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Woody Allen Jesus Banned from TV Show
December 22, 2011 7:43 AM   Subscribe

Tim Minchin's performance of Woody Allen Jesus won't now be seen on the big Christmas edition of the Jonathon Ross TV Show after ITV's director of TV banned it. According to him it was enjoyed by fellow guests including Tom Cruise. Lucliky, Tim already had a copy of the performance.
posted by priorpark17 (60 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tom Cruise would have been substatially less enthused if the song had been about Xenu. It's always funny when it's someone else's messiah.
posted by bicyclefish at 7:59 AM on December 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Merry Manufactured Controversy, and a Jaded New Year.
posted by crunchland at 8:00 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there any statement as to why it was pulled? Like officially from ITV?
posted by Jehan at 8:01 AM on December 22, 2011


Yeah, I was hoping against hope that he would do a verse comparing Jesus to L. Ron. That's great, though, thanks for posting.
posted by Huck500 at 8:02 AM on December 22, 2011


No Velociraptor Jesus? What about the Veloci-rapture?
posted by jeffburdges at 8:04 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jehan: "Is there any statement as to why it was pulled? Like officially from ITV?"

Doesn't look like it.
posted by zarq at 8:05 AM on December 22, 2011


That was very funny. It's even better if you engage that new YouTube feature that makes snowflakes fall and pile up at the bottom of the video. Though I think that's kind of offensive. Don't they know it's summer in half the world? [NOT HEMISPHEREIST]
posted by FishBike at 8:06 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know what was funny, Promoting his musical in the middle of his article about the wonder of Christmas. Gotta make that Dollar (Pound I guess)

I preferred Storm though, this was kinda wink-wink. Not bad though.
posted by NiteMayr at 8:07 AM on December 22, 2011


I'm not really sure why it was pulled? Also 'Komodo dragon' was the best line.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:14 AM on December 22, 2011


So just who precisely would have been offended and can we have the same treatment shown to all?
I agree with this YT comment: “As a Christian I’m offended? they’d assume this would offend me, but Tom Cruise wouldn’t?”
posted by episodic at 8:15 AM on December 22, 2011


Maybe people are offended because it's not funny at all. Then again, I haven't ever found Tim Minchin funny, so maybe I'm a bad judge.
posted by koeselitz at 8:17 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


shakespeherian: "I'm not really sure why it was pulled? Also 'Komodo dragon' was the best line."

Because a series of manufactured '-gate' suffix media outrage-a-thons has pretty much every senior producer in every TV and radio channel in the UK scared of their own shadow, resulting in acres and acres of utterly bland pablum on 24 hours a day.

On demand media FTW.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:19 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Goddammit now it's stuck in my head.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:22 AM on December 22, 2011


is this a comedy act? or is that dude for real?
posted by ReeMonster at 8:31 AM on December 22, 2011


'Komodo dragon' was the best line.

Naw: 'geeks would hit him with shovels'.
posted by likeso at 8:32 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I haven't ever found Tim Minchin funny...

Me either, except for "funny" read "well-groomed".
posted by DU at 8:35 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


ReeMonster, who? Jesus?


Nope.
posted by Knigel at 8:37 AM on December 22, 2011


I would just like to direct attention to this older Tim Minchin post, for people who might have missed it before.
posted by procrastination at 8:40 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Maybe people are offended because it's not funny at all."

I thought it was funny. Not the funniest or the smartest thing I've seen in weeks, of course. That would be this "interview" of Björk from 1988. Especially the last minute-and-a-half with her conclusion. What's not to love about an especially adorable twenty-two year-old Björk channeling Socrates from Ion? Suck it, Minchin.

That said, I agree that the zombies part was awesome. I sense a LFD2 mod coming soon.

I'm sincerely curious as to how many Christians are or would be offended by this. (Minchin's song, not the Left for Dead 2 Jesus mod or Björk being awesome.)

But, yeah, I vote we censure and ostracize koeslitz for being a bad judge.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:51 AM on December 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Church-going Christian, always amused by Tim Minchin, not offended, consider magic WoodyAllen zombie Jesus to be a feature, not a bug.

