TV and Movies

“Best Funeral Ever” Might Be My Newest Guilty Pleasure

I didn’t have any intentions of watching the TLC’s newest show Best Funeral Ever because it just sounded like a hot mess to me. But last night, Angel Laws and Joanna Simkin were live-tweeting it and I was pulled in. And they told me I needed to watch it because it’s all the ratchetness I’d love. Angel said it was drama, funerals and BBQ sauce. And she hooked me. So I DVRed it and watched it.

Best Funegro Ever might be my newest guilty pleasure. Unlike the other ratchet shows, this one has an underlying great message. The show is all about sending people to the Golden Gates of Glory in style, giving their families one last chance to really celebrate their lives. Under all the ratchet, it’s really kinda sweet.

The show is about a Black-owned funeral home in Dallas, Texas, called Golden Gates. They pride themselves on over the top homegoings, sending people off in style and fulfilling any wishes of family members. Their motto is “You may be in a casket but it can still be fantastic.” HA1

Golden Gates is run by John Beckwith Jr., an older gentleman with a penchant for loud suits, and employs a large staff of interesting funeral planners. One of them is a neck-swerving dude named Trendnard, who seems to enjoy the use of crisco in his hair, which is slicked down and greasier than ever. Then we got E, a too-sensitive chick who doesn’t get along with Trendnard even though they gotta work together often. There’s B3, Mr. Beckwith’s son, and Shondrea, who rocks a gold tooth in one of her front teeth. Chile… the characters.

Within the first 10 minutes of the show, I was already unable to handle to foolery and was cackling like a cartoon. In came a woman named Shirley, who was burying her brother, Wolf. His legacy is being the dude who sang the Chilli’s Baby Back Ribs jingle. They came up with the idea to have a BBQ-themed funeral for him, to truly honor his memory.

And then we were introduced to the professional mourners and I just bouta hollered. They are a group of people who take classes to become better at crying on command at other people’s funerals. They “help the family get started.” And they even practice techniques of sobbing and grieving. When one of them demonstrated the “Tornado Roll” I wanted to fall out my chair.

LMAOOOOOOOOO!!! This dude hit his Tazmanian Devil ALL over the pews!!! iCan’t. Who is doing that at funerals??? What if there are other people sitting next to him? What in the world?

Whooooo! I tell you.

At the BBQ-themed funeral held in a barn, they had this man in a BBQ grill casket. And there was a barbecue sauce fondue fountain. And they sang “Chilli’s baby back ribs” as they carried his BBQ grill casket.

BBQ grill funeral

And the person doing his eulogy was in a chef hat. And he ended his kind words with “I don’t know about anybody else but I want my baby baby baby back ribs!” Then to give real honor, the family dipped ribs in the sauce fountain and took a bite in a touching ceremony. FOR WOLF. What if someone in the family was a vegetarian? Would it be disrespect to turn it down? I had questions but no answers. The family was TURNT UP and had a good time for Wolf.

The other funerals they had were just as ocrazy. There was the Christmas-themed one for a man who loved, well, Jesus’ birthday. So the reverend put on a Santa costume, they brought the casket down the aisles in a sleigh and there was a manger with live animals. As they preached and eulogized the deceased, fake snow started falling from the ceiling. And one professional mourner was hot stepping in the pews for her life. People were all touched in the spirit in the midst of the tacky decorations. It was nice. O_O

best funeral ever

Then we had the Carnival funeral, for Jerry, a man who had spina bifida. He loved the fair but could never go on any of the rides since he was wheelchair-bound all his life. So they cremated him and decided to take his ashes (in an urn) to the state fair for a day and get on all the rides. I just hoped Jerry ain’t end up all over the coasters. Thankfully he didn’t. They played ring toss with the urn, took it for bumper cars (Lawd), and even went down slides with it. I was nervous but all was well. The family got the closure they needed and Jerry got to “have the time of his eternal life” according to Pastor Eaton.

Yes. This show is foolery and I’m appalled and amazed and I think I love it. TLC’s clearly in the ratchet TV game now, with Honey Boo Boo and now this.

Did y’all watch it? Lemme know whatcha thought. Also, I SEE YOU, TEXAS!

