From the Vault: 8 Celebrities Whose Obituaries CNN Has Probably Already Written


When noteworthy (read: attractive and/or wealthy) people die, news agencies like CNN are duty-bound to report it, particularly if the deceased had especially large breasts. And, since waiting until news happens to write the article about it is so 1983, CNN and other agencies often write celebrity obituaries long before those celebrities are technically "dead." (Wikipedia even has an article dedicated to premature obituaries, with a special shout-out to CNN, who went the extra mile and actually published a few obits before the famous people in question had actually, y'know, died.)

The upside of pre-writing obituaries, of course, is that when someone like George Burns finally died, the staff at CNN just filled in the dates on their pre-existing Mad Lib of forced solemnity and published it, giving them more time to surf Digg for other breaking news. Today, is pulling back the coffin lid on a few celebrity obits that CNN has almost certainly written prematurely for one reason or another.

#8. Courtney Love

The former Mrs. Cobain is a known abuser of drugs, alcohol and, through her various attempts at music, our ears. Given her ongoing state of strung-out forsakenness, we wouldn't be surprised if Love's obituary, as a rule, is slated to run as a top headline on CNN every single day "¦ only to be pulled just as regularly at the last minute when CNN's Official Courtney Love Correspondent (Wolf Blitzer) reports that, amazingly, she's hung on yet again.

Instead of waking to an alarm clock, Love has two live-in paramedics plunge a needle full of adrenalin into her heart each morning.

What the Obituary Probably Says
Love, whom some have called "the Yoko Ono of a grungier era," will be survived by a generation eternally grateful for her passing.

#7. Magic Johnson

Earvin "Magic" Johnson is generally heralded as one of the best basketball players of all time. Some CNN reporter undoubtedly wrote Magic's obituary back in 1991, when Johnson first announced that he had contracted HIV (Magic, not the reporter--as far as we know). Of course, back in the early '90s, it was generally assumed that HIV stood for "He'll Immediately (be) Very (dead)," so that poor reporter is probably still waiting for his first big CNN piece to get published. On the upside, though, at least the reporter doesn't have AIDS.

Magic's obituary probably hasn't been touched since it was first written in 1991, which may make some of it seem a bit dated.

What the Obituary Probably Says
AIDS, a disease which only affects homosexuals and animals, is rumored to have targeted Johnson because of his role as one of the only good black basketball players ever.

#6. "Iron" Mike Tyson

Tyson has attempted suicide by BMW, threatened to try again, battled clinical depression, had bouts with various forms of chemical dependence, found himself in millions of dollars of debt despite a career haul of more than $300 million and got in more street brawls than the characters from Double Dragon. As anyone who's heard his post-fight interviews knows, violence is the only language Mike speaks (it sure ain't English). That's fine and good when you're a 21-year-old who can kill anyone in the world with puffy mittens on your hands. But when you're a depressed 40-year-old alcoholic who owes millions of dollars to the sort of people that surround professional boxing, let's just say that the enormous guy knocking at your door probably isn't a life insurance salesman.

You know the tattoo that covers more than half of Iron Mike's face? It's pretty goddamn stupid.

What the Obituary Probably Says
Mike Tyson, former eater of ears, has suffered his final KO. Also, Mike Tyson was a bit of an asshole, something we can say now that he's dead and unable to pummel us.

#5. Lindsay Lohan

You know what we like about La Lohan? It's not that she likes to drink and drive and snort cocaine. It's how she does it almost rhythmically, over and over again, with no regard for the law or her career (neither of which gets much respect these days anyway). Lindsay's upcoming untimely death will, unfortunately, sully the pantheon of dead, over-addicted celebrities-including Jon Belushi, Chris Farley, and Kurt Cobain-because she'll have managed to do the "fatal overdose" without being fucking awesome.

Although she hasn't yet, Lindsay's career actually died several years ago.

What the Obituary Probably Says
Lindsay Lohan is dead at 22. Twenty-two being both her age and the number of illegal drugs found in her system during the autopsy.

#4. Phyllis Diller

Known to many as "The Methuselah of Comedy," Diller is one of the few members of this list to have been born before the invention of reality television. Diller actually died eight years ago; her body hasn't had the heart to tell her, especially since she was fitted with a pacemaker back in 1999. Fun fact: Most Americans can't tell Diller from Joan Rivers, nor would they necessarily want to.

The STD "syphilis" was, surprisingly, not named in her honor.

What the Obituary Probably Says
While doctors are still waiting on the results of the autopsy, they say the likely cause of death was being really fucking old.

#3. Roy Horn (of Siegfried and Roy)

When a tiger tries to rip your head off, it generally succeeds ... Unless you're able to withstand its attack through the powers of magic, like Roy, one-half of that Ambiguously Gay, German Duo, Siegfried and Roy (specifically, the "Roy" half). Whether Montecore, the tiger, was truly trying to attack Roy or merely use him as a Pez dispenser remains a matter of some dispute. What can't be disputed, however, is that CNN is still ready to publish their Roy obituary the second he finally takes a Lufthansa flight to the Great Wienerschnitzel in the Sky.

When Montecore, the tiger, attacked him, it was the first time Roy had ever had his face directly in contact with pussy.

What the Obituary Probably Says
Roy Horn has finally, finally, finally, finally, FINALLY succumbed to injuries sustained when he was attacked by a tiger. (And no, "tiger" was not his pet name for Siegfried.)

#2. Abe Vigoda

Abe Vigoda's death has been erroneously reported more frequently than he soils himself, which is to say, two to three times a day. If you had a dollar for each time Vigoda's appeared at a comedy roast, and made the in-no-way-depressing "I'm not dead yet" joke, you'd actually have earned more money than Abe has pulled down in the past three years of his "career." CNN's obituary team reportedly monitors regularly for up-to-the-minute data on the status of Abe's pulse.

Abe Vigoda's face appears to be made entirely of testicle skin.

What the Obituary Probably Says
A hospital spokesperson told reporters that Vigoda died of "Phyllis Diller Disease."

#1. Dick Clark

For years, "America's Oldest Teenager" was presumably preemptive-obit-less, his entire career built around his reputation for eternal youth. Then, he had a stroke and fucked that reputation to hell. We could almost hear the cries of "Oh, SHIT!" ring out in newsrooms around the globe. CNN quickly assembled their Dick Clark tribute, which they expect to run soon after his next stroke.

Interestingly, the nickname "America's Oldest Teenager" when self-ascribed, is not permissible evidence when being tried for the statutory rape of a bitchin' hot 16-year-old.

What the Obituary Probably Says
Come New Years Eve, Dick Clark will still be rockin'-but in his grave.

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