*To most folks, a funeral is – plain and simple – a downer, a bummer. πŸ™ Not exactly something one looks forward to. Especially if you’re the one the funeral is for.

OK, that was a corny lil’ jokey joke we couldn’t resist. But, anyway, now funerals don’t have to be sad and gloomy anymore, especially the ones in TLC’s new reality series, “Best Funeral Ever.”

The show documents the business of the Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas. When you go with Golden Gate, you get a full scale production that includes professional mourners. Yes, professional mourners.

“Good Lord,” you’re saying to yourself, “why would professional mourners be needed at a funeral?”

Glad you asked. With the answer is Golden Gate Funeral Home’s CEO, John Beckwith Jr.

“Some families need someone else to start crying before they can start crying. A mourner can make or break a funeral.”

In the video above, on NBC’s TODAY Friday, Kerry Sanders reported on the phenomenon, noting that these kind of bashes aren’t called funerals, but “homegoings,” and showed scenes from one particular celebration where mourners danced, ate ribs and wrangled pigs as a fountain flowed with barbecue sauce. (The decedent for that funeral, Willie “Wolf” McCoy, had been a singer on the famous Chili’s jingle about baby back ribs.)

That’s the point of the funerals, which are based on a person’s life — a football fan might have items and activities related to the sport, a person who loved Christmas may have actual reindeer to show up at the party. Sanders noted the funerals can cost as upwards of $40,000, and in theory, the sky is the limit.

“These are families who have lost loved ones. So there is never any disrespect with these type of homegoing celebrations,” said Beckwith Jr.

“Best Funeral Ever” premiers Sunday, Jan. 6 at 10 p.m. on TLC. Get the popcorn ready!

Check out the sneak peek clip from the show below!