Sep. 11, 2013 at 10:05 AM ET
A video featuring a Utah man in a post-surgery haze who thinks he hit the "jackpot" when he sees his wife has received millions of views, but also has drawn skeptics questioning its authenticity.
It turns out the nearly three-minute video on YouTube was just the short version of Jason Mortensen playfully falling in love with his wife Candice all over again following hernia surgery last month. The couple appeared live on TODAY Wednesday to talk about their sweet interlude gone viral and maintained that it's all real.
“He had been acting like that for about 20 minutes before I pulled out my phone,’’ Candice Mortensen said. “I finally realized, I need to get this on video so he can see how he acts, and so I can show people because I was alone, so I was excited. He genuinely didn’t remember a thing about that when I showed him the video.”
Jason had no recollection of the banter with the blonde by his bedside after emerging from surgery. In the video, he asks, “Did the doctor send you? Man, you are eye candy. Whoa! You must be the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen. Are you a model?”
Candice then informs him that she is his wife as he slowly munches a cracker on his hospital gurney.
“You’re my wife?!’’ he replies. “Holy (expletive). Dang.”
He then asks her if they have children and if they have kissed yet before being told that they have been married a long time.
“Oh my God,’’ he says. “I hit the jackpot. That’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. Let me see your face. Whoa, your teeth are perfect.”
This was Jason’s fifth surgery for a hernia injury, and apparently not the first time he has been a little loopy when coming out from anesthesia.
“I’ve had surgeries previously, and I guess I’ve been a weirdo during all of them,’’ he said on TODAY Wednesday. “Thank goodness she had the peace of mind to pull out the camera this time, or the sense of mind.”
Jason's surgery was just the latest in a six-year string of procedures to fix tears from a previous hernia surgery. He told TODAY that the surgeries have severely reduced the couple's chance to naturally conceive a child. They are currently in the process of adopting a child from Uganda.
A Slate.com story speculates that the video may be a hoax, quoting a psychologist saying that anesthesia would not wipe out the memory of six years of marriage. Questions are also raised about how Candice was ready with her cell phone camera to film that moment, and why Jason would be wearing a hospital gown with a paw print on it. Slate also found an old headshot on an audition website of Jason, who is currently a vice president of sales at a pharmaceutical company in Utah, suggesting there may have been some acting involved.
The video’s popularity also comes in the wake of Jimmy Kimmel admitting on Sept. 9 that his staff staged a fake video depicting a girl catching on fire while twerking by candelight in her room. That led to speculation that the Mortensens’ video was a hoax, too.
“I heard that on Jimmy Kimmel some video was faked, and I can understand all the skepticism,’’ Jake said. “I talked to my doctor yesterday, and he says he’s gotten like 150 phone calls, so I finally gave him permission to tell them that I had the surgery.”
Jason’s surgeon, Dr. Paul Robinson at Intermountain Healthcare Hospital in American Fork, Utah, confirmed to TODAY that he performed the operation on Jason. He added that Jason’s reaction was unusual, but not impossible. Robinson was not in the room when the video was shot.
The couple plans to save the video as a keepsake, and Candice might break it out as a reminder of Jason’s love during marital arguments.
“We’re just surprised how viral it’s gone so fast, but everyone we’ve showed it to just loved it as much as we did,’’ Candice said. “(We’ll) bring out for remembrance, and show it to our kids some day.”
“That will be some good leverage (for Candice),’’ Jason joked.