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Obituary Montage

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Specialized montage mostly limited to award shows, which strings together film clips featuring everyone from the show's specific field of endeavor who died during the previous year. Typically synchronized with a medley of stirring and/or sad music, with theme songs thrown in for good measure when the deceased worked in television or film.

Too often it degrades into a weird sort of popularity contest for the people at home, as the actors and actresses featured inevitably get more applause than the costume designers and writers. You have to wonder why they just don't go for the moment of silence.

Also seen on news/sports shows, usually at the end of a telecast. For example, one segment of NBC's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics ended with one of these, honoring sportscaster Curt Gowdy.

See also In Memoriam and Dead Artists Are Better. Not to be confused with a Really Dead Montage.


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    Live-Action Television 
  • Every broadcast of the Academy Awards, the Grammys, and the Emmys includes one. It's a case of Newer Than They Think, since it was only in 1994 when the Oscars started doing it annually, with the others quickly following suit.
    • One Emmy telecast also had a parody courtesy of South Park — the montage presented by the boys brought up Kenny again and again, and apparently God died too. And then Kenny died again when a setpiece crushed him.
    • During the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, this was parodied with a montage of performers considered to be Condemned by History (i.e., Vanilla Ice) set to Michael Jackson's "Gone Too Soon".
  • The US Sunday morning news programs, like This Week, also will have montages of notable deaths during the past seven days.
  • One episode of Nevermind The Buzzcocks featured a montage of people "we wish had died in the past year", featuring, among others, Elton John, Robbie Williams, Emma Bunton, and Elton John (again).
  • Michael Bluth sat through a Spanish-language one in uncomfortable silence when he attended the Desi Awards ceremony with his brother's girlfriend, Marta.
  • There was a sketch on Saturday Night Live involving an award show for psychics, which included a montage of people who were going to die that year. Needless to say, this came as a bit of a shock to the people seen in the video, ultimately including the entire audience of the show, predicted to die when the theater caught fire.
    • The 40th anniversary special featured a genuine montage, introduced by Bill Murray, featuring the cast and crew members who had passed on. To lighten things back up, the final tribute was for Jon Lovitz, with the camera cutting to a very alive and confused Lovitz sitting in the audience. It also ended with an update coming from Spain: "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead."
  • Parodied on Real Time with Bill Maher with the recurring segment "A Farewell To Douchebags", a montage of political leaders and pundits who fell from grace after a given election cycle.

  • The major news magazines, Time, People and so forth, have weekly sections under such headings as "Milestones" or some similar name, and one of the listings will include brief biographies of notable people who passed away during the week covered, with major figures getting their own stories.
    • At the end of the year, the magazines will devote an entire section to people who died during the past year. Some, like People, will publish special issues, offering feature-length stories of the most notable people and full-page tributes to those not quite as prominent. People also takes it a step further, including not just pop culture personalities but servicemen and women who died in the line of duty (usually, the Middle East) from the end of December of the previous year to the week of deadline for the year-end issue (usually, the middle of the current December).

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, there is one of these for words that were taken out of the dictionary.
    • In another episode, Homer daydreams about making an acceptance speech and a robot killing him for going over the time limit. The robot then segues into this trope, of which the first photo is Homer himself.
  • Family Guy satirized it in an episode. A New Year's Eve 2000 news broadcast plays a variant of this trope, of noted people who have passed in the last millennium, including Joan of Arc and, um, Norman Fell.
  • Shows up in Robot Chicken, where it cycles past two cast members who apparently died improbable deaths. Seth Green is disappointed in how lame and short the montage was and starts murdering other cast members to improve it.
  • Also shows up in an episode of Inside Job (2021), with a look back at the Reptoids which were lost over the last year.


Video Example(s):


SAG 2022 In Memoriam Montage

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