A Humorous Look at Some Famous Lives (and Deaths)
By Chip Compton
On Feb. 24, revered character actor Abe Vigoda died. The subject of his death had been up for debate for more than 30 years, as pop culture aficionados would intermittently ask — usually after watching his performance in The Godfather — “Is Abe Vigoda still alive?” Two weeks ago, my Facebook News Feed was littered with stories about the passing of Don Knotts. The stories were some sort of hoax. That’s because Knotts died in 2006 — at least that’s what a Google search revealed. My point? While death is final, it doesn’t mean that it has to be without humor — especially if the person hasn’t actually died.
So for those of you who enjoyed “Writing an Out of Office Message — for the Last Time,” Britton Marketing & Design Group presents a death-themed (morbid, huh?) follow-up. Please enjoy this look at fake obituaries for some of those still with us, and at least one who is probably not (curse you, Game of Thrones’ creators!).
The intention of this post is to produce amusement and to point out what can be the silliness of life. It is in no way meant to have the reader reflect on existentialism. For that, I recommend reading Sartre or Nietzsche or Seuss.
Legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld died last Saturday night after being crushed by a tower of snark that toppled over on him during his set at Carolines in New York. The longtime funnyman struck gold with the eponymous ’90s TV sitcom Seinfeld, the revered show about “nothing.” Seinfeld was able to turn that nothing into approximately $800 million, or about 6.4 million pairs of Nikes. An expert at so-called observational comedy, Seinfeld’s bread and butter was “What’s the deal with — ?” As in, “What’s the deal with bread and butter?” Or airline peanuts or laundry or relationships, etc. Seinfeld is survived by 47 Porsches and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Larry David will deliver a halfhearted eulogy.
Previously thought to be indestructible, Superman fell victim to pneumonia over the weekend when he died at the age of, um … well … no one actually knows how old the big man was. The irony of the Man of Steel’s death is that it wasn’t Kryptonite or Lex Luthor that was his demise. He was flying over Indiana during an unpredictable winter and caught a chill that actually was “the death of him.” A longtime resident of Metropolis, Superman was admired for his actual superpowers of flight, speed, and strength — unlike Batman, who merely is a rich boy with a bunch of fancy toys. After the funeral service, a potluck will be held at the Justice League in his honor. Please contact Edna Mode to sign up.
Jim Gaffigan, comedian and bacon aficionado, died over the weekend after choking on a carrot stick. Gaffigan, hero to couch-potato schlubs the world over, usually touched no food that was plant-based, but the master of Hot Pocket humor was fooled by crudités, which he mistakenly thought were bacon-wrapped sausages. In addition to food, Gaffigan’s comedy focused on parenthood and how lazy he was. This triumvirate may have made him the most quintessential American comedian ever. Also an actor, Gaffigan’s last high-profile gig was as Colonel Sanders for KFC (these obituaries almost write themselves). Gaffigan will be eulogized at buffets the world over. Donations in his memory can be made to the Royal Bacon Society.
The 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch is dead (at least for the time being). Jon Snow, bastard son of Eddard Stark, was stabbed to death (the term death is relative in Game of Thrones) by his fellow members of the Night’s Watch after being labeled a traitor. The fatal wound was delivered by Olly (no last name; mysterious, huh?). Snow was a great fighter and virtually unstoppable with his Valyrian-steel sword. The sincere way in which he spoke — in his unmistakable baritone — inspired his men and sparked interest from his ginger flame, Ygritte. Snow won’t be remembered in any type of ceremony, but before the Night’s Watch throws him on the funeral pyre, look for the Red Priestess Melisandre to cast some kind of witchy spell and have him back on his feet in no time.
Axl Rose was welcomed to the jungle Monday evening after watching The Voice. The longtime partyer — and former William B. Rose — had given up going out at night years ago. Coincidentally, it was the same time that Rose was beat up by Tommy Hilfiger. During a life marked by volatility, rock-star success, volatility, debauchery, volatility, rock-star failure, and (you guessed it) volatility, Rose’s unmistakable shrieking and sidewinder dance filled a hole in middle schoolers for whom Sebastian Bach and David Coverdale just didn’t cut it. Now residing in Paradise City, Rose is survived by colleagues with equally cool sobriquets: Slash, Izzy, Duff, and Gilby.
The Academy Awards Ceremony
The Academy Awards ceremony, 88, died Feb. 28 during host Chris Rock’s cringe-worthy joke about Asians. The ceremony began foundering earlier in the evening when pseudocelebrity Stacey Dash was introduced as the Oscars’ “director of minority outreach.” The result of the “joke”? Crickets. The Academy Awards certainly had its moments, including David Niven’s witty remark in regard to a streaker in 1974, and Adrien Brody’s make-out session with Halle Berry in 2003. But the ceremony began its downward spiral in 1989, when Rob Lowe sang with Snow White. And after 2011’s Oscars — hosted by the wooden James Franco and Anne Hathaway — fell flat, doctors said there was no saving the long and storied exercise in self-congratulations. The Academy Awards leaves behind a lot of multimillionaire egomaniacs.
A Kardashian died last night, long after all of us had previously died a little bit from the family’s inexplicable fame. The Kardashian (one with dark hair), was not known for having any apparent talent — such as singing, dancing, acting, painting, writing, music, sports, cooking, gardening, knitting, crocheting, or cobbling — other than having her photo taken. A master at selling herself for fame, the Kardashian apparently died after a Botox injection, which she was administered in anticipation of her gajillionth photo post on Instagram. The Kardashian is survived by millions of dollars of shoes, clothing, and makeup. A gigantic and extremely public service will be held on all social media channels.
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots coach, passed away this week, apparently boring himself to death when he had even less to say than he does during the NFL season. A coaching genius (well, once he got away from the awful, awful Cleveland Browns and if we are going to use an extremely loose interpretation of the term genius, oh, and if we recognize that it is way easier to win when Tom Brady is your quarterback, as opposed to Todd Philcox), Belichick innovated several football tactics, including videotaping opposing teams’ signals and underinflating footballs to the Pats’ advantage. Belichick was electrifying in post-game press conferences, as reporters ate up such bon mots as “We’re getting ready for Cincinnati,” “Working the game plan,” and “We’re getting ready for Cincinnati.” Belichick will be laid to rest at the 35-yard line in his beloved cut-off hoodie.
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Photos: Helga Esteb, cjmacer, Featureflash Photo Agency, and Gascon J for Shutterstock, and Giphy