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  1. January 7, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I am sad to announce I am born and raised in Dallas and have frequented Golden Gate before….but let me just say none of this was occurring!

    • Bre
      January 11, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Don’t be sad Shanita, I’m from Dallas, too. Still live here in fact and not once have I ever attended a funeral at Golden Gate that was anything other than ordinary. I have half a mind to believe its staged, but IDK maybe everyone we know that had a funeral there had some common sense about them.

  2. Natasha
    January 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    It’s the foolery we all love to hate,I rolled the entire hour!

  3. Jaz
    January 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Luvvie, what is spina difida? LOL did you just create a disease? I watched it with my mom and we laughed so hard.

    • January 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Spina bifida is real, doe! I ain’t make that up.

    • dee
      January 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      it is a real disease, i think I read somewhere that Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari parker’s daughter has that.

      • TeeNikki
        January 8, 2013 at 12:50 am

        *putting on my special educator hat* Spinal bifida is a congenital (aka, a baby is born with it) condition that affects a baby’s spine, in which the spinal cord had not fully developed, causing a hole in the vertebrae. In the mild form, the defect is under the skin and the child won’t have many, if any syptoms. In other forms, there can be increasing issues, such as paralysis or fluid in the brain requiring a shunt. The defect occurs in utero and can be detected through ultrasound and genetics testing. *taking off special educator hat until 8:00 am*

        • Ty
          January 8, 2013 at 5:25 am

          (From another SpEducator)

        • HowlingBanshee
          January 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

          One of my high school buddies has SB. She uses leg braces and those canes with the handles on them to get around. She was (still is) cool as Alaska could supershade anybody who tried to clown her distinctive walk. Dang, now I’ve gotta message her on Facebook and let her know I’m thinking about her.

    • Mel
      January 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

      I am pretty sure that child Prince had with his wife had it too.

      • emti
        January 8, 2013 at 11:41 am

        no…Prince’s child had Pfeiffer’s Syndrome a deformity of the head

  4. Deekie Mack
    January 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    So Golden Gate is down the street from my house and I feel like I been gyped for never have been able to experience this type of service with them! I was so sick when I started watching this show, but when I tell you laughter is the best medicine?? I did the tornado roll on my couch when it was over. I’m also unemployed, and seriously considering applying for their next professional mourner position. I am so done!

    Oh, and in case you didn’t know, Golden Gate held the official funeral for the State Fair of Texas mascot Big Tex when he died in an electrical fire this October. Get you some for this fictional character boo!!!

    • TacD
      January 8, 2013 at 5:40 am

      i don’t know what bothered me more, the funeral for the character OR the fact that there was a woman who was “married” to him there at the services so sincere in her grief :/

  5. BSerious
    January 8, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I feel kinda bad, but I loved the show. I hate (not that anyone should or really does love) funerals. Hate them with a passion, but I’d go to one of those as long as they keep the casket closed.

  6. L.A
    January 8, 2013 at 7:02 am

    A pathetic waste of time it was.. Reminds me of what the Lord said about those that pray loud in the Synagogs and streets (math 6 vs 5-6) .. He called them hypocrites for showing off in front of people with that clowning.what the heck is a “professional mourner”??? Complete foolishness..When will people stop playing with God?? Sad!!

    • lisa
      January 8, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      Professional mourners are also in the bible since we are quoting scripture amos 5 16 and Jeremiah 9 17 ordained by God…check it out..if we actually listen to what is being said its actually informative and we must remember these are real families who really lost someone and this is how they wanted to celebrate their life.

      • L.A
        January 10, 2013 at 7:43 am

        You are misinformed on Amos 5-16..Its speaking of a people who are imploring mercy from Gods pending wrath on them and the same is spoken of in Jeremiah 9-17..if you read the whole chapter you’d know that..that was no reality show profit and entertainment was thousands pleading for their lives..also your use of the word “ordained” is was instructed for that place and time , not for a continuum of people being paid to clown at must be a professional mourner (i cant imagine why anybody would wanna be one) but you should learn scripture if you’re gonna quote it !!

        • A.P.2
          January 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

          teach them L.A. i mean really how are you going to quote scripture when you dont know it? or only do bits and peices to fit what you are trying to say? umm honey it dont work like that. people are going to learn to stop playing with God… but then it will be to late…

        • L.A
          January 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

          Exactly A.P.2 !! Using bits and pieces to fit their twisted perspective or agenda.. Get educated and stop playing with God !!

