Quoth the Johns:
A song of admiration for a departed hero. The title is inspired by the name of a parlor game of the Surrealists, "The Exquisite Corpse," in which players take turns constructing a sentence word by word without seeing what has already been written.
John Linnell and John Flansburgh
[source: "A Guided Tour of Factory Showroom," TMBG Info Club Newsletter, Holiday 1996 edition]