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For a second we thought we’d lost another Python. We were told that Terry Gilliam had ceased to be. But luckily it was just a news publication getting the news very, very wrong, and, as they say, rumors of Terry Gilliam's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Though to be fair, one of the people currently exaggerating them is Terry Gilliam.
The director of Brazil, and member of a small British comedy troupe you probably never heard of, posted this to his Facebook page in response to an accidental, not to mention premature, obituary run by Variety yesterday. It turns out he’s not dead, just pining for the fjords. It’s not everyday that you can get an apology directly from somebody who has run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. Gilliam is sorry that he’s dead, though he blames bad reviews from Variety. Although, we have to say, nobody understood Zero Theorem.
Many publications have obituaries already written for older or ailing celebrities so that they don’t need to scramble to write one when somebody finds themselves bereft of life. It’s obvious that’s what happened here as important things, like Gilliam’s age (which is 74 by the way), were still left with X’s in their place in the published article. Somebody just pressed the wrong button and the obituary went live. As Gilliam references, Variety did remove the tweet and accompanying article and published an apology, though Gilliam urges fans not to believe the apology, that he is in fact an ex-Python. As of this writing it is unknown if those responsible have been sacked.
It’s not the first time that somebody has been accidently declared dead by the media. Still, it has to make you slightly concerned if you’re the guy people think kicked the bucket. You're on the list of people that might shuffle off this mortal coil soon enough that they feel the need to have an obituary ready just in case. So good news, you're famous enough to be noticed. Bad news, pretty soon you might be pushing up daisies.
As fans, who still want to see The Man Who Killed Don Quixote one day, we are overjoyed that the metabolic processes of Terry Gilliam are continuing on. We can’t imagine what would happen if the man had actually gone to meet his maker. What would anybody have to say?