Mockery on Saturday Night Live

Hollywood.com offers a report on last weekend's Saturday Night Live appearance by Tom Hanks. During the opening monologue, the star of Ron Howard's upcoming film
opened the show by taking questions from regular cast members dressed as clergymen and clergywomen--and Jesus himself. Comedian Chris Parnell took on the guise of a cardinal and asked the actor, "I was wondering when you were making the film and you were meeting with the producers and writers and the director, in all that creative process, did you ever wonder what it would feel like to burn for eternity in hell?"
Later in the segment, "another show regular, Jason Sudeikis, dressed up as a comedic Jesus. He quipped, 'Mr. Hanks, I saw your film and I just want you to know that I forgive you.'"

Offensive? Actually, yes, I think so. But the true shame of the situation is that the parody is not as much a parody as you might think. I've participated in media junkets with members of the Christian press who have treated directors and movie stars in just as condescending and judgmental fashion as Parnell's and Sudeikis' characters treated Hanks. Once again, reality can be just as ugly as fiction.

The behavior of many Christians is actually shameful; while that doesn't excuse shameful behavior on the part of others, it does call to mind a certain line from Jesus about throwing stones...

It'll be interesting to see what Hanks has to say on Sunday's new segment for Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio.

Hollywood.com, 08.05.06


Pastor Howard said...

The other "irony," if you will, is that if there is anything to forgive Jesus has already done so.

Greg Wright said...

Excellent point, on at least two scores!

EatingPie said...

Offensive? Wow.

What I find interesting -- and actually I'm very happy about it! -- is that I haven't heard anybody condemning the people involved with the book or film! I lived through Last Temptation of Christ, and more recently Dogma. While there's tons of people talking about the movie -- I even attended a class debunking the history as presented in the book -- it's not the "you're going to hell" kinda stuff I usually see.

It actually made the SNL jokes all that much funnier because I don't have to cringe as a Christian on this one!

Of course, I think the Tag Line for the DaVinci Code film is hilarious too, so maybe it's just me. :)


Greg Wright said...

Hi, Pie! Yes, you're right that the "going to hell" angle is far less prevalent this time around. But moral indignation is still running pretty high.

One of the functions of comedy, of course, is to tweak noses; and that's particularly true of Saturday Night Live on an ongoing basis. So, given the extremely high-profile nature of the DVC film, it's not at all surprising that the show took some shots.

Again, though, my real beef is that that Christians give comedians such ample opportunity for mockery! Shouldn't our behavior be reasonable and respectful -- reserving our indignation for hypocrisy within our own ranks rather than for normal behavior outside the walls of the Church?


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