I would NOT go with the dead pet angle. Many people are more sensitive about their pets than other people.
I like the "dead career" better. More room for comedy without offending.
That is definitely true and the exact reason that I called for some thoughts. One thing that I hate to give up on are the potential comedy with "cold reading" about pets. Cats and dogs have certain traits that all pet lovers tend to know and laugh about. Like the fact that if I say, "oh...he can be aloof at times" in reference to a cat. All cats, even the friendliest cat, can be aloof. Of if talking about a dog I say, "he can be very loyal." Again, all dogs, even the meanest, tend to be loyal to their owners. Or if I say, "I sense he was furry," ...Duh! So there is so much more potential comedy doing pets than a dead career. Not that their isn't potential comedy in the dead career of Millie Vanilli but pets have a much broader appeal and there is more of a chance that the audience will "get the joke."
Don't get me wrong. I appreciate your thoughts, that's why I asked for them, and I know this is sounding like a guy who already had his answer, but I guess I just need to articulate this to myself. The thing is that I know it is a big risk, any living and dead test is, so I am just trying to decide if it can be done without being too offensive. So I am weighing, broad appeal, lots of room for comedy, big chance of offending someone if I script it wrong vs. smaller appeal, chance of no laughs, small chance of offending someone. You see the dilemma, lay down the bunt just to get on base or swing for the fences?