Speaking of stand-up comedy

Over at the Christian Century blog Theolog, John Dart made an observation about the value of humor when it comes to the art of preaching and our own relationship with faith. Being able to connect with people’s ability to laugh, he says, is a gift that helps diffuse tension:

One night last month Jay Leno, acting as both performer and writer while the writers guild strike dragged on, recruited a priest, a rabbi and a minister, each to tell a favorite joke on stage. The clerics told their tales smoothly and got laughs.

It made me long for more exposure to clergy who routinely touch funny bones with great one-liners and funny-yet-wise stories. Comedy is a difficult art in any venue, no less in church settings. But it can work in certain situations, such as with a pastor known for wry humor and congregants who expect and react to the humor.

Some evangelical churches have had success with special evening performances by Christian comics, one troupe calling itself “Clean Comedians” to reassure congregations of its family-friendly values. Robert G. Lee, performing at Bel Air Presbyterian Church, imagined meeting Moses in heaven and hearing him grumbling about the flock wandering with him through the desert for 40 years. “Every day people would come up to me and say, ‘Are we there yet?’”

He then wonders where we can go for religious humor these days. Pay a visit if you’d like to weigh in.

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