'Breaking Bad' fake funeral draws fans, controversy
The eulogy drew cheers but not everybody was happy about a mock funeral for Breaking Bad character Walter White, which drew more than 200 pretend-mourners to an Albuquerque-area cemetery Saturday.
The show, filmed in Albuquerque, recently ended its run after five seasons. White, a fictional chemistry teacher who became a drug kingpin, died in the last episode.
Relatives of several people buried at Sunset Memorial Park said they thought it was disrespectful and inappropriate to hold the mock funeral at a real cemetery.
“My son is buried about 15 yards from where the makeshift gravesite is,” Manuel Montano said. “This is a place of mourning.”
The funeral raised money through donations for a program that helps the homeless.
Organizers said they mean no disrespect to those with real loved ones buried at the cemetery, and general Manager Vaughn Hendren said the cemetery agreed to allow the funeral only after being assured the mock headstone can be removed if it becomes an attraction.
“We are a cemetery first and foremost. Our allegiance lies with our families that have allowed us to bury their loved ones here,” he said.
The eulogy was given by Michael Flowers, set decorator for the show.
“We all need closure,” Flowers told the assemblage. “The show is over — and what the hell are we going to do on Sunday nights?”
The funeral followed a procession led by a Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies; the tan, beat-up RV made famous in the show; a hearse; and then fans’ vehicles. The procession shut down streets and took 10 minutes to pass.
Nick Gerlich, from Amarillo, Texas, said the funeral gave him “closure, I guess, in a strange kind of way. A way of paying respects to someone you feel like you know really well.”
Albuquerque resident Vicki Kowal said it was “good and befitting” to have the funeral.
“The show was shocking and twisted and amazing, and it had that psychological connection,” she said.
Walter White descends into the criminal underworld.