Jesus is no punchline

Jesus and comedy are a tricky mix. Comedian Kathy Griffin’s Emmy acceptance speech was censored because of a punchline that the Academy of Arts and Sciences recognized as potentially offensive. Griffin, on the other hand, is loving the fact that she was censored, because, as she put it on Larry King, “I just am loving it. “It’s in the newspapers around the world, and every article starts with, ‘Emmy winner Kathy Griffin,’ and then the letters all just blur after that.” (Thanks to bringing that to my attention so I could edit this write-up accordingly, Ms. Griffin.)

As reported in the Washington Post:

Comedian Kathy Griffin has built her D-list career on telling A-list Hollywood celebrities — Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Ryan Seacrest — to “suck it.”

So when she told Jesus to “suck it” after winning an Emmy for her reality show, “My Life on the D-List,” it was meant as another swipe at someone who gets invited to better parties than she does.

But as she quickly learned, dissing Jesus, even in left-leaning Hollywood, carries more risk than poking fun at the Lindsay Lohans of the world.

Griffin’s remarks — “I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. . . . So all I can say is, suck it, Jesus. This reward is my god now!” — were censored when the E! Network broadcast the Creative Arts Emmy Awards show last Saturday.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said the remarks were struck because they were “offensive.” It wasn’t clear whether they disliked the vulgar “suck it” part or the blasphemous “this reward is my god now” part.

Whether she was deliberately trying to insult Christians is debatable, the article continues, “The larger question, and the one that probably hits closest to home for many people, is whether Griffin was taking a swipe at religion generally or Jesus in particular. And that, observers say, is not an insignificant distinction.” It goes on to give an explanation of who Jesus of Nazareth is, in case you hadn’t heard about him, which we hope isn’t offered ironically.

The article also makes a reference to NBC’s short-lived series about fictional Episcopal priest Daniel Webster, The Book of Daniel.

The whole thing is here.

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