Because It’s OK for Catholics to Laugh III

This past weekend my wife and I took in a show, ’Til Death Do Us Part, Late Nite Catechism 3.  It was very enjoyable and we had quite a few hearty laughs together.


I didn’t attend Catholic schools, though my wife did up until the fifth grade. But I could still appreciate the humor, especially after having been married for 20 years! Sister teaches this class and the audience are the students, so be prepared for participation. She oddly seemed a lot like one of my Drill Instructors at Parris Island, making people get “on your feet!” and calling us “Soldiers for Christ.”

At least two parish priests were in the audience with us, and it was an ecumenical crowd.  The performance in my neck of the woods was for the benefit of a local chapter of The Ulster ProjectA very fun show.  Take a look at the clip below.

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  • Webster Bull

    What a coincidence. James and I were thinking of taking our wives to the same show. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it, James?

  • Warren Jewell

    Typical of my orthodox and obedient soul, I love seeing the Papal flag as part of the props.I was never 'fearful' of the good Sisters because I was a 'teacher's pet', a 'brown-nose'; best grades, best behavior (else, my Mom kills me!). But such clarifying roles did permit the class's current crop to look around and decide: "Well, do I want to be as young and silly as I usually am, or like &*#@&$ Saint Warren, over there?" (BTW, in a kind of them-satisfying revenge, "Saint Fatso" on the playground. I understood, and consoled "BURN IN HELL, you dumb ass!") Yes, even embroiled in the situation, Catholic school education could be as fun as it was enlightening. Or, at least, so one might think.

  • El Bollio Tejano

    I'll bet the place was full of people from the generation of Woodstock and free love. Not sure if this generation ever got off their tail to work FOR the good of the Church. Instead they sat idly by watching as the church got Mocked and ridiculed.Remember the chain smoking Fr. Guido Sarduchi from Saturday Night Live? Now we have fat men dressed in Drag as a nun doing, I am sure, quality stagecraft.I was born too late to miss all the fun of the seventies so I miss the humor in this. Kind of like the baby boomers didn't understand Jerry Lewis? But I do look back in a "sociological" kind of way and look at the way TV shows Movies and now plays treat priests and nuns before the Baby Boomers came of age. —- It was with Respect.Perhaps too many "old timers" from the Greatest Generation saw the great priests serving them, side by side, as they fought on the islands of the Pacific or in the fields of Europe during World War II.Perhaps too many of these "fuddy duds" from the Greatest Generation had sisters serve them in hospitals, orphanages, and schools (that provided them a way out of poverty) to see the Humor that the 70s crowd sees in this kind of stuff. Yes the Catholic Church is full of Humor. It has the Irish and the Italians and the Vietnamise: All very funny people. But I just don't think this stuff, man dressed as a nun, will ever sell with my generation… the John Paul II generation

  • Webster Bull

    El BT, You know, your comments resonate with me, they prod my conscience. James and I are Boomers, and while I would have laughed easily at this sort of nun-in-drag humor five years ago, as a convert I'm not so sure now. While I was still in RCIA, I went to a large social function in Boston populated by my generation and heard "comedian" Lenny Clarke utterly ridicule the church, priests, nuns. The abuse scandal was still ringing in our ears, and he joked about it, and viciously. Everyone howled with laughter. I walked out. Not saying I'm this great moral Catholic (wasn't even a Catholic then), but I could see a roomful of mostly "Catholic" people guffawing at themselves in what could only be described as religious self-loathing. You're right about our generation. I want to think about this some more.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Actually, these aren't "nuns in drag" sports fans. This particular show resonates with me because I have been married for 20 years, which is nothing compared to the couple in our "class" who were married something like 57 years.And at the end of the show, the Sister stood with a basket to collect money for the retirement funds of the Religious of which "Late Nite Catechism" has donated over $3 million dollars.Lighten up dudes!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    @Pennyak:Thanks for the heads up! My daughters Girl Scout troop is trying to do that dance the link went to in error. mea culpa.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15292156826231664316 pennyyak

    lol, Frank. It was a cool link.

