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10 Celebrity Tombstones Worth a Laugh

You don't really even know there's a cemetery hidden amongst all of the big buildings until you're practically inside Westwood Village Memorial Park. A vast majority of the tombs were set into walls and the ones that weren't were pretty standardized. Which is why it was really apparent when someone went the extra mile to stand out by showing a little humor on their tombstones.

Merv Griffin's had my husband in stitches (sorry about the reflection):

Equally funny was Jack Lemmon's, who made it to one final marquee:

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Fans of Grumpy Old Men and The Odd Couple will be pleased to know that Walter Matthau is buried nearby.

Obviously, Rodney Dangerfield couldn't go out without a laugh:
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As a writer, Billy Wilder's is especially close to my heart:

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Meanwhile, Marilyn Monroe's is pretty nondescript:

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Visiting Westwood made me wonder what other celebrities wanted to keep people laughing long after their deaths, so I did a little investigating.

Mel Blanc

The Man of a Thousand Voices knew how to leave his audience wanting more. On the off-chance that you're not familiar, Mel was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Sylvester the cat, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam and Foghorn Leghorn (among others). How fitting, then, that he chose to have this engraved on his headstone:

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Robert Frost

You might expect one of Frost's famous quotes to be inscribed on his tombstone: "In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: it goes on." Instead, he went with something equally thought-provoking:

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("I had a lover's quarrel with the world," in case you can't read it.)

Edgar Allan Poe

Such a dark and macabre writer such as Edgar Allan Poe would surely have something similarly creepy on his headstone, and he does not disappoint.  "Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore'," is what the text on the arch over the raven says.

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Ed Wynn

You may not know Ed Wynn by name, but Disney fans will recognize him as the voice of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. Later, he played crazy Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins. Prior to Alice, he was a headliner on Broadway who found his way under W.C. Fields' tutelage. Wynn remembered who was responsible for all of his success and made sure to note so on his memorial:

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Finally, you wouldn't expect a legend like Frank Sinatra to go out without last words to remember him by:

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Stop squinting. It says, "The Best Is Yet To Come."

What are some other entertaining, thought-provoking or otherwise interesting epitaphs we should know about?

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Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?
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Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.

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