Don’t you wish the funerals you attend were like the funerals on television? In TV land, no funeral seems to be a boring affair you just can’t wait to get through. Sometimes funerals are funny and sometimes just very eventful. But one thing funerals almost never are on TV is solemn and gut-wrenching. And when they are, they tend to see hollow. As a Romnichal Gypsy, I can tell you that I attended more than my fair share of funerals as a kid. Heck, I even broke my thumb at a Gypsy funeral once. And even those three day wakes can’t compare to these memorable TV funerals.
Without question, the most memorable TV funeral for me is the funeral that took place on “Carter Country.” This Dixieland salute to the unexpected election of Pres. Carter was in no other way memorable, but so strong was the impact of the funeral episode of this sitcom that even though I only saw it once, it has stayed with me. To the point where I wrote an entire article about it which you can read by clicking here .
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The episode titled “Chuckles Bites the Dust” has routinely topped lists of funniest episodes of TV ever. Frankly, I don’t think it compares to the humor of the “Carter Country” funeral. What is supposed to be groundbreaking irreverence as Mary Richards finally succumbs to the inherent humor of a funeral for a clown just doesn’t carry the full sense of outrageous black humor as that moment on “Carter Country” when the play-by-play of a football game and the solemn eulogy for the dead person in the coffin coincide. You may think differently. Apparently, many do.
A funeral for woman who doesn’t exist whose death never took place. What could be more comedic a situation than that? An Eastern European immigrant has fallen in love with Henry Desmond’s female alter ego Hildy. When the crush starts getting serious enough to jeopardize the charade as well as potentially emotionally devastate the bewildered foreigner, the gang decide to fake Hildy’s death and throw a funeral. The fun in this funeral begins with the cause of death being hit by a comet and continues through a puppet show, some wild physical humor and a singing performance.
“Humbug” is an episode of “The X-Files” that may contain the most irreverent funeral scene to date. Of course, within the context of the carnival setting of “Humbug” the irreverence is a bit less than, say, the funeral for Chuckles. The violent and mysterious death of the Alligator Man brings together all the sideshow freaks who call the small Florida village their home away home. The weirdness of this memorable TV funeral commences with what looks like the dead man in the coffin attempting to climb back to the world of the living and ends with the hammering of a nail into nostril. And then all heck breaks loose.