January 7, 2007

Last week, while I was back in Massachusetts, I spent an afternoon with my friend Pasquale eating Italian food and kibitzing over a bottle of chianti. As is common whenever we get together, the talk turned to politics and the news du jour – on this day, it was the death of President Ford. For some reason, we ended up on the topic of funerals and Paul happened to mention a friend of his who happens to enjoy attending funerals – in fact, the guy will check the death notices in the local paper to see if there’s anyone interesting who might have died recently, and if he’s got the time, he’ll attend the funeral service.

And that’s when the thought hit us both at the same time – that’s right, The Funeral Channel. I mean, look at the cable TV landscape out there. You have The Golf Channel, the Discovery Channel, The Leisure Channel, The Weather Channel, The Travel Channel, The Food Network, the Sci-Fi Channel, and various other kinds of channels and networks devoted to home repair, gardens, music, religion, medicine, arts, movies, pornography, and sports. But no “The Funeral Channel”. I know – I checked it out.

So what would programming on The Funeral Channel be like? Well, just think about its potential. How about start-to-finish coverage of funerals for any celebrity, politician, or notable person who dies, including retrospectives on their lives and commentary from those who knew them well. You could cover funerals of interesting people from small-town America, or those from different or interesting backgrounds, or those who died from highly-publicized tragedies. I’m not kidding – consider how the obituaries are often (and this is especially the case in my favorite newspaper, the New Orleans Times-Picayune) the most interesting and entertaining section of the local newspaper. People are, and always have been, fascinated by death, and I can’t think of a better (and more profitable) outlet for that fascination than The Funeral Channel.

Paul and I have it all figured out. The logo would be “The Funeral Channel” with the “F” and “L” capitalized on either side of a coffin, with the letters “unera” in lower case, resting on top of it. Advertising could and would be sold both nationally (life insurance companies are an obvious) and locally (funeral homes, law firms, cemetaries, and churches); because this is a niche that has yet to be filled, selling air time would be like taking candy from a baby. Then, imagine the interest that would surround the channel’s launch – I guarantee People, Us, and The Wall Street Journal would be banging down the door wanting to get interviews. Even if it were just for curiosity’s sake, there’s a natural, already-existing audience out there just waiting to tune in.

I know what you’re thinking – The Great White Shank has gone off his rocker. But I’m telling you, the idea could work, and big time. I just don’t how how much dinero it would take to get this idea off the launch pad. The only thing I know about launching cable television networks came from reading Raymond Arroyo’s biography of Mother Angelica, the founder of EWTN. In her case, it took a lot of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions): I mean, you need to pay for transponders, satellite space, bandwidth, studios and equipment, on-air talent, sales, marketing – the mind boggles. But believe me, this is an idea that could work, and a huge success just waiting to be fronted and funded.

Ahhh… the curse of being a genius and poor at the same time! If anyone out there has the dough and desire, or connections to the industry and some visionary investor, go ahead – have a whack at it. (Feel free to include or involve me.) I’m tellin’ ya, it’s as close to a sure thing as The Great White Shank pushing the ball left on his tee ball. Just do me a favor, though – after you’ve made your first million in profit, remember the guy who gave you the idea and helped make it all possible for you.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:15 | Comments (8)
  1. I like this idea, GWS. I know people who pore over the obituaries every day. The Funeral Channel could show Six Feet Under reruns at night to fill in the gaps. Those annoying cemetery plot salespeople could maybe advertise there and leave me alone. I’ll pitch in $20 to help you get it off the ground, GWS.

    Comment by Rob — January 7, 2007 @ 7:33 am

  2. There’s a funeral today in Dallas for the Cowboys. Man, the possibilities are endless.

    Comment by Rob — January 7, 2007 @ 7:36 am

  3. All over the map on a dreary CrabAppleLane Sunday

    Can I just say that those two playoff games yesterday were two of the sloppiest games I’ve ever seen? Furthermore, that second one in Seattle was wildly entertaining. I’m mystified by both games. The Chiefs, with their big bruising running back, couldn…

    Trackback by CrabAppleLane Blog — January 7, 2007 @ 9:31 am

  4. You know, you might just have something here. If you needed filler you could do features on cemeteries and the more interesting markers or people buried there. What a cool idea.

    Comment by Dave E. — January 7, 2007 @ 11:40 am

  5. Thanks for the comments Dave and Rob. We know where we’d go to get good ideas for cemetaries (right, Dave?), and I hadn’t mentioned it in my post, but Paul was thinking along Rob’s line about running episodes of Six Feet Under. I guess geniuses think alike. Now, we just a need that sugar daddy.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 7, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

  6. …and I guess we can add New Jork Jets and K.C. Chiefs fans to this list of mourners…

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 7, 2007 @ 3:29 pm

  7. And think of the businesses that would be killing themselves (!) to advertise with “The Funeral Channel”. Local funeral homes, florists, cemetaries, etc. Also all of the healthcare / drug companies trying to delay the inevitable ending. Lock this up, it’s pure genius!

    Comment by Anonymous — January 8, 2007 @ 9:19 am

  8. You might have something there on “The Funeral Channel”. Unfortunately the media only acknowledges dignitaries. Just think of alll the people that watched Reagan, Kennedy, Ford and other funerals.

    I think its a good idea.

    Comment by Cubby — January 9, 2007 @ 11:15 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info