After living their lives in the spotlight, these artists and celebrities delivered one final piece of humor on their headstone.
John Belushi – “I may be gone but Rock and Roll lives on”
One of the seven original cast members of NBC’s Saturday Night Live show, John Belushi went on to have a hit career, often teaming up with Dan Aykroyd.
His professional life was marred by his drug use, and he ended up dying at only 33 years old after an overdose. The words placed on his gravestone reflect his wild style of living.
Sadly, Belushi’s remains had to be removed after fans littered his grave with empty bottles in an attempt to pay their respects in a manner that they believed he would have appreciated.
Jack Lemmon – “In”
A famous American actor and musician, Jack Lemmon starred in over sixty films and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, winning it twice for Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor.
His funeral was kept private, but it was attended by stars such as Shirley MacLaine, Gregory Peck, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Since acting was such a huge part of Lemmon’s life, it seems a fitting tribute that his gravestone reads like the opening titles of a film in which he’s starring.
Mel Blanc – “That’s all, folks!”
Mel Blanc provided the iconic voices for many characters during the golden age of American animation. Nicknamed “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” he brought to life many Loony Toons characters, including Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, and Porky Pig.
In tribute to this talented man, his headstone incorporates a famous phrase regularly spoken by Porky Pig to signify the end of a cartoon.
Jackie Gleason – “And away we go!”
Another trademark TV catchphrase to appear on a gravestone is that of Jackie Gleason. Affectionately known by those in the industry as “The Great One,” he is perhaps best known for the CBS sitcom The Honeymooners.
Gleason originally used the phrase “And away we go!” to end the sponsorship section of the introduction before launching into the episode itself. However, the phrase became synonymous with him and was eventually included on the steps leading up to his mausoleum.
Merv Griffin – “I will not be right back after this message.”
As well as hosting his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show, this media mogul created Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, both of which became be hugely popular with audiences.
When his talk show reached its end in 1986, Griffin ended the final episode with the words that would be later inscribed on his tombstone.
Robert Frost – “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”
During his lifetime, American poet Robert Frost won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry four times. In 1960, he was also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his poetic works.
Today, he might share a grave with others, but the words engraved below his name make sure that it’s Robert Frost everyone will remember after visiting.
Rodney Dangerfield – “There goes the neighborhood”
The humor of Rodney Dangerfield was always very self-deprecating, and he became famous for his snappy one-liners.
When he had to undergo heart surgery in August 2004, he was asked how long he’d be in hospital for, to which he quipped: “If all goes well, about a week. If not, about an hour and a half.”
When it came to choosing an epitaph, Fate intervened. On the day of his death, the randomly generated Joke of the Day on Dangerfield’s website was: “I tell ya I get no respect from anyone. I bought a cemetery plot. The guy said, ‘There goes the neighborhood!’”
Consequently, instead of using his usual catchphrase of “I don’t get no respect!” for his headstone, his wife went for this spookily final joke.
Robert Baden-Powell – trail sign for “gone home”
The grave of Robert and Olave Baden-Powell is a national monument. Robert was the founder and first Chief Scott of the worldwide Scout Movement. His wife Olave and his sister Agnes helped set up the Girl Guide/Girl Scout Movement.
It’s not the words on the joint Baden-Powell grave in Kenya that are special, but the fact that below them is a circle with a dot in the center, which is the Boy Scout trail sign meaning “I have gone home.”
I told you so…
Terence Allan “Spike” Milligan
Terence Allan “Spike” Milligan was a British-Irish actor, comedian, writer, musician, and poet. He was the co-creator, writer, and cast member of the hit British radio program The Goon Show.
His gravestone is in Irish, but the most famous part of it can be translated as: “I told you I was ill,” a phrase that exemplifies his style of humor.
Sir Tom Moore
In a tribute to Milligan’s genius, the army veteran and fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore asked that his epitaph read: “I told you I was old.”
The foremost creator of nonsense verse, Hilaire Belloc, once wrote:
“When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.”
Whether or not that poem was a genuine indication of what the poet hoped would be his epitaph, his gravestone ended up being famous not for his own words but because his name was misspelled in his wife’s inscription.
Penn and Teller – A living monument
For the magicians Penn and Teller, it’s not enough to wait until you’re dead to enjoy the humor of your epitaph.
A cenotaph in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Hollywood, reads: “Is this your card?” The duo purchased it so that they – and others – could appreciate it now.
George Carlin – A Suggested Epitaph
Allegedly, George Carlin suggested that his epitaph should read: “Jeez, he was just here a minute ago.” But not all great ideas come to pass as Carlin was cremated when he died and his ashes were scattered.