After hearing of the death of Alex Karras, former Detroit Lions defensive lineman, two things passed through my mind. Foremost, I recalled his hysterically funny character, Mongo, in the movie Blazing Saddles. I still crack up when Mongo punches out the horse. But, second, I also caught myself wondering, "Who's next?"
Generally, I don't buy into folk beliefs like celebrities dying in threes, but I'd just written an article about the superstitions surrounding death and dying so the idea was fresh in my head. The problem is where do you start the count? If you begin with Karras, there's no doubt two more well-known people will die in the next few months, thereby "affirming" this superstition.
On the other hand, perhaps the count started with the death of actor Herbert Lom on September 27? (He played the hapless Chief Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther films.) That would make Karras number two, with a third celebrity death pending. Unless you start the count with the death of singer Andy Williams on September 25, in which case celebrities really do die in threes!
But wait, what about the death of Steve Sabol, co-founder of NFL Films, on September 18? Or Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell on September 6? Or the inventor of Festivus, Dan O'Keefe, on August 29? Or...
Do you believe that celebrities die in threes? Why or why not?