And let me wrap up things with his amazing story from longtime ProgRuin-ite Wayne, who left this remembrance in the comments for the one post I don’t have in my numbered links up there:
“Here’s [my true story]. I have no photos, because I am certain the funeral home in question did not want to be sued.“It was a gig I had for about two weeks in October of 1989. I was broke, ready to take any job. And I ended up dressing in a Keaton Batman-like suit and attending wakes and funerals in a suburb South of Chicago. The funeral home honestly thought that the kids would be less sad if they knew that whomever was in the casket was friends with Batman. No idea why ANY kid would believe that, but there I was, bat-ears and all, sitting in the back of the viewing room and on at least four occasions, being a pallbearer and standing at the gravesite looking properly somber.“I was in college and was paid $15 in 1989 dollars for each viewing I was able to attend, with an extra $2 thrown in if I was a pallbearer.”
This is insane. Is this a thing that happens now? Do people go to funerals in character costumes today to, um, lighten the mood for kids? I’m half-tempted to Google search but I don’t think I really want to know if someone’s dressing up as, let’s say, Twilight Sparkle to keep the children calm during the service.
I can see maybe having like a side thing to entertain the children while the actual funeral is going on…MAYBE. But Wayne was actually carrying the coffin. Like, four times.
So if you ever had any doubt just how much of an influence that first Tim Burton Batman movie was, there you go. Batman was everywhere you looked, and followed you everywhere you would go…even into the cold embrace of the grave.