monty Python Flying Circus comedy group. Hilarity ensued.
Here’s a screen capture of the Variety post in question:
It is thought that a fake Facebook page about Gilliam’s death might be the cause, but then again, who over at Variety didn’t make the phone call to confirm? Once he found out, Gilliam responded in comedic fashion using his own Facebook page to refute his passing.
Variety did finally catch the error later that day and issued this apology.
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
Mistakes happen, and thankfully this is one that we can all laugh about including Mister Gilliam himself. There’s plenty of Monty Python humor in this whole thing, but IMHO this scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail sums it up best: