A Comedian Walks into a Funeral Home

Death had always been a serious matter until Vince Locker, a deadbeat dad and failed comedian with a philosophy degree, unexpectedly lands in a funeral home. Although beyond social norms, he seizes on a quick cash fix to meet his child support demands—comedic tributes for the dead. 

The eulogies are hilarious and off the wall—sometimes disastrous and sometimes enlightening.

The tributes also bring to light a painful realization. Vince is in search of closure in his own life, something he was denied when his father mysteriously disappeared twenty years earlier. 

Closure also seems unavailable to mortuary client, Riva O’Malley, a young, unclaimed, indigent murder victim.  Vince is inexplicably drawn into O’Malley’s life and feels compelled to tell her story. 

In pursuit of clues to O’Malley’s past, Vince is dragged into the dark underworld of the funeral industry, life insurance scams, savage politics, a kidnapping and threats against his daughter and ex-wife. In the end, the trail takes an unexpected turn that illuminates both his father’s disappearance and O’Malley’s tragic story. All the while, Vince harbors a dream that burns within, of making it big time as a comedian.

Praise and Reviews

"An exclusive peek into the obsessive compulsion that drive comedians to make strangers laugh under some of the darkest and most unusual circumstances. A hilarious story with heart felt honesty that reveals the best kind of comedy is always rooted somewhere in tragedy. Highly recommended!"

★ — Jim Gaffigan / Actor, Comedian, Best Selling Author of Dad is Fat and Food, A Love Story

“A premise that carries the plot through wonderfully absurdist situations…from a stand-up tribute for a deceased pornographer; to a eulogy in which the remains are contained in a vacuum cleaner bag … and a podcast while sitting next to the body. The style of Kelly’s work is both stand-up comedy and classic detective fiction. A quirky and grimly humorous tale.”

★ — Kirkus Review

"Comedy for the dead. Talk about a tough crowd... An intelligent, laugh-out-loud, twisted story that grips you from the start and never lets go. I loved it and so will you!!!"

★ — Louie Anderson, Comedian, Actor, Author

"Come along for a lightning-fast mystery ride, driven by colorful characters through sordid comedy clubs, funeral homes and hairpin turns. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll set up your will."

★ — Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration and Breaker

“In comedy, Kelly knows if you don’t risk going too far, you’ll never go far enough. Pain, suffering, death, it’s dark stuff. But darkness has always been where the richest humor is mined.”

★ — TD Mischke / The Mischke Roadshow

“If you believe that the summation of life should be left to someone whose mission is to recruit souls rather than reveal yours, this novel will infuriate you. If you believe your life story should include the twisted, off the wall, harebrained material that is uniquely you, this novel will make you laugh.”

★ — Amazon Review

“I can attest that behind the curtain comedians are an unsettled group, and Kelly nails it. Sit back, relax, turn off the TV and social media and enjoy the shadowy world of those who lust for success and find themselves unrequited!”

★ — Jeff Gerbino, A Founding Father of Minnesota Comedy

"Kelly captures the authenticity of stand-up comedy and infuses it with cinematically intense scenes, tension and colorful characters. There’s even a group eulogy event.”

★ — Patrick Strait, author of Funny Thing About Minnesota