By Annie Barrett
Updated December 03, 2013 at 06:13 AM EST

“We are gathered here today to reunite these two urns in holy matrimony….”

TLC’s Best Funeral Ever chronicles the unbelievably absurd workflow of the Dallas-based Golden Gate funeral home — Monday’s series premiere saw caskets roll down a bowling alley and across the finish line of a 100-meter dash, plus a gospel choir-infused “breakfast funeral” and a well-beyond-creepy “urn wedding” (pictured), in which Baptismal couture elegantly replaced the tux and white dress of a traditional living-person affair.

I’m sure the ridiculata presented below will make some people rage — “Reality TV has gone too far! Oh, how America has fallen!” PLEASE. Whatever. America toppled over long ago; we’re just obsessively filming the wreckage these days. Like it or not, urns are tying the knot with or without our viewership.

As for Golden Gate CEO John Beckwith Jr. and his congregation’s worth of employees, I say what the hell — why shouldn’t these particular loons cash out on TLC? All the other loons are doing it!

*Funereal Highlights*

Funeral 1: How is this not totally sweet?! Judy loved to bowl, okay?


Funeral 2: Everyone in the audience except Darrell and Terria Jenkins’ son, Michael, is trying not to laugh as their urns are walked down the aisle. (It’s not clear how, or how long ago, Michael’s parents died, but the timing seems to have coincided nicely with Michael’s kid-in-a-candy-shop desire to be on TV.)

“My mom and dad had a great time,” says Michael, and I think aw, that’s sweet, they lived a great life together. But Michael means today! At their urn wedding! Of note: His parents have recently transformed from urns into chocolate figurines of urns.

Has this all been an elaborate ruse so Michael can stage his own dream wedding to his sister? Who can say? Not those chocolate urns, that’s for sure.


Funeral 3 is for Quinton, who loved breakfast so much he ate it three times a day. (Hmmmm…and then he died.) Ladies dress as sunny-side-up eggs while the gentlemen present their Sunday best: They’re pancake stacks. It’s a spirited affair that clearly calls for…


A gospel choir sings the following culinary hymnal, which nearly moves me to tears because I just get it, you know? Breakfast is definitely the best three meals of the day.




Bacon and eggs

And it’s all mine.



Eating breakfast in the morning time.

What a healthy thing that sits before my eyes!

Eating breakfast in the morning time.

I love Quinton’s grandmother Sandra’s reaction as the preacher urges the mourners in the morning time to “throw a little sausage on the side!”


Finally, in Funeral 4, the casket of Olympic gold medalist Ronnie Ray Smith (part of the 1968 4 x 100-meter relay) somehow crosses the finish line first, even though all signs pointed to that garage store go-kart finishing in third place against three able-bodied racers. They totally let him win. Oh my God. This is all such a ridiculous mess, I can barely handle it. But just like Ronnie, I press on and keep whizzing around the track of happy tears — and I love it!

What funeral would be complete without a medal ceremony? #CrumpledCorpse

Special shout-out to funeral planners E and Trendnard — because of their names, obviously, but also for their insistence on turning other people’s funerals into their own Sexy Costume galas (angel and solid-gold Olympic torch-bearer, respectively).

I can’t remember ever laughing this hard at a reality show. (And I’ve seen Dancing With the Stars!)

Did anyone else tune in? Are you horrified? Delighted? Hungry?