Friday, September 12, 2008

Are Europeans any better than Muslims on treating comedians ?

So we all know about the Mohammed cartoons and the uproar that it caused in the Muslim world. We have seen the Albert Brooks movie (its a friggin movie not a documentary and not a real happening !) Finding Comedy in the Muslim world. And we sit back and think that they are all crazy Koran thumpers out there.

Now comes a case from Italy where an Italian comedian - a FEMALE Italian comedian Sabina Guzzanti supposedly insulted the Pope and Italy has laws against this. Sabina is facing FIVE YEARS IN PRISON for this. The crowd at the show where she did the joke LOVED it.

The joke consisted of her saying that the Pope would be in hell being tormented by homosexual demons , and very active ones , not passive ones.

The joke clearly shows how irreverand Sabina is ! Gods, I want to work with her .

This is what makes the U.S. of A. the best place in the world to do standup. Even an immigrant like me can come into the country , sign up at an open mike and do the most atrocious joke about the leader of the U.S. of A. and he goes home scot free.

Don't try this in China. You make a joke about the premiere of China or any nation that China is doing business with you will see you eye being gouged out by a hot spoon faster than you can order #43 on the Panda Express menu. You try this in India you get assaulted by mass populi and your body is swept up on the street the next morning.

But why is it that in the supposedly advanced nation like Italy (and I hold you personally responsible for Starbucks and Mussolini) you don't have the freedom to do a joke about what is perhaps the most controversial religious head of our times. It is important to note that the first words out of the mouth of the current Pope Benedict , son of Poached and Omlet, was actually a joke. I actually saw his inauguration and he said something to the affect of 'Hello Everyone, my name is Cardinal Ratzinger. No wait , that was my old job. Some habits die hard. I am the new pope.' This Pope gets his advise from the best. He used what we in the business call a classic aside. Of all the comedic instruments available to mankind an aside is one of the lowest. Next only to juggling puppies and baby eating jokes.

So why is it that when a seasoned comic like Sabina makes a joke about the Pope that takes his act to a higher level (pun intended) she faces 5 years prison time instead of getting lifetime royalties and a secure place in heaven.

Your holiness, if you should be so kind to read this note I have but one suggestion for you. In this day and age when religion is under phenomenal pressure to succumb to the whims of the mighty and every major religion is losing thousands of believers to death and atheism - humor is the best marketing technique to win them back and if you strike the right deal with the Almighty - even bring the dead back to life. Embrace humor - you have a standing invitation to come on down to any of our show and do a 5 minute set. If you are any good you will have a regular spot on our show - even if we have to fire our regular Christian comic Mr.John Ross.

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