Separated at birth
Separated by Birth is a theory that explains how any two people who bear no obvious relationship to one another can look like identical twins. The theory suggests that two such dissimilar people actually begin life by sharing the same womb, but that shortly after being born, one of the two is carried off by Gypsies, and raised as one of them.
The scandal was uncovered by Spy Magazine in the 1980s, itself the victim of the "Separated at News-stand Theory" — which states that the more popular a magazine is, the more it will be copied, thus rendering it less relevant and causing advertising revenues to fall, which in turn leads to its ultimate closure.
An alternative view
Backers of a controversial alternative theory, which contradicts the original Separated at Birth premise, say that no Gypsies are involved in separations, but that the deed is actually committed by Roma or Irish travelers.
The medical and scientific communities, appalled at the tendency of such undocumented urban legends to gain popularity among "stoopid" people, have instead proven it is not normative for people to steal a twin to raise on their own, and that it is actually the strange habit of deranged maternity nurses to simply swap new-borns out with another singular births that causes the phenomenon.
Disturbing similarities and frightening dissimilarities
Despite being raised by different parents or in different surroundings, the two individuals who are separated by birth may or may not share the same lifestyle characteristics, but both may show similar means by which they accomplish tasks, or go about their life’s work.
Michael Chertoff v Snidley Whiplash
While they were separated at birth, with one being raised in the human world and the other left in a Canadian orphanage for cartoon characters, both FEMA Director Michael Chertoff and archvillain Snidely Whiplash take the same approach toward dealing with difficult people. Both are more than willing to evict old people with no resources from their homes (or FEMA-paid hotel rooms), cackling madly as their victims are forced out into the street.
However, the two use different methods to deal with people once they are removed from their shelter. Chertoff prefers to appear on national television and claim that he did everything he could under the circumstances, while Whiplash finishes the job by running the displaced person through a buzz-saw.
Michael Jackson v Joan Crawford
Oddly, this pairing would never have been evident had Michael Jackson's earliest attempts at plastic surgery undertaken at age 5 (coloring/darkening his skin black, the flat wide nose, etc.) worn off with age, and a good scrubbing in lye soap every now and then. His twin Joan Crawford was a notorius clean freak and Jackson's bathings at the hands of La Crawford continued until she died; he still ritually shave his testicles in her honor.
Matthews and North v Carlson and Russell
The theory of Separated at Birth also explains the chummy relationship between Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball and Time Magazine pundit Margaret Carlson, who both bear an eerie resemblance to TV's Dennis the Menace (1959 - 1963) and his nemesis Margaret the Pill.
While the resemblance is striking, conspiracy theories are dampened by the fact that while Matthews starred in the television show under the stage name of Jay North, and Carlson played Margaret under the stage name of Jeanne Russell, in real life Matthews' bombastic personality and Carlson’s nebbishness would have turned Dennis into a real hardball type of menace that would have taken out kindly old Mr. Wilson in three television seasons, not four.
Hannigan v Hughes
The relationship between American Pie star Alyson Hannigan and United States 2006 Olympic ice skater Emily Hughes is shockingly close, despite there being several years' difference in their age. Both resemble one another. Both are females. Both have brownish hair. Both love Hello Kitty. Both appear to be really, really sweet. But Hughes’ additional time in the womb allowed her to develop superior sensory powers, which she used at the beginning of the 2006 Winter Games to sabotage Michelle Kwan’s ability to figure-skate, thus paving the way for Hughes to achieve Kwan’s emotional destruction and allow her a chance at winning the gold medal herself. Kwan retaliated by placing a Chinese curse on Hughes, resulting in the ninth grade moppet's lousy seventh place finish.
Prince Harry v His Mother's Riding Instructor
Somehow, in the intergalactic cosmic stream of things, Prince Charles got screwed out of having his youngest son look anything like him. Our understanding is that it goes something like this:
- Princess Diana slept with Prince Charles.
- She then started taking riding lessons from a Maj. Hewitt.
- On one of the riding lessons Maj. Hewitt rode too close to the Princess while the wind shifted direction in a manner that happens only in the Bermuda Triagle.
- A piece of Major Hewitt's red hair became aloft and landed in the pudding potion being made by a disagreeable elf.
- The elf was furious and he tried to put a curse on Major Hewitt that missed Hewitt and hit Princess Diana instead.
The evidence of this curse is, that Harry looks exactly like the man who slipped something that he shouldn't into someone's pudding pot. It's as good an explanation as we've come to find. Hence, the two are Separated at Birth.
The only thing that separates George W. Bush from Curious George is that Curious George endeavours to learn more about the world around him, while George W. Bush perfers to live in his own private world and have Curious George read to him before bed by his Nanny.
Other "Separated at Birth" twins
- Michael Jackson and Helena Bonham Carter
- Michael Jackson and Faye Dunaway
- Michael Jackson and Mary Tyler Moore
- Mister Ed and Joni Mitchell
- Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay
- 98 Degrees and the Backstreet Boys
- Margaret Cho and every other Korean woman
Approaching someone whom you believe to be Separated at Birth
It is very important that lay people use care in approaching someone who they believe may have been separated at birth from a twin. If an approach is attempted, the following guidelines written by the International Separated at Birth Foundation are as follows:
Do: Approach them in a friendly manner
Do not: Approach them when they are wielding a katana
Do: Show enthusiasm for their newly-attained status
Do not: Disturb them while eating (this also applies to dogs and lions)
Do: Respect their sense of disbelief – the discovery of a lost twin can have emotionally scarring effects that may haunt them for a lifetime, so give them some space
Do not: State that they look just like your friend before she had her stomach stapled last year