More offended by Tim Minchin's summertime Christmas song White Wine in the Sun. [VERY HEMISPHERIST AND ALSO WHY THE HELL ISN'T IT SNOWING IN OHIO YET]
posted by gracedissolved at 9:00 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think any offense would probably come more from a general attitude of 'This guy's not treating Jesus as Serious Business' rather than any particular jokes he makes, but there's already plenty of Not Treating Jesus As Serious Business stuff on the teevee, which is why I'm not sure why it was pulled. I mean, it's possible it was just cut for time.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:01 AM on December 22, 2011


Yeah, unless we hear otherwise, my suspicions would fall on the side of 'cut from the show because it was leaden, heavyhanded and crappy', and this is his way of making being edited out less embarrassing. We have irreverant and downright offensive stuff broadcast all the time. I suppose, to be fair, we have tedious hack comedians on TV all the time too, but even a stopped clock's right twice a day.
posted by RokkitNite at 9:07 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Last week, I downloaded the episode of QI that got pulled because of something Jeremy Clarkson said. My wife and I both watched it, and for the life of us, neither could figure out what he said that was so awful that they had to yank the whole episode. Furthermore, considering the fact that the Making of QI program indicates that they shoot about 3 hours of chatting in order to make a single episode that airs, we couldn't figure out why they didn't just re-edit the episode.

So now that I've now seen two examples of recent television programming that have been censored by British television, and I have to say, you guys have absolutely no reason to make snide comments about how weird and uptight we Americans are.
posted by crunchland at 9:20 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


crunchland -- it wasn't anything Clarkson said on that programme in particular, it was due to some remarks he made on another programme entirely in the preceding week. I shit you not.
posted by kalimac at 9:26 AM on December 22, 2011


I thought the UK was down with a) atheists and b) humor - I'm kind of serious about that - something being pulled off the air because of thin-skinned religious types is not my (passing) understanding of what's what.
posted by victors at 9:33 AM on December 22, 2011


Not as funny as The Pope Song (NSFW), but diverting enough. Still, the fact that it was pulled illustrates that we British atheists are right to be concerned about the increasing hypersensitivity around religion in our once casually ungodly society.
posted by Decani at 9:40 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is there any statement as to why it was pulled? Like officially from ITV?
The BBC reports says: In a statement, ITV said Minchin's song "didn't quite work editorially". I couldn't find the statement and the BBC blurb neither confirms nor denies the reason was fear of pressure. They also say that they were told that the song was "not right tonally" which also doesn't really say much.
posted by Lame_username at 9:45 AM on December 22, 2011


"I would just like to direct attention to this older Tim Minchin post, for people who might have missed it before."

Wow, thanks for that link to the older Minchin post. That was before I came back to MeFi (didn't even lurk the site for four years) and so I never saw that and otherwise have had no exposure to Minchin. I loved Storm, both the song and video.

Oddly, though, what no one mentioned in that thread (which was short and civil, by the way), is that the point that he works up to as his coup de grâce—that empiricism and science have doubled his expected lifespan, during which he will enjoy twice the amount of wondrous time in this world—is false. That bothers me, given that a key criticism of Storm is that she repeats cliches she believes are meaningful and true without, as Minchin observes, ever bothering to look at Wikipedia or fucking Google.

I'm not making the equivalency that a few people did in the other thread. But, you know, glass houses and all.

However...he may have been speaking of his great-great-great uncles and aunts quite specifically. Maybe those particular people suffered from some specific malady that medicine has since remedied. But I don't think that was what he meant.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:45 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because a series of manufactured '-gate' suffix media outrage-a-thons has pretty much every senior producer in every TV and radio channel in the UK scared of their own shadow, resulting in acres and acres of utterly bland pablum on 24 hours a day.

This ^^^^^^^

Blame the Daily Mail trying to take down the BBC. TV was a lot more edgy 15 years ago.
posted by Summer at 9:47 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually, though I'm not really a Minchin fan, this is pretty funny.
posted by koeselitz at 9:50 AM on December 22, 2011


Jonathan Ross on Twitter: "Really gutted that the brilliant @timminchin song has been cut from my show. Decision was out of my hands."

Kalimac -If you mean Clarkson's remarks about wanting striking public sector