A quick visit to Twitter this morning quickly derailed whatever else I was planning to do. Could it be? One of the a.m.’s trending topics was “RIP Jackie Chan.” Sure, April Fools’ Day is right around the corner, and celebrity death hoaxes are a dime a dozen these days.
But that didn’t prevent me from setting on a fact-finding mission: If the kung-fu master had passed away, surely Google would know. Despite some fake websites designed to corroborate the hoax (including a faux news story that included a quote from President Obama), a simple search easily put the rumors to rest: the actor is alive and well. His Twitter and Facebook accounts confirm this, stating that he “is fine and is busy preparing for the filming of his next movie.” While we can’t leak the movie, we do have a flashback to his 2001 animated series, “Jackie Chan Adventures.”
This latest Internet death rumor brings to mind one of my favorite discoveries on Hulu, “Abel Raises Cain,” a media prankster who devised elaborate schemes as a form of social critique. He even faked his own death — funeral and all — and got the New York Times to write his obituary. Now that’s a well-executed death hoax, folks.