The last laugh
Everyone is born. Everyone dies. It’s only the stuff that happens in the middle that makes us unique. Most tombstones either skip over that part entirely or offer mere platitudes about the person buried below. With every life reduced to a name and two dates, is it any wonder cemeteries can be so depressing? Occasionally, however, a tombstone offers a clue or two about who someone was and how they impacted the people in their lives – and often, the result is heartwarmingly hilarious.
That’s all, folks
The great voiceover artist Mel Blanc, who voiced Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Pie, Sylvester, and many other popular cartoon characters, was also the voice of Looney Tunes’ ubiquitous sign-off, “The-the-the-that’s all folks.” When Blanc died in 1989, his family made sure that all future generations who came upon his tombstone would know exactly what he was famous for in life. Not only does it say “That’s All Folks” in quotation marks, but it also refers to Blanc as the “man of a thousand voices,” as well as a “beloved husband and father.”
The final commercial break
Are you obsessed with trying to answer the Jeopardy! questions that stump everyone? You have Merv Griffin to thank for that. The host of the eponymously titled talk show, which aired from 1962 to 1986, also created Wheel of Fortune. Biography calls him “America’s ultimate showman, one who knew what audiences wanted and made it his life’s work to entertain.” It’s said he often joked that he wanted one particular phrase inscribed on his tombstone: “I will not be right back after this message.” That’s precisely what he got.