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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Joel Osteen as Stand-Up Comedian?

NPR’s Teri Gross recently interviewed the comedian, Chris Rock, on “Fresh Air.”  A friend and fellow T.A. in Intro to Homiletics with Tom Long mentioned the exchange yesterday for its application to preaching (we preacher types are interested in these sorts of things): apparently Rock credits old-time preachers, from his grandfather to contemporaries Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes, for influencing how he approaches stand-up comedy.

You can read the transcript of this portion of the interview here.  I also stumbled upon some further, related reflections by American religion and culture scholar Dan Silliman, who teaches at the University of Heidelberg.  (Silliman is currently finishing a dissertation on how secularity as a construct and condition is imagined and represented in evangelical fiction, and I’m intrigued!)

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Rock seems simultaneously both to scorn and admire the act of preaching.  (In this way, maybe he is like a lot of us.)  He can tell, he says, when he sees a preacher has “lost” his audience and needs to pull a “trick” out of his bag for the sake of performance.  Still, he credits his preacher grandfather and his grandfather’s bullet-point brainstorming in the car for how he, as a comedian, now approaches an act.

If you missed it, here was Chris Rock earlier this year on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” promoting Madagascar 3.

 

 

 

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