“Second Chance” is getting a second look after its absurdly accurate prediction of Gaddafi’s death.
It wasn’t given a second chance in 1987, but it’s getting a second look more than 24 years later as life seems to have imitated art. The show, which aired for just one season in the late 80s, predicted the death of Col. Muammar Gaddafi would occur in 2011.
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Haven’t heard of it? We’re not surprised. A crash course: “Second Chance” afforded Matthew Perry one of his first starring roles, as the title character. Perry, stuck in purgatory, is given the chance to go back to his teenage years to live a more virtuous life. We’re not giving the plot a second chance, but the show’s pilot episode is most certainly worth reprising. It takes place, after all, on July 29, 2011.
The show opens in St. Peter’s heavenly office, where he receives the newly dead and guides them toward Heaven or Hell after judging the person’s life achievements. After first attending to an overly cheesy beauty queen (who manages to make it to heaven), St. Peter – played by a quite commanding Joseph Maher of Sister Act – finds Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in his presence.
“Dead at last,” St. Peter quips after Gaddafi magically materializes. Gaddafi, in his typical outlandish and autocratic fashion, counters with: “But it’s impossible for me to be dead.” In the exchange lasting a mere two minutes, Gaddafi is (quite expectedly) ordered to Hell in a process as arbitrary as the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.
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But really, who’s surprised? St. Peter shuts down the surprised Brother Leader, saying: “Oh, come on, you must have known it was coming. Very few parents these days are naming their kids ‘Muammar’.”
According to the show’s producers, the Gaddafi gag was put in the pilot episode after the Libyan ruler was blamed for the 1986 bombing of a discotheque in West Berlin, Germany that killed three people and injured more than 200. There is nary a mention of Gaddafi on “Second Chance” after the door to Hell closes, but the coincidences are striking. A bullet-riddled Muammar is pronounced dead 24 years in advance, on an arbitrary date just 83 days before his actual death.
Perhaps the show contains other wild predictions that will reveal themselves as reality? Who said there are no second chances for a failed TV show?