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Celebrities Hang Out in Heaven

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Joan Rivers, King David, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky, Golda Meir, Gal Gadotnote , Albert Einstein, and Moshe Dayan

Bart: I can't believe Krusty's really gone.
Homer: Don't worry, son. I'm sure he's up in Heaven right now, laughing it up with all the other celebrities: John Dillinger, Ty Cobb, Josef Stalin. I wish I were dead.

When people think about going to Heaven, they often imagine reconnecting with family and close friends — the loved ones they actually spent their lives with. But when deceased celebrities are depicted in Heaven, they are usually hanging out with other famous people. This especially applies if the celebrities are in similar fields: artists, musicians, inventors, political leaders. They may want to trade stories and learn from each other. Also, given the time gap between the celebrities, some of them may be Fanboying.

The idea of "Rock and Roll Heaven" gets particular attention, due to all the rockers who went out in their prime, and just how awesome it would be. Even within that, expect at least one of a certain group.

If the deceased celebrities are Real Life Relatives, then this is a Justified Trope, and expect their reconnection in Heaven to be mentioned a lot in real-life obituaries.

This tends to overlap with Fluffy Cloud Heaven, as in the stock portrayal of the departed celebrities meeting up by the Pearly Gates. Might be the premise of a bittersweet Real-Person Fic, surrogate character optional.

Obviously, the people here are Dead to Begin With. See also Together in Death, Afterlife Welcome, and Ghost Reunion Ending. If this is portrayed in a poem or song, it is likely a Celebrity Elegy. If it turns out they're not really dead, then it could be a case of Elvis Lives. See also Jury of the Damned, in which infamous celebrities and historical figures gather together to serve on a jury. Compare In the Past, Everyone Will Be Famous, where well-known figures are similarly congregate during their lifetimes.


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  • Defied in Mark Twain's short story Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven. Stormfield is told that well-known figures — and figures that would have been well-known had they lived long enough to reach their potential — are said to sometimes appear and be celebrated, but this is relatively rare occurrence. What kind of Heaven would it be for them if they didn't get any time away from the paparazzi, after all?
  • The Stephen King short story "You Know They Got a Hell Of a Band" (named after the Righteous Brothers tune) features a lost couple who find themselves in a town named "Rock and Roll Heaven" populated by dead musicians...who turn out to be grotesque, zombieish horrors. Oh, and you can never leave.
  • The “Heroes in Hell” stories by Janet Morris. Only they ain’t in heaven.
  • The poem “The Old Astronomer to His Pupil” has a dying astronomer imagine that his afterlife will be a place where he can share modern discoveries with the great astronomers of the past, including Tycho Brahe.
  • The Divine Comedy does a Renaissance-era version of this, both played straight and inverted, as Dante Alighieri goes into detail on which real-life historical figures wound up in heaven, hell, or purgatory. A whole lot of Take Thats are aimed at those who wound up in hell.
  • Subverted in Good Omens, where Crowley's argues that Aziraphale doesn't want Heaven to win the great war by pointing out they don't.
    "Listen," said Crowley desperately, "how many musicians do you think your side has got, eh? First grade, I mean."
    Aziraphale looked taken aback. "Well, I should think–" he began.
    "Two," said Crowley. "Elgar and Liszt. That's all. We’ve got the rest. Beethoven, Brahms, all the Bachs, Mozart, the lot. Can you imagine eternity with Elgar?"
    Aziraphale shut his eyes. "All too easily," he groaned.

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  • As said earlier, this tends to go with Fluffy Cloud Heaven editorial cartoons for the deceased, especially those in families or groups.
  • MAD had a short-lived series called "The 27 Club" by Luke Mcgarry, taking place in Rock and Roll Heaven where all the late, great musicians hang out. The titular club are not only best friends, they have superpowers and can travel back to Earth to fight crime. Only, Robert Johnson is in the other place. It was canned prior to the 2019 reboot, though the artist has announced in 2021 he’s working on new strips, possibly for his own indie mag.
  • A Brazilian satire magazine put a cruel twist on this trope when they implied SHINEE singer Jonghyun wasn't cared about by his fans and only killed himself at age 27 to get into the "Club", resulting in them kicking him out. Needless to say, Jonghyun’s fans were NOT amused.

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  • Lenny Henry has a routine where he imagines all the big rock stars jamming in heaven... and George Formby is joining in on his little ukelele.

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