  7. That Dude
    January 8, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I know Phaedra was watching wondering if they stole her ideas…

    • FelicityR
      January 8, 2013 at 8:59 am

      This was my first thought, lol.

  8. MJG
    January 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

    My family is so upset about this show. Golden Gate has buried every single family member I can remember. On my mom AND dad’s side. The price of our funeral just went up. It’s too bad too, they already had the directions to our burial plot in East Texas.

    Glad to know my granny wasn’t the only one with a dramatic funeral at that home.

    • GoldenLady00
      January 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      Same here. Golden Gate has buried everybody on both sides of my family. I don’t know how to feel about this. I thought the Big Tex funeral was a bit much, but I had no idea they were doing all THIS!! I might have to increase my life insurance policy if I want them to handle my BASIC arrangements! They were already a little pricey!

  9. Keandra
    January 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Im from fort worth, texas and this show is so embarrassing. I havent watched and dont plan on watching it. This is scripted. Ive been to this funeral home and know folks from dallas but i have never seen or heard of this foolishness. They will do some crazy things with bodies here but this show is pushing it. I dont believe any of it is true. Ratchet makes money i guess…think if all the hungry homeless folks that could use that money or texas education system…this type of foolishness is frustrating

  10. Elle Monee
    January 8, 2013 at 10:37 am

    The praise dancers with the brontosaurus ribs. I just…that done it for me.

  11. Jabari
    January 8, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Chile, when the Good LAWDT takes me home, I wants them to do my funegro and do it right!!!!!!! #TheFooleryIsReal

  12. Erin
    January 8, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I won’t be watching this show because I think funerals should be classy and respectful. But I have to admit that I HOLLERED when I saw that pic of the BBQ grill casket with the chef pallbearers. LOL @ SMH.

  13. Lacie
    January 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    So… Im addicted to Honey Boo Boo and fell upon Best Funeral Ever. My mouth DROPPED!!!! You hear me… DROPPED!!!! I felt bad for laughing but I couldn’t help it. LOL This is my new favorite show. Like who comes up with this??? I can’t wait for next week!!!!!

  14. B
    January 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Interestingly this concept of providing “wacky” and over the top funerals is not new. Ghanaians have been doing it for a while too.

  15. January 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Welp! John Beckwith, Jr. knows how to make money that’s all I can say.

  16. HBSQ1
    January 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    What they probably didn’t tell you…what is now Golden Gate Funeral Home, used to be a Luby’s. (A cafeteria style restaurant in the South)

    ~Born and bred in Dallas

  17. Von
    January 9, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I mean…hey. Who am I to judge how a family celebrates a person’s life, especially if that’s what they would have wanted? So, I’m not hating on them, but–WHOO! That totally gave me my daily ratchet fix, lol.

    Big question: Dude sang the Chilli’s theme song, but…how we know he liked ribs like that in real life, lol? For all we know, he could be looking down like, “What the hell…? That jingle was a JOB, man! I sang the song, got my money & went the fugg home…slow DOWN, y’all!” LOL

  18. Lola's Mambo
    January 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    When one of them demonstrated the “Tornado Roll” I wanted to fall out my chair.

    RIP Lola’s Mambo – 1/9/13

  19. Janaye
    January 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I only watched 5 mins and could take no more! I was born & raised in Dallas, and I’m ashamed! I had always heard that Golden Gate was where people went for inexpensive funerals because they offered lower rates & payment plans & such. I’m sure that’s not the case now. Somebody got to pay for those professional mourners :-/. We don’t use Golden Gate in my family. We coon enough in real life; we try to send out people off quietly and with dignity & class.

  20. Joyce
    January 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    Jaz-You really played yourself & your mom when you made that ignorant remark about SB being a made up disease. It’s a very serious disease and there is nothing funny about it. I was embarrassed for you both. I am a TLC junkie & came upon this show by chance as there had been no promos for it in my area, nor was it in our local listings. I have to say it was over the top, but hilarious. I will probably watch it again. I have to admit I too thought about Phaedra Parks & Willie Watkins.