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.

“A Comedian Walks Into A Funeral Home by Dennis Kelly is a laugh-out-loud comedy with an unusual plot that engages your interest from the first chapter. The humor is witty and intelligent. Each of the characters, even the minor ones, has great backstories which explain their actions as the story progresses. This is evident especially with the main character Vince; his Masters in Philosophy highlights how he analyzes and overthinks each situation and his constant negative inner dialogue. The dialogue is sharp and perfectly highlights the personalities of the characters. This exchange was superb: “If you were dead, lying in a casket, what would you want people to say about you?” “That’s easy. ‘He’s still moving.’” There is plenty of action, drama, and many personal obstacles for Vince to overcome which brings fantastic tension and layers to the story. I loved the twist towards the end regarding Vince's family history. There is also a very compelling exploration into grief, death, and the afterlife which I found extremely comforting. The relationship between Vince and Winona was developed beautifully. This is a brilliant story with thought-provoking subject matter and clever humor around usually dark issues.”

— Readers Favorite Review