"No, we're fearless and edgy. Really." – UPDATES

This is both funny and a bit pathetic:

Comedy Central might censor every image of the Prophet Muhammad on “South Park,” yet the network is developing a whole animated series around Jesus Christ.

As part of the network’s upfront presentation to advertisers (full slate here), the network is set to announce “JC,” a half-hour show about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his “powerful but apathetic father” and live a regular life in New York City.

In the show, God is preoccupied with playing video games while Christ, “the ultimate fish out of water,” tries to adjust to life in the big city.

“In general, comedy in purist form always makes some people uncomfortable,” said Comedy Central’s head of original programming Kent Alterman.

The South Park Jesus was edgy*; no one in the mainstream had dared to put Jesus into the middle of vulgar humanity in such a way, before. This is a different production group and come on, “God playing video games” while Jesus tries to fit in, it just sounds so lame!

This move by Comedy Central is like watching the ultra-hip smart-aleck in the cafeteria who, having peed himself during an encounter with a bully, is now trying to re-establish his edgy bona fides by making fun of the non-threatening AV Crew; high school bravado, nowhere near as sophisticated as it believes itself to be.

As a Christian, I am unoffended by this move. The Triune God has awfully big shoulders; he can take it.

It is Comedy Central that betrays the tiny fragility that lies behind its strut.

I am embarrassed for them.

FT Editor Joseph Bottum makes two predictions:

1) It will be far more blasphemous about Christianity than the Danish cartoons were about Islam.

2) There won’t be any riots over it.

Ed Morrissey writes:

Yes, Kent Alterman, you’re quite the brave individual for making “some” people uncomfortable. Those would be the “some” people who won’t issue threats of violence for your satires.

Happy Catholic has a thoughtful take on being edgy and countercultural.

Meanwhile, In Belgium…
Gabriel Malor: Left’s Low Opinion of Muslims & everyone else
Liberty Pundit
Verum Serum

IF YOU LIKED THIS POST: please consider making a donation to First Things in order to keep the online presence going. Or, you may want to pick up (or extend) a subscription to the First Things journal for only $20. Just use the promocode, theanchoress.

A FT subscription might be a good gift for Mothers Day, or Father’s Day!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    It is not clear, here, whether we’re talking about the South Park Jesus

    The story says “‘JC’ is produced by Reveille (“The Office”), Henrik Basin, Brian Boyle (“American Dad”), Jonathan Sjoberg and Andreas Ohman,” not Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

    Besides, given the late unpleasantness, I would tend to think that Stone and Parker would tell Comedy Central to get bent if CC wanted to use the South Park Jesus.

    [Thanks -admin]

  • Doc

    One more bit of evidence that I miss nothing by having no TV reception at home. I look forward to Steyn’s comments over at the Corner.

  • Diane

    We should coin a term for the self-loathing behavior of attacking our own roots in submission to terrorist threat: Dhim-wittery.

  • http://deirdremundy.blogspot.com Deirdre Mundy

    I used to LOVE the Christmas South Park with Jesus– where everyone is celebrating with Brian Boitano and Santa, and Jesus is left all alone, with noone at his birthday party, singing ‘happy birthday to Me.’

    That actually WAS pretty biting cultural commentary….

  • Pingback: Comedy Central giving full series to mocking Jesus — Profiles In Cowardice | Liberty Pundits dot net

  • mrp

    Has Steve Colbert issued a statement yet?

  • archangel

    Being in the TV industry myself, albeit in a different genre allow me to state quite categorically, the show will bomb even if it makes air.

    1) Advertisers will probably shy away from it in droves.

    2) I’m not sure it will be met with the yawns from the Christian crowd.

    IMO, they are throwing the story out there now as a trial balloon. They get their “edge” back by “offending” Christians, thus showing their Muslim detractors that their not taking sides. And then they pull the plug on the show. in their mind it’ll be a win-win.

  • http://members.wolfram.com/billw/summa Bill White

    Comedy Central’s Kent Alterman reminds me of Monty Python’s “Brave Sir Robin”: link

  • http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/ Aaron Worthing


    Well, only an idiot would think it is edgy to mock jesus and not south park.

    So probably millions of americans will think it is edgy.

    As Mark Steyn pionted out, the very year George Clooney made his famously smug speech about the moral superiority of hollywood, patting himself on the back for portraying Edward R. Murrow, they didn’t say a word about Theo van Gogh. they didn’t even put him in their montage of stars/directors who passed away.

  • http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/ Aaron Worthing


    sorry, big brain f-rt. i meant to say

    “Well, only an idiot would think it is edgy to mock jesus and not MOHAMMED.”

  • Pingback: Hot Air » The Paris of Troy Courage in the Arts Award goes to …

  • Pingback: Comedy Central developing Jesus Christ cartoon | A Deacon's Wife

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Fearless and edgy?


    (snort, snicker, chortle. . . sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

    I remember when this scandal first broke, and how we were all being encouraged to support South Park, and Comedy Central, because, they’re so edgy, and fearless, and they’re standing up for free speech.


    (By the way, why does every single show these days have to be set in New York? That’s getting really old. So is “edgy”, “fearless” humor, mocking Chrstianity and Comedy Central. In fact, T.V. in general.)

  • archangel

    The presentation says more about CC’s view on faith and God than first meet’s the eye.

    1) In their view… God is powerful but APATHETIC. In other words, He is detached from humanity. Sad commentary on the state of their own souls, I suppose.

    2) Jesus, in their view, as His son shares none of His divinity. In fact He apparently doesn’t share in the Father’s power either. In fact Jesus appears jealous of the Father, hence wanting to “escape” the Father’s shadow.

    That seems to speak more about perhaps how THEY want to escape the Father’s shadow or even perhaps God/religion in general. Common view point in the industry… “all the world’s troubles come from religion.”

    The perpetual adolescents really have no clue what they are messing with. The world is round so tight, the slightest jiggle could make it blow and these guys want to put a firecracker in the gas tank. This would go beyond stupid.

    My apologies for the mixed metaphores.

  • Pingback: » Links To Visit – 05/06/10 NoisyRoom.net: The Progressive Hunter

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    “As a Christian, I am unoffended by this move. The Triune God has awfully big shoulders; he can take it.” -Anchoress

    Sure God has awefully big shoulders, but I am offended. I don’t care for people to insult anyone’s religion. And that includes Islam as well. Sure they have a right to, but decency and manners should prevent one from doing so.

    And I’m with those that say this is not “edgy”. Raw insults do not make “edgy” art. It makes hack art. Frankly this show is low brow crap, like professional wrestling.

  • okonkwosyams

    The brave Coptic Christian priest Fr. Zakaria Botros was originally scheduled to give a presentation in Vienna, Austria. The event, however, has been cancelled due to…wait for it…threats of Muslim violence.

  • Joe

    Colbert, Stewart, and the guys at South Park are now living under Sharia law, which has been imposed on Comedy Central. Yet another poke at Jesus is one of way of trying to save face, or at least trying to look like it.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    So when Jesus goes to New York, is he going to meet a tough yet sensitive female cop? A sweet, loving, gay couple? The Sex & the City gals? A pack of wisecracking, but cute, kids? I mean, if we’re going stereotypical, let’s pull out all the stops? And we’ll have an edgy theme song by Randy Newman, or someone similar:

    “Jesus, in the big city,
    And while it isn’t pretty,
    It’s glorious New York,
    If you don’t like it, you’re a dork,
    And now, the Savior’s there,
    The Big Apple’s biggest dare”—blah, blah, so on and so forth!

    (However, all references to 9/11 will be carefully expurgated, lest they offend someone. Instead, maybe, we can have a tap dancing Mayor Bloomberg? Or maybe the ‘toons from Family Guy, doing the can-can?)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    (Continues to sing)

    “Oh, God the Dad’s a meanie,
    But Jesus makes the scenie!
    He’s goin’ to Manhattan,
    So put that in your pipe, and smoke thatn’!
    He’s takin’ it to da streets,
    With long hair, and sandaled feets!”

    (The cast of Family Guy dances in, and they perform “Riverdance” with cartoon Jesus, while the South Park kids show up, shouting four-letter words and “Omigod, they just killed freedom of speech!” Dishonest John, from “Beany and Cecil” tries to blow everybody up, but is foiled by the timely appearance of the Justice League. J’onn J’onnz, Martian Manhunter, gives a lecture of going green—he should know—and saving the planet. Next week, the show receives death threats, because any reference to bombs, and bombers, is now considered offensive. The show is cancelled, and replaced with “The Cutesome Cuddle-Kittens, and their Nuclear Reactor.” It receives death threats, too.)

    (I have now been more “edgy” than Cartoon Network.)

  • Amy

    I wish someone would do a sitcom, cartoon or otherwise, about Islamberg, or is it Islamville, New York. Or you could pick the one in North Carolina, or Michigan. Ack, they’re everywhere! Or a cell at the local university, where they’ve practically taken over married student housing.

    Or one about the Hasidic Jews’ enclave in New York City.

    That would be good, too.

    But yeah, Jesus schlepping through the mean streets of New York City – hasn’t that been done before?

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    On further thought, it’s not whether God has “big shoulders” to take it, it’s that we as followers have established certain things to be holy (that is revered in the sense of sacredness) and such insults to it undermines that sense of holiness. It should be respected. It’s not for God’s sake, it’s for the worshiper’s sake.

  • archangel

    Manny and others…

    God’s/Christ’s holiness does not need defending. He is holy with or without defense. You are correct when you say the insults attack OUR sense of our own holiness. There lies the the “devil in the detail”. I would even state that even OUR sense of holiness should stand without defense. Jesus is our example. He refused to defend HIS OWN holiness to the point of crucifixion. That’s about as humble as one can get. We are called to follow that same example; even unto death. It is called “white martyrdom”. If an insult to our holiness is the worst we suffer, we should consider ourselves blessed.

    Any other reaction be it violent or hateful toward the insult makes one no different than the jihadist. Rightful indignation with the commenserate shaking of the proverbial sand from our sandals in their direction is good enough. Allow them to wallow in their ignorance.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Hmmm, a sitcom about Islamville?

    “So hi, ya’ll,
    And take a chill pill,
    We’re headin’ down to Islamville!
    Where all is happy, no doom and gloom,
    And Mujahadeen, they go—-”

    Well, you get the idea. :)

    The problem, as I see it, is not that Christ’s holiness needs defending; It doesn’t.

    The religion of Islam, however, apparently believes Allah and his prophet Mohammed, demand it! And this defense has come in the form of riots, murders, death threats against cartoonists and writers—who could actually use some defending! (Remember Theo Van Gogh?)

    We need to stand up now, and point out this hypocrisy, and double-standards vis-a-vis Christ/Islam, or we’ll need to get used to a future of constantly asking “Imam, may I?” for permitting even simple cartoons, or jokes; a future consisting only of Islamically approved entertainment (with some Jew and Christian bashing, thrown in).

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    “It is called “white martyrdom”. If an insult to our holiness is the worst we suffer, we should consider ourselves blessed.” -archangel

    Perhaps so, but I suffer from the sin of pride. I don’t like it, and frankly it erodes the general sense of holiness for the population at large. As it is, religion is ridiculed repeatedly, and I think it influences young people’s attitudes. If you think the western world is becoming more religious, look again.

  • http://DmeDm.blogspot.com LR Cunningham

    An Open Letter to Comedy Central:

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Also, there’s the problem that Comedy Central won’t be happy just to wallow in their own ignorance—they’ll be inviting everybody else, including some young, and impressionable minds, to wallow in it along with them.

  • archangel


    “I suffer from the sin of pride”

    One must avoid putting oneself in a position to sin. :)

    As for the western world becoming less religious… I beg to differ. The western world is definitely more religious. In fact Europe, demographically and socially, is becoming more and more Muslim everyday. Buddahism is very popular as well. Not to mention the religious following Global Warming has as well as the religion of the “State”. So I don’t think the problem is that the Western World is becoming less religious. The problem is that the Western World… or dare I say the ENTIRE world is becoming less Christian.

    It will always be thus. Jesus said it Himself… “When the world rejects you, know that it rejected me first.” We are not of this world. We are simply passing through it. The world will cleave to its own. I simply am at a point where I can comfortably say “Let it!”. We are at a point in time where the world is being called to choose whom it will serve. We all are being called to make that choice… LIFE or DEATH.

    As for me and my house, we chose the Lord. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, let alone Comedy Central… it speaks for itself.

  • Hantchu

    Christianity is not a religion that espouses violence, and no major sector of Christianity supports or condones violence against those who merely insult their beliefs.

    Unlike Islam.

    South Park is “edgy and sometimes even brilliant satire, but a WHOLE show mocking Christianity would be not only childishly offensive, but boring and unoriginal.

  • Pingback: Hardly Har Har « The Reformed Pastor

  • theotherjimmyolsonj

    I was wondering if instead of my making a donation to support your blogging, perhaps you might want to pay me for reading this Puerile tripe. No?

  • Trump

    As a Christian, I am unoffended by this move.

    >>> So? Christians should still riot and threaten reprisals over this. As should Jews when they’re made fun of as well. Otherwise we’ll continue to be treated like 2nd class citizens. Why should Islam be the protected class?

    We do our religions no favors when we allow ourselves to be denigrated constantly while evil people get preferential treatment.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    No one’s holding a gun to your head, forcing to read this “puerile tripe”, Jimbo; if you read it, you’re doing it of your own free will. And I doubt First things finds your readership so precious it would pay more than—oh, 2 cents, to make you stick around; if that much.

    (Superman doesn’t like you anymore, either.)

    Unoriginal indeed, Hantchu! Like mocking Christianity hasn’t been done before? Like trying-to-make-it-in-Manhattan hasn’t been done before?

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    “As for the western world becoming less religious… I beg to differ. The western world is definitely more religious. In fact Europe, demographically and socially, is becoming more and more Muslim everyday. Buddahism is very popular as well. Not to mention the religious following Global Warming has as well as the religion of the “State”. So I don’t think the problem is that the Western World is becoming less religious. The problem is that the Western World… or dare I say the ENTIRE world is becoming less Christian.” -archangel

    Sure, but that supports my point exactly.

  • Hantchu

    “Unoriginal indeed, Hantchu! ”

    It makes one look very adolescent and not-so clever-or-daring-as-you-think-you-are.

    Because contemporary Christians won’t issue a fatwa. Jesus, unlike Mohammad, was not a touchy or easily enraged. The Rebbe affects the talmid (student).

  • Pingback: The Return of “What’s Funny?” | Article VI Blog | John Schroeder