Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Coincidence? I think not!"

In my flight-versus-invisibility post below, I was about to write a paragraph about the original concept coming from This American Life, and the invisible Violet of The Incredibles being voiced by This American Life contributor Sarah Vowell, and finish it up with a big ol' "Coincidence? I think not!" But that would be very annoying--especially because I don't know where the phrase comes from. Is it a movie or TV show? Or just a hipster way of being ironic? IMDB's quote search is no help. But if you know the origins of "Coincidence? I think not!", please post in the comments!

10 comments:

Victoria said...

Actually, that quote is used in the movie. Dash's teacher says it.

Marissa said...

Crazy! But it must have originated somewhere else before that...

Stoop said...

H. L. Mencken said it about 24 beers in a pack and 24 hours in a day. Don't know what year, though he dies in 1956

Marissa said...

Yeah, I figured it had to be pretty old--not something modern. I'll follow up on the Mencken lead now--thanks!

Marissa said...

Hate to break it to you, Stoop, but according to arts blogger and Mencken expert Terry Teachout, Mencken never said such a thing. (That gent has a lot of falsely attributed quotes, doesn't he?)

Teachout e-mailed me, "My guess is that "Coincidence? I think not" did not enter common speech until fairly recently--it sounds like a characteristically postmodern idiom to me."

He's had many more years to observe our language's changes than I have, so I'll trust him on this. Back to square one!

~Jay said...

I remember the quote quite vividly from a comedian on MTV's "Half Hour Comedy Hour" in the 90's. But I am still searching for the "who"

hitchhikerx42 said...

I believe it was a comedian who went by the name "The Todd". I have looked for things about him because I thought he was hilarious! Example jokes: There were seven castaways on Gilligan's Island...and seven people aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger...Coincidence?...I think not!
And..Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig's Disease...Coincidence?...I think not!

Marissa Skudlarek said...

Hitchhikerx42 - so would this have been on the MTV comedy show mentioned by the previous person who commented?

hitchhikerx42 said...

Yes, the half-hour comedy hour.

Marissa Skudlarek said...

This does sound quite plausible, then. Guess I was wrong in my earlier suspicion that it would have to be from an older source, rather than from the 1990s. Also makes sense that it would have gained popularity as a catchphrase on TV rather than via print.