Adam Sandler is dead. Sounds like the title of an Adam Sandler movie, but in fact it is just the latest in a long line of celebrity death hoaxes. In fact, the story that Sandler died as a result of a snowboarding accident in Switzerland is not even the first time the "Bedtime Stories" actor has been at the center of this particularly dark kind of Internet rumor. Last time around, Sandler was joined in the hereafter by fellow funny man Jim Carrey.
Blame Twitter. Or blame Canada. Blame whoever you want, but just don't blame anyone for actually believing that Adam Sandler bit the big one on the Matterhorn or a similar mountaintop. The speed with which a rumor of this sort can travel from Tampa to Timbuktu in just a matter of minutes is mind-boggling. This one apparently began on Twitter, but don't be surprised to read that Adam Sander was eaten by a shark sometime next summer when you log into Facebook.
Among the celebrities who have the Internet to thank for spreading the rumors of their death are Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Natalie Portman, Harrison Ford, and Michael Jackson. Whoops, turned out that last one was true, but you can certainly bet that it took awhile for some people to actually believe the King of Pop passed based on the abundance of untrue rumors.
Those who start rumors of celebrity deaths by tweeting or logging into Facebook are mere amateurs compared to those behind the suicide rumor involving Jaleel White, better known to some as Steve Urkel. This particularly creative rumor began with the mass e-mailing of what looked for all the world like a legitimate report from the Associated Press. The letter went so far as to include quotes from the creators of "Family Matters." The crux of the hoax was that White had become obsessed with his character Steve Urkel and became despondent over his loss of fame. The result was a gunshot to the head. Of course, AP quickly set the record straight, but this celebrity death rumor still had legs for several months afterward.
Why Adam Sandler? It does seem strange to pick on Adam Sandler. He seems like such a nice, ordinary type of guy and certainly not one worth the effort of upsetting friends and family who may take the rumors as true. Why not go after Charlie Sheen or a Kardashian or any so-called reality TV shows so-called stars? Not that any celebrity actually deserves to be the subject of a worldwide rumor regarding his death.
Of course, it is far too easy to blame the Internet for these things. Keep in mind, however, that the most fecund celebrity death hoax of all time wormed its way into the public consciousness about 30 years before the explosion of the worldwide web. Those who spread death rumors via Twitter are about as creative as a sackful of Paris Hiltons compared to the geniuses who created the rumor that Paul McCartney was dead. The details of this celebrity death were spread not through barely literate tweets, but through an obsessive devotion to picking through Beatles lyrics and album covers to string together a list of "clues" that to this day don't remain fully debunked to a few conspiracy nuts. An extra layer of hoaxing was recently placed upon this rumor with the mockumentary(?) titled "Paul McCartney Really is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison."
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- celebrity death hoaxes
- Paris Hiltons
- blame Canada