Dissolving Hoaxes, Scams & Urban Legends

Living Life Backwards


The Scam is...

...that a well known text by George Carlin now appears as a slight variation of a text by Woody Allen. Take two men, both great comedians, spread such a scam and label at least one of them a 'plagiarist'.


Who decided to end up as an orgasm first?

George Carlin
or
Woody Allen?


George Carlin
May 12, 1937 - June 22, 2008
Woody Allen
December 1, 1935

Information instead of disinformation. Clarity instead of hoaxes, scams, rumors and urban legends.


The alleged Woody Allen text can be found on various blogs and is also being passed around in chain e-mails. There is nowehere a single source for it, and it cannot be found on any legitimate/reliable website. Granted, the supposed Woody Allen's text is not identical to George Carlin's, but if both texts were authentic, then they are similar enough for one of them to be a plagiarism of the other. Let's compare:

George Carlin Version

I want to live my next life backwards:
You start out dead and get that out of the way.
Then you wake up in a nursing home
feeling better every day.
Then you get kicked out for being too healthy.
Enjoy your retirement and collect your pension.
Then when you start work,
you get a gold watch on your first day.

You work 40 years
until you're too young to work.
You get ready for High School: drink alcohol, party, and you're generally promiscuous.

Then you go to primary school,
you become a kid,
you play,
and you have no responsibilities.
Then you become a baby, and then...

You spend your last 9 months
floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions
- central heating, room service on tap,
and then...
You finish off as an orgasm.

Woody Allen Version

In my next life I want to live my life backwards.
You start out dead and get that out of the way.
Then you wake up in an old people's home
feeling better every day.
You get kicked out for being too healthy,
go collect your pension,
and then when you start work,
you get a gold watch and a party on your first day.

You work for 40 years
until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement.
You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous,
then you are ready for high school.

You then go to primary school,
you become a kid,
you play.
You have no responsibilities,
you become a baby until you are born.

And then you spend your last 9 months
floating in luxurious spa-like conditions
with central heating and room service on tap,
larger quarters every day and then Voila!
You finish off as an orgasm.
I rest my case.


How many people noticed this?

Unfortunately not many... it is received and forwarded without much or any thought put into its legitimacy. Out of a handful of people who did ask, one was upset about the Woody Allen version and wrote:

"There's no known source of the piece, it doesn't resemble his other writings in the slightest, and my google searches have only pulled up postings on journals and chain letters. Clearly this is a sham quotation, like the George Carlin and John Cleese pieces that also floated around the interwebs. I'm convinced that there's somebody actively trying to sully the reputations of great comedic writers by relying on stupid and gullible people to pass along cheesy chain letters."

In order to get to the bottom of this, it helps to looks for reputable sources.


Reputable Websites as Sources

Reputable sources usually (thought not always) don't risk publishing fake claims, so that is a pretty good place to start. Various blogs that cite these materials, as well as sites which only have the above texts as comments added by visitors, have been left out of the equation. Websites which include both versions have also been left out... there is no point in adding to the confusion. So let's see which of these texts is more likely to be the original.

Sources of the George Carlin Version

Sources of the Woody Allen Version

Considering the above mentioned criteria there are no results for this query.

Judging by the number of "credible" sources it would seem to have originated with George Carlin, but guess what...

Solved!

It has been brought to our attention that the actual performer of the living life backwards piece is Sean Morey. Turns out Sean Morey wrote it in the 70's and even performed it on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson in the 80's. The original performance was quoted as follows:

"I think the most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A death! What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work for forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement! You go to college, you do drugs, alcohol, you party, you have sex, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating.... You finish off as a gleam in somebody's eye."

Yet another case solved!

Written by Sabina Nore
March 6th 2010.

What You can do

If you receive a chain e-mail with the above text or come across a website which cites it wrongfully, please inform them, or send them a link to this page. Let us clear up all the nonsense out there!


Back to Eyeopeners
Dissolving Hoaxes, Scams & Urban Legends


Get informed.. inform others!


StumbleUpon Digg Delicious Reddit Yahoo Google Live Facebook Twitter MySpace