October 31, 2021, Stamford CT (UNS)
In an incident experts are calling unprecedented, a veteran daytime talk-show host died today when his soul fled his body.
"At approximately 12:59 this afternoon Maury Povich died of multiple complications resulting from the catastrophic, sudden detachment of his soul from his physical body,” a spokesperson at Stamford General Hospital read from a prepared statement hours later.
Povich, 76, collapsed during the taping of his television program Maury, which has been running in one form or another since 1991. In the recording of his final, incomplete show, disseminated on the Internet within minutes of his death, Povich appears to become disoriented, massaging his chest before taking a seat on the edge of the stage and waving off a concerned assistant. Then he loosens his tie and, smiling pensively, says, "you know I've done about a thousand of these paternity tests by now..."
At that point (warning: disturbing content at 10:58) his voice becomes unintelligible as he appears to physically implode. To the horror of his crew and the confusion of audience members, Povich collapsed in a gelatinous heap, unrecognizable as human, within seconds.
The studio audience reacted violently, as some bolted for the exits, some laughed at what they, perhaps, took to be a stunt, and others jockeyed to photograph or prod Povich's remains. At one point a man, who had just learned he is the father of three children, can be seen trying to cut away a piece of the former host for a souvenir. Stamford police took several hours to contain the chaos, making several arrests.
Loquatious DeVonne, 36, a participant on the program, was nearby when it happened.
"His voice got all weird and blubbery, like he was underwater or something. Then he just went all like a big rubber baby, you know, that was all hollow inside. I was like damn!"
Dr. Hal Ashborne of the Institute for Scientific Theology, after examining the tape, said the incident is vindication for the religious belief in the existence of a soul as the "core element of the human person." Dr. Ashborne played and analyzed the recording for reporters.
"Right here, just as he begins to collapse in on himself, we can clearly discern the implosion beginning in the chest, proving a longtime, nearly universal human intuition wrongly discredited by science--that of a soul extant as a physical reality within the human breast. And then here, precisely at 10:59:06, you can actually see Mr. Povich's soul leaving his body."
Ms. DeVonne and others could not confirm the soul's departure from their eyewitness accounts.
"All I know is it got real smelly up in there right when he fall down and he kind of made this loud fart sound." She said.
In an historic news conference scheduled for tomorrow, several of the world's top scientists and theologians reportedly will join to assert the death has demonstrated conclusively the existence of the soul as a "physical and ontological reality."
"I know. I couldn't believe it either." Richard Dawkins, celebrity atheist, said, shaking his head. "But what other explanation is there?"
The debate over the nature of the soul has only just begun, however, according to Dr. Samuel Mitchell, head of Connecticut University's theology department.
"The question remains as to the disposition of that soul. The soul is known to depart the body following death, not to precipitate or cause death. What became of it? Was it destroyed? And if it was, then has the existence of the soul really been proven? The soul is supposed to be immortal and immutable. Or is it subject, with enough time and effort, to degradation the same way a biological entity is? The question remains: can a man lose his soul?"
Dr. Mitchell reassured those concerned about meeting a similar fate. Povich was an extraordinary case, he said.
"One thing is clear. After years of intense, unremitting assault upon the seat of his own humanity with utter disregard for its well-being, Povich has unintentionally proved the existence of the soul, providing us here with the first recorded image of it. But it required concerted effort over a lifetime. It's unlikely there are very many people capable of scaring their soul from their own body, even if they tried."
Mitchell suggested the death of Jerry Springer, another veteran daytime talk-show host, may have to be reexamined in light of today's event. According to a police inquiry, Springer was killed in 2017 when a stage-light fell on him during a staple of his show, his "final thoughts" on the day's program. Yet several in the studio audience insisted they saw a lightning-like electric current passing from somewhere overhead and through Mr. Springer, who was reduced to ash in seconds. Controversy has surrounded that incident and was exacerbated when the recording of the program turned up missing. Mitchell isn't prepared to link the two deaths, but insists the degree and nature of Springer's injuries have not been adequately explained and should be reevaluated.
"This was no lighting accident."