God Wants to Help You Bowl July 24, 2010

God Wants to Help You Bowl

New York comedian Hari Kondabolu explains why praying to God about the small things (like your bowling score) may actually work:

(via Sepia Mutiny)

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  • “I’m kidding, I’m kidding… God doesn’t exist. Surprise! We’re adult humans here.”

    You’d be surprised lol I wonder how many people in the audience were insulted.

  • Lore

    This just made my really crappy day just a little bit brighter. Thanks for the link 🙂

  • So damn funny!

    It actually takes some guts for a not-exactly-world-famous comedian to make a joke like that. Politics and religion are the two big things that most comedians don’t want to touch in a partisan/critical way because of the potential to (statistically) alienate a good number of people in the crowd. Bravo to this guy.

  • I remember you or one of the other atheist bloggers mentioning that you can’t be honest, religious, and intelligent, but you can be any two of them. I’ve been thinking about that in relation to wit, and I’ve decided that you can’t be funny and religious. Here’s my chain of reasoning.

    To be funny, you have to have a keen eye for observation. You also have to be fairly cynical and intelligent to make observations about the world that most people don’t make. Cynicism, observational skills, intelligence, and religion don’t mix.


  • Nakor

    @Angus: Makes sense at first, but then one remembers that people often apply those traits to everything but their religion. Much like in the previous thread where we were discussing how people can be honest and intelligent about everything else but religion.

    That said, while I have no numbers in front of me, it would not surprise me to find out that comedians have a greater percentage of atheists than non-comedians.

  • Matt

    I bet he wasn’t doing his show in Alabama.

  • Dan W

    I’ve always found the non-religious comedians more funny than the religious ones. I also wonder how many of the audience didn’t like his joking about religion. These comedy bits, when they briefly show the audience, are always focusing on people who are enjoying it. But not everyone, especially some of the more religious people, appreciates jokes about religion. I usually like jokes involving religion, except the ones that seem more mean-spirited than funny. An example that I didn’t find funny was Dane Cook’s “atheist sneeze” joke. Then again, I don’t find any of Dane Cook’s routines funny.

    It seems to me that a comedian has to have a less common perspective on certain things in order for them to come up with funnier jokes about things. Hence why atheist comedians, with their different perspective on religion, tend to come up with better jokes about religion than religious comedians.

  • @ Angus
    Famously, there are many comics who would self-identify as “Jewish”—Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Larry David etc.—but (to Angus’ point) how devout are they? American Jews are almost a special case; even some of the “devout” ones are kind of ho-hum about the religion. If Don Rickles, or Joan Rivers, or Jon Stewart go to temple every Saturday and don’t use electricity on the weekends, I’m not aware of it.

    Can anyone name a devoutly religious comedian who is also very funny?(“Devout” meaning someone who doesn’t merely self-identify but actually practices the religion seriously as a true-believer. And yes, I realize “very funny” is subjective.) Angus might be onto something.

  • Jeff

    I’ve been thinking about that in relation to wit, and I’ve decided that you can’t be funny and religious.

    You certainly can’t be a fundamentalist and be funny. The best humor takes irony as its theme. Andy’s comment is germane; Jewish humor relies almost exclusively on it.

    As is old news by now, fundies have no sense of irony. Evangelical humor is like the humor of pre-adolescents.

  • Reminds me of my dad driving round the multi-storey carpark a week before Christmas and praying for God to find him a parking space.
    I always wondered what he expected God to do? Stand in front of a parking space and stop all the non-believers from using it?

  • L. Foster

    As an example of evidence that fundie humor isn’t funny, I offer a joke that a relative who attends a fundie church told me years ago:

    An atheist is walking in the woods, when suddenly he’s jumped and pursued by a grizzly bear. He tries to run but the bear is right on top of him and in a fit of panic he shouts, “Oh God! Help me!” Time freezes and a bright light appears and the voice of God says, “Now wait a minute. You spent all your life refusing to believe in me and now you want me to help you? Does that seem fair to you?” So the atheist says, “Well, could you at least make the bear a Christian?” There’s a poof and flash of light and time restarts, and the bear stops attacking, and takes the man by the hand. Then the bear places his hand between his own clasped paws and says, “Dear Lord, thank you for this meal I am about to eat…”

    K, I’ll wait til you recover from the vapor-lock laughter you’re experi-… oh. Right. You’re done.

    Compare that to George Carlin’s “Religion is Bullshit” bit. I mean hello.

    As to Dane Cook’s “atheist sneeze”… dude Dane Cook is not, was not, never will be funny.

  • Greg

    Another point on the humour thing – generally a good comedian has to be willing to find the line of decency, and step over it. They have to be willing at times to challenge taboos and shock the audience. Faith is one of those things that doesn’t go particularly well with that kind of thinking.

    As for Dane Cook’s atheist sneeze ‘joke’, I don’t know anything else of his stuff, but the reason that ‘joke’ isn’t funny is that humour requires a touch of truth behind it. His portrayal of the atheist isn’t a strawman, it’s more of a ’tissue-man’.

    Plus he might not be a good comedian at all for all I know.

    Also, the Jewish thing, remember that there are cultural Jews as well as religious ones. Stephen Fry, for example, is both Jewish and an atheist (and a genius, but I digress).

  • Ben

    Larry the Cable guy is a fundamentalist and, I think, quite funny. He’s also really smart. Jeff Foxworthy also comes to mind. Typically you don’t see funny fundamentalists.

  • Jeff

    Foxworthy isn’t a fundie. I’m not even sure he’s at all religious.

    Larry the Cable guy is a fundamentalist and, I think, quite funny.

    Regarding the first part of this statement – I think you’re confusing “redneck” with “fundamentalist”. As for the second – I won’t comment.

  • muggle

    Ben, I’ll give you Larry the Cable Guy (what little I’ve seen and because I love Mater) but Jeff Foxworthy? You have got to be kidding me! Does he have any other stichk besides you might me a redneck if…

    I think Ray Romano is funny as hell but he has no problem poking fun of his own religion. I think more Christians (and Atheists for that matter or anything else) should have more of an ability to laugh at themselves like that.

    Um, and his costar too. Have you seen Patricia Heaton’s new show? Funny as hell. She’s been funny through three sitcoms now and really proves her salt in “The Middle” as far as I’m concerned and does it looking like a real person instead of glammed up. And read her IMDB bio. She’s even anti-abortion. (boo hiss, but she’s still funny.)

    The other costars are all funny but I don’t know if they’re Christian or not. IMDB shows that Peter Boyle was a monk before turning to acting but he certainly went irreverant in his acting between “Young Frankenstein” and playing a crazy who thought he was Jesus in “The Dream Team”. If you haven’t caught that do. It’s hilarious as all get out and Boyle’s portrayal of Jesus is freaking hilarious.

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