Example: [Collected via e-mail, March 2014]
Origins: Austin "Chumlee" Russell (so nicknamed by a friend's father due to his resemblance to the character of Chumley the walrus in the Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons) is one of the stars of the popular reality show Pawn Stars, the "resident clown" of the staff at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in
Beginning in May 2013, a rumor was circulated on the Internet claiming that Chumlee had recently passed away from a "marijuana overdose":
According to Dr. Angstrom H. Troubador, "The only possible way he could have died from a marijuana overdose without first clogging his lungs with soot is through the use of vaporizers. Reportedly, Chumlee had rigged up to
Fans and family mourn the loss of "Chumlee" and have taken the opportunity to speak out against drug abuse. "To die like that, it’s just a shame," said Rick Harrison, manager of the world famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, as he teared up. "It’s just a shame to lose such a fun guy as Chum. Rest in peace, buddy."
The Internet Chronicle frequently posts fake obituaries of celebrities, and its recent entries in that vein include fictional death notices for actress Amanda Bynes, singer Justin Bieber, and veteran porn star Ron Jeremy.
In March 2014, a similar spoof article published by eBuzzd (along with images of fake reaction tweets from other celebrities) spawned more false Chumlee death rumors, this time positing that the Pawn Stars personality had passed away of a heart attack:
The news comes as a shock considering Chumlee's [sic] had just recently altered his lifestyle habits, and lost 75 pounds in a year by exercising at a gym six days a week and improving his diet, including drinking more juice, eating more vegetables and abstaining from red meat, a change that was inspired by his father's death at age 54 from pancreatic cancer, two weeks before Pawn Stars debuted.
Last updated: 12 March 2014