Kevin Mazur/AEG via Getty Images
by Joal Ryan | Tue., Oct. 27, 2009 6:30 AM
Kevin Mazur/AEG via Getty Images
Let's skip the obvious questions (How'd you do it? Why'd you do it? What'd you think of the Dancing With the Stars tribute?), and head straight to the biggie:
Are you going to your own movie premiere?
This Is It, in case you've been living—or hiding—under a rock, gets the star treatment today in Los Angeles, en route to opening in theaters worldwide later tonight.
So, now that we've brought you up to speed, what's it going to be? Can you resist the spotlight? The adoring crowds? The complimentary popcorn?
Oddly enough, Jackson was unavailable for comment. So, we talked to a certified faker of death. And he said Jackson should go for it. In high style.
"He should attend his own movie premiere made up as an Elvis Presley, along with 50 other Elvis imitators, and a contest: Where's Michael?" said Alan Abel.
Abel told us this via email. Or so we presume. Abel, you see, is a noted prankster. In 1980, he "died" his way into the New York Times obituary section. A day later, he held a press conference. Not bad for a man who supposedly succumbed to a heart attack.
It is a high compliment then that Abel thinks Jackson had the wherewithal—not to mention "the balls," as he put it—to pull off something similar, if grander.
"After all, he wasn't afraid to dangle his baby from a balcony," Abel said of the pop star. "By comparison, a hoax to die would be child's play."
Jeffrey Robinson probably wouldn't agree. Robinson is an author and expert on pseudocide, or faked death.
Assuming Jackson were able to pull off a death hoax—and Robinson doesn't assume, much less believe, for a second that Jackson was—the entertainer's life as "an alive dead Michael Jackson" would be pretty grim, he told us.
"You have to give up everything," Robinson said. "You have to completely give up everything, and that means spending every waking minute fearing somebody will recognize you."
And so, no, according to Robinson, Jackson wouldn't be able to go to his own movie premiere.
"[If he tried], he'd be in jail," said Robinson, reminding that if you file false police reports, Balloon Boy family, you are committing a crime.
Writer Peter Huston, who penned Scams From the Great Beyond and its sequel, thinks people only attend their own funerals, or movie premieres, as the case may be, in old episodes of Gunsmoke. And to Huston, even in a TV show, Jackson, who per one popular storyline went underground to get away from the press and pressure of being Michael Jackson, would be among the least likely characters to do something like that.
Asked Huston: "Why would Michael Jackson fake his own death to obtain a normal life [and then go to a movie premiere]?"
The thing is, Huston reminded, if Jackson were as successful a death-faker as he was a singer, we'd never know whether he moonwalked the red carpet. Or, for that matter, whether he faked his death.
Said Huston: "If one successfully faked one's own death, no one would ever know."
We guess that means Elvis, Tupac and Andy Kaufman can't do the This Is It premiere, either.
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