Mark: Preacher Character

Transcribed from: Comedy Central
Transcribed by:
[Mark is at a pulpit, holding a large bible and a small book.]

Mark: What weights more: the Bible or the Bhagavad-Gita? Well worldy scholars and scientists have known for quite some time that the Bible outweighs the Bhagavad-Gita here by a pound to a pound and a half sometimes, outweighs the Talmud sometimes by three to four pounds, outweighs that mighty Koran sometimes by five to ten pounds. You think about that.

Every comedian has a preacher character. Every comedian uses the preacher character as a reliable solid comedy device. And why not, I say. Say an ordinary line like "Get off the phone," and you got nothing. Say it as your preacher character, "Get off the phone, Sinner!" and you're half-way to a joke. All comedians use the preacher character. Now lately the preacher character has been under attack. Now why is that? Well, I've been hearing some folks say that they think the preacher character is finished as a comedy vehicle; it's worn out. They're saying stuff like, "I don't like that preacher character anymore, it's been done, it's passe. Get that old guy off my TV set. I don't like that preacher character. Give us something new. That old preacher character don't make me laugh anymore. That old preacher character don't make me laugh anymore..." They're saying that. And who are these people- are they out there, are they the general TV audience? Are they fans or are they writers? Or are they critics: given to criticism. Because I think the time has never been more right, more propitious for the preacher character. All you gotta do is look down to the southern United States, you can see that televangelists and preachers are fast eclipsing rock and roll musicians as the drup-poppin,' tax-weaselin,' prostitute-pumpin' bad boys of pop culture! It's Bible-Belt Babylon down there! And they say, we don't need that preacher character anymore. Well I say to people like that, I like my preacher character, it gives me the Now feeling.

I'd like to finish with a story. I had a friend of mine. In the industry, a stand-up comic who was having some troubles with his preacher character. And what he said to me was, is that it wasn't working. The character wasn't comic. He would go out and do the preacher character and no one would laugh. Now he had done this preacher character at stand up comedy clubs; he did it at parties he attended socially. He had made a home video. And when he told me of his problems, I said, "Tom, try draaawling a little more. Extend your vooow-ells. And if that doesn't work- are you sure you're funny?" That shut him up. So what weighs more: the Bible or a compilation copy of Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons? Think about it.

Credit to Kids in the Hall/Broadway Video