Fact Check

Is This Tale of Lobsters Getting Revenge on Bernie Madoff by Woody Allen?

"'We're reborn,' Moe explained. 'As a couple of two-pounders.'"

Published Mar 27, 2009

Bernie Madoff's Mug Shot, from the Department of Justice. (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain) (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)
Bernie Madoff's Mug Shot, from the Department of Justice. (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)
Story by Woody Allen features lobsters gaining revenge on Bernie Madoff.

We started getting this reader inquiry in our inbox in 2009, soon after the 2008 arrest of Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff:

Is this really Woody Allen? Note date has not yet happened ... but the Sheepshead Bay reference makes me think it may actually be him..

Subject: Woody Allen on Madoff

Tails of Manhattan
by Woody Allen March 30, 2009

Two weeks ago, Abe Moscowitz dropped dead of a heart attack and was reincarnated as a lobster. Trapped off the coast of Maine, he was shipped to Manhattan and dumped into a tank at a posh Upper East Side seafood restaurant. In the tank there were several other lobsters, one of whom recognized him. "Abe, is that you?" the creature asked, his antennae perking up.

"Who's that? Who's talking to me?" Moscowitz said, still dazed by the mystical slam-bang postmortem that had transmogrified him into a crustacean.

"It's me, Moe Silverman," the other lobster said.

"O.M.G.!" Moscowitz piped, recognizing the voice of an old gin-rummy colleague. "What's going on?"

"We're reborn," Moe explained. "As a couple of two-pounders."

[Rest of article here.]

Academy Award-winning actor/director Woody Allen is best known for his work in films and (in earlier years) as a stand-up comedian, so it's understandable that many readers encountering a text piece on a topical issue might be skeptical about seeing it attributed to him. However, Allen — like fellow humorist Steve Martin — also ventures into the world of print media from time to time, and both men have occasionally contributed pieces to the New Yorker magazine over the years.

The article referenced above, a bit of fantasy fiction in which two of Ponzi scheme scammer Bernie Madoff's victims die, are reborn as lobsters, and exact their revenge on the swindler at a posh Upper East Side seafood restaurant, is a piece by Allen which was published under the title "Tails of Manhattan" in the "Shouts & Murmurs" section of the New Yorker's 30 March 2009 issue.


Allen, Woody.   "Tails of Manhattan."     The New Yorker.   30 March 2009.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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