Sunday, November 15, 2009

David Lloyd is dead

The Emmy Award-winning TV comedy writer, who died last week of prostate cancer, penned scripts for "The Bob Newhart Show," "Phyllis," "Rhoda," "Lou Grant," "Taxi," "Cheers" and "Frasier." But he was best known for writing the hilarious "Mary Tyler Moore" episode "Chuckles Bites the Dust."

As an obit writer, I have always enjoyed this humorous look at death and impromptu tributes. In honor of Mr. Lloyd, I offer this video clip of his masterpiece:

Monday, November 02, 2009

Paid Obits from 2008

Dear Obituary writers et al:

Alana mentioned that I would be posting, so here goes:

I'm a public radio producer working on an end-of-year obit series for NPR's All Things Considered. We hope the series will acknowledge deaths from this past year -- as well as the people who memorialized these deaths. As part of the series, we will be doing a segment on paid obits -- read by the people who wrote them. I'm interested in hearing from all of you about your favorite paid obits from this year. If you noticed some that stood out, I'd be grateful if you could send them to me at

Thanks so much for your time.



Sunday, November 01, 2009

A sign of the times

Some people spend their whole lives vying for fame. To get your name up in lights in Iowa, all you have to do is die.

The Iles Funeral Home in Des Moines is now offering electronic obituaries on area billboards. The digital announcements last about 8 seconds and feature the deceased person's name, picture and service details as well as the funeral home's Web site. The extra service is offered at no charge.