Beetlejuice, the comedian also known as Lester Green, is still alive despite online rumors that he was dead. Beetlejuice is best remembered for his appearances with Howard Stern.
The best indicator that Beetlejuice, 51, is alive is through his Twitter page which was active in February 2020 when the account posted his video:
Beetlejuice also has an Instagram account that was active as of February 23. On that profile, where Beetlejuice refers to himself as the King of the Wack Pack, the New Jersey-born comedian has amassed an impressive 704,000 followers. These days, Beetlejuice is managed by former professional boxer, Bobby Rooney. In his activity on social media, Rooney has made no reference to Beetlejuice no longer being with us.
The Death of ‘Beetlejuice’ Actor Glenn Shadix in 2010 Contributed to the Confusion Involving Lester Green
The death of “Beetlejuice” actor Glenn Shadix in 2010 at 58 years of age likely contributed to the confusion involving Lester “Beetlejuice” Green. Shadix played the part of a pretentious designer in the 1988 Tim Burton comedy. Shadix’s sister said in 2010 that her brother died following a fall at his home in Alabama.
During his career, Shadix also appeared in “The Night Before Christmas,” in addition to appearances in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”
A Campaign Was Launched in 2016 to Attempt to Get Beetlejuice a Role in the ‘Beetlejuice’ Sequel
Beetlejuice’s Facebook page is less active. The last post came in March 2016 which was a link to a petition that was a campaign to get the producers of the “Beetlejuice” sequel to include the comedian in a “speaking cameo.” The campaign ended after it generated a close to 900 signatures.
Death Hoaxes Continue to Flourish With the Help of Social Media
Death hoaxes are hugely common in the internet age. In March 2014, ABC News published a guideline for internet users in order to help them to avoid falling for death hoaxes. At that time, a common death hoax suggested that various celebrities, including Jeff Goldblum and The Rock had died after falling from some cliffs in New Zealand. The ABC article pointed out that readers should be eagle-eyed for “bait text.” “Bait text” is something that seems interesting but has been used multiple times in multiple other fake stories.
While a Washington Post article on the same topic encouraged users to stick to known websites and noted that, “Breaking news stories will usually include the reporter’s name; hoaxes, mysteriously, go un-bylined.”
In 2014, The Week published a list of hoax sites. They included, Empire News, The National Report, Huzlers, Daily Currant and Free Wood Post. The website noted that occasionally news stories from satire sites such as The Onion and Clickhole are circulated as legitimate news. The Week article concludes simply that users should, “Take 30 seconds to determine whether something is real before you blast it out to hundreds of people. We’ll all have a better internet for it.” Buzzfeed’s Craig Silverman, a specialist in fake news, told DigiDay in 2012, “Fake news relies on viral sharing. If you think about why so many stars are subject to death hoaxes, they’ve been part of a pop culture that people have an emotional connection to. And that is at the core of what makes fake news work.”
Also in 2014, a digital media professor at Indiana University, Mark Bell, told the New York Times that part of the reason for the prevalence of death hoaxes is that “People like to lie. They get a thrill from it. There is a little hit of dopamine when you lie, especially a lie that is believed by somebody else.” While the Independent rationalized that the popularity for the stories was simply “because people want to read them.” Mark Bell also said of the phenomenon, “There’s not a lot of cost, either financially, morally, legally or criminally in doing this.”