Comedians and God
Recently, I’ve found another podcast to entertain on my long drives from Hampton Roads to Wake Forest. This one, appropriately titled “You Made It Weird” is full of the raunchy humor that comedians love but most church-folk find out of bounds. The host of this delightful schmorgesborg of laughter, Pete Holmes is most readily identified with his role as the voice of the E*Trade baby:
He’s also a hilarious stand up comic:
All that being said, what intrigues me about Pete (I’ve listened to enough of his podcast that I feel like we might as well be besties), is his take on God. It is no secret that most professional comedians are rude, crude, atheistic, faith-haters. I mean, to be a comedian you have to be a jaded and cynical observer who probably had a messed up childhood. Pete, on the other hand, was raised in an evangelical Christian context that seems so familiar to me. While he can hardly be classified as a follower of Christ, the remnant of his upbringing is readily apparent (e.g., Bible quotations, etc.). He understands awkward worship services and overzealous Christian camp counselors. In addition, you can tell that he wants to believe (even if he doesn’t quite get there).
As a result, at the end of every podcast he asks his guest the appropriately weird and awkward God question. Often the answer is surprisingly interesting. For example, when listening to Pete interview Jim Gaffigan (one of the funniest comedians today) I was pleasantly surprised to hear the interchange. Granted, they talk and think like comedians (so be warned) and their ideas are not always theologically accurate. However, hearing this kind of conversation from important people in our culture is significant. Listen to this clip from the end of the Jim Gaffigan episode: