This Close To Home cartoon illustrates a little-considered option for funding a funeral: sponsorship. Check out the sponsors on this person’s casket: Genesis Gym, Upstate Cardiology Associates, Health Star Vitamins, Delta Skin Care and Ever-N-Ever Embalming Fluid. “The advertising paid for all of the burial costs,” says one woman to another.
It just goes to show, you can eat right, work out and pamper your skin, and you’re still going to die.
The idea of advertising to pay for a funeral was explored in the 2001 Chinese comedy film, Big Shot’s Funeral. Donald Sutherland plays a film director who has a stroke while in China, but he doesn’t die – yet. An enterprising young man auctions off the rights to advertising exposure at the director’s eventual funeral, anticipating all the attention the event will get.
World famous film director Don Tyler is surrounded by hundreds of costumed extras in China’s fantastic Forbidden City when a creative drought hits and he has no idea where to turn the camera. Tossed off the picture by his studio boss, Tyler’s depression is only relieved by his unlikely friendship with down-on-his-luck cameraman YoYo.
Knowing he’s not well, Tyler asks his friend to plan a “comedy funeral” for him where people leave feeling happy, as they do at Chinese funerals of the elderly. When Tyler eventually falls into a coma, YoYo begins the task of granting Tyler’s last wish.
However, when the costs of his spectacular funeral spin wildly out of control, can YoYo hold it all together by selling prime ad space at this unique event to be televised around the world? And more importantly for YoYo, can he convince Tyler’s lovely assistant Lucy that he isn’t just selling Tyler out to the highest bidder?
That’s the world of BIG SHOT’S FUNERAL: a zany, satiric comedy capturing the dizzy excitement and whirlwind change of modern-day China.