Celebrity Death Jokes

What will it take to get a Beatles reunion? Two bullets.

On Friday, an old acquaintance that I used to work with lost his older brother, who had been fighting a rather aggressive brain tumour for the last 15 years. I heard the news via Facebook, when my friend posted an old picture of his family, along with a beautiful message that made me cry. He was clearly a fighter. I, along with several hundred others, sent him a message of condolence.

I’ve never met his brother. If I’m being truthful, I didn’t even know he had a brother, let alone a brother that was fighting a serious illness. However, it didn’t stop me from feeling sympathy for him – I have two younger sisters and despite having a very complicated relationship with them I couldn’t possibly imagine what life would be like if something happened to one of them.

What’s the opposite of Christopher Reeves? Christopher Walken.

On Friday a helicopter crashed into a pub in Glasgow. To date, nine people have lost their lives. It’s an extremely tragic situation and my heart goes out to all of those involved and their families. Messages and donations have been pouring in from all over the world and service crews are still working hard to recover any further bodies that may still be in the rubble of the building.

Yesterday morning I awoke to the news that Paul Walker, star of the ‘Fast and the Furious’ film franchise, had been killed in a horrific car crash.

At only 40 years old, he was, by all accounts, in his prime. He was a father, had developed a successful career, was a passionate marine biologist and dedicated lots of his time with his humanitarian aid team, REACH OUT worldwide to offer his help in places such as Haiti and Chile. In fact, he had just left a charity event for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan when his car crashed and burst into flames, killing him and his friend, Roger Rodas. Roger was a successful businessman, working at the Bank of America for twenty years. He was also active within several charities, loved racing and co-owned a car repair shop with Paul.

Paul Walker dies at 40? I’d say at least 95.

Over recent years the news of a death of a celebrity often follows a particular pattern that I find quite disturbing. After the death is announced, social media sites will generally trend with heartfelt messages. Montage – based YouTube videos are uploaded. Collages are created, usually made up of still from their most famous films. After a while silly, antagonistic messages start to creep in – usually these are childish statements that are designed to upset the younger generations who haven’t yet learnt to ignore the trolls. Messages that were meant to express a feeling of sympathy become viscious arguments. Finally, the jokes begin, because the notion of celebrity almost creates a ‘no holds barred’ image – their lives, and their deaths, have become public property, and I find this extremely sad.

What’s the difference between February and Amy Winehouse? February makes it to 28!

While I am usually able to shrug lots of things off, it is this aspect of humanity that is one of my biggest annoyances. The irony of the way in which Paul Walker died was not lost on me, but at no point do I feel it is appropriate to start telling jokes about it and today I’ve witnessed some really disgusting messages. I never met him or Mr Rodas, in the same way that I had never met my friend’s brother. However, I wonder what the reaction would have been if I sent a message to my friend that mocked the way in which his brother died, or if I’d have tweeted the families of those lost in the helicopter tragedy with a joke.

What it is important to remember is that each person is a human being, regardless of their status. Paul Walker may have been famous, but his daughter will spend this Christmas without her father, and instead of sending ridiculous messages to each other we need to treat it with the appropriate respect.

Some people should be ashamed of themselves…


26 thoughts on “Celebrity Death Jokes

  1. My wife’s best friend was killed in a car accident last night, mere hours after we read the news about Paul Walker, bringing it very close to home for us.

    Tongue in cheek…after reading this post I feel kinda bad for all the jokes I laughed at and repeated as a schoolboy on the occasion of Princess Diana’s death.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss… What an awful situation! I was going to mention Princess Diana but it’s something that usually sparks a huge row… Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. It’s sad that people don’t recognize that there are grieving families behind these celebrities. We should do better than to treat these people like nothing but punchlines.

  3. I so agree with you. There is a lack of common decency and empathy that is positively heartbreaking. His poor daughter no longer has a daddy, and that’s the long and short of it.

  4. I would whole-heartedly agree that respect should be given….and, of course, some people can’t resist being a troll. I wasn’t necessarily even aware of this man’s career, as I didn’t watch his films. However, the loss of anyone…especially a husband and a father, resonates even more deeply. I certainly don’t have any problem with being respectful, but I can also understand that it bothers some that celebrities seem to tacitly rank higher than everyone else. I’m not saying that their losses are any less significant or meaningful, but lives of those who fill roles outside of Hollywood can seem lost in the din of their obituaries. Everyday, there are men, women and children lose their lives and their loved ones face the loss of someone important to them. I’m sure we’ve all lost those close to us that weren’t fortunate enough to be known and loved by the masses for who they were. Just sayin’.

    The emphasis of celebrity loss becomes even more hard to palate when they indulge in dangerous or risky activities.Regardless of level of fame, income or notoriety; we are all subject to consequences of our behavior. While this can apply to operating a vehicle safely, it can also apply to substance abuse. I’m not sure if the mind-set of celebrity is at-risk of believing the hype around their fame…or they don’t like being told no….or think nothing can happen to them, but we are all subject to risk. Take on enough risk and the consequences may not be all that pleasant. Unfortunately, accidents can happen….and, as it’s been stated, we should be respectful that we manage our grief in our own ways.

  5. This is a great post, Suzie. Very well said. I lost my best friends in 2012 and 2013. The first one died of leukemia and I never knew he suffered from that deadly disease until the day he died when his father told me. The other one, who just passed away recently, took his life away. They both were lovely and good. RIP, buddies!

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. My partner lost his best friend and his father last year and it was a truly heartbreaking and horrific time. Thanks so much for your comment!

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