  • Warren Jewell

    El Bollio Tejano – I bow before your heart's reach but as a first-year Boomer, I confess that the clip sure sounds a lot like what Boomer Catholics were given in grade schools all across Catholic America, 1950s and early 60s. With some few of us who 'rejected' it but have returned, we can see how the Church did manage to get seeds of faith in us. But, the net result of eight years of the Sisters, and then maybe four high school years of yet more off-center (as I have been finding 'Mere Christianity') religious development sort of 'cratered' Boomer kids without really giving them God to fill it in. Secular influences held sway too much – TV overwhelmed religious education not by 'entertaining' as by handing out a 'WHY-bother?' feel. The faulty rationale from out of Vat2 accentuated 'WHY-bother?' and so the vast bulk of Boomers (and their kids) live 'WHY-bother? Ain't important.'Of this show, from this clip, I cannot get warmed to linking Matrimony to Anointing of the Sick. To laugh, yes; to edge the laughs in scorn about the heartbeat of humankind – marriage and family – not good. This sounds like a blog (series of blogs?) in the making. Check on me (become a friend!) as Warren Jewell on Facebook – I leave 'notes' and this may become one of them. Most of my blogs/notes are religious and spiritual – my pulpit, so to speak.Peace be unto you. His peace He gives you and me like a great fall of water. And, yes, long live John Paul the Great, Pope and Saint!

  • James

    Ha! I can't wait. Frank's so right – lighten up people. As for Lenny Clarke and his ilk it isn't comedy or satire but a thinly disguised and vicious form of attack humor. Jimmy Tingle does some funny bits in his routines in an affectionate fashion. Best movie nun ever – the 'penguin' in "Blues Brothers". The best movie Monks ever – the procession of self flagellating (head bonking) monks in MP' and the Holy Grail. Which leads me to another question: is "Life of Brian" offensive and blasphemous or just sometimes an overboard, irreverent religious satire in general?

  • Warren Jewell

    James, my man, you have the makings of that headless stake burner, the pagan heretic. I like that in a man, as long as he ain't me. :) One problem with modern entertainment is too few of 'The Passion of the Christ' and too many comedies that fill Catholic bashers with ammunition and affirmation. Where we do have some good stories told in movies, these aren't what make the schedules of the alphabet networks or the various cable movie channels. Should we not at least demand balance between, say, reverence and irreverence?That said, I have never owned a television – my father insisted that my late wife, blessed and beloved Sharon, and I did this because we considered TV watching a perversion of marital initimacy – though his fixation was less inclusive than our own ideas. I rarely see movies a la cineplex – I use Netflix and get that balance I seek. I can't even remember the last live show I went to. These tend to be too noisy for my sensitivities, which prefer good books and trips to libraries, quiet conversations and personal humor. Then again, I have gone in for heckling, and been removed to the parking-lot venue.Online, I am using my real name – no 'anonymous' or 'Illinois parasite' kinda phony name. I prefer Facebook friends who seem to be using their real names, too. Though, for some months, on CatholicExchange.com I went under the cyber-nym of 'Pristinus Sapienter'. But, everyone at the site knew just who was 'Prissy Sap'. Yes, I am a queer bird. I can only say that it works for me. And, right now, at but 7AM, I already need a nap. Isn't that bizarre, I ask you?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Ahem, Qoheleth says:There is nothing better for man to do than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. I understood that this too comes from the hand of God. For without him who can eat or find enjoyment? To the one who pleases him, he gives wisdom, knowledge and joy, while to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up what will be given to another who pleases God: this too is meaningless and chasing wind. -Ecclesiastes 2:24-26

  • james

    Warren, Warren, Warren. I am as unorthodox a Catholic as you are orthodox. Hopefully we'll end up in the same place though I'm sure I'll be in the cheap seats with the rest of my plebian buddies. The last time I was so chastened it was Sister Macarius calling me a 'playboy' in the fifth grade. She was right but you're not. I may tend to be profane but a pagan? Never! I do like a good bonfire though.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Sister Macarius! Great name, can't wait to meet her ;-)

  • James

    I was her cross to bear.


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