Jim Carrey recounted his terrifying experience while in Hawaii during the emergency alert system false alarm two years ago.
Joining Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show on Thursday, the comedian and author shared that the cover of his new book represented his face “after being told that I have 10 minutes to live” after the 2018 alert was sent in error. Carrey went on to explain that two years ago he was in Hawaii with his daughter while writing, when his assistant called him, crying, to inform him about the missile believed to be headed toward the island and that they had “10 minutes left.”
“My brain started winding,” he told Fallon. Unable to get off the island with his daughter, Carrey recalled thinking, “I don’t want to die in my car.” He then said he had a moment where he just “looked out at the ocean” and pondered what he could do with “the last moment of my time.”
“I just decided to go over a list of gratitudes … I could not stop thinking about wonderful things that have happened to me and blessings that I’ve had,” he said, adding that “it was lovely” and he finally “got to a point of grace with two minutes to spare,” when he learned the missile was a false alarm.
“All I was planning to do was close my eyes and be thankful because it’s been a good ride,” he revealed.
Earlier in the show, Carrey expressed gratitude as he reacted to the news that his first book, Memoirs and Misinformation (Knopf) — co-written with Dana Vachon — is now a New York Times best-seller. “What an incredible thing. What a state of affairs. It’s a good sign for me a terrible sign for the planet,” he joked.
Carrey said the book is part-memoir but “dressed up like a kooky parade float.” Though the book could read as “madness,” Carrey assured Fallon that “there’s a lot to be had underneath.”
“I’ve been pounded by the universe several times,” Carrey said. “When you survive that, sooner or later you’re an experienced person and if it doesn’t kill you … you start to see things for what they really are. You’re stronger from it. You get glimpses of actual freedom from the ideas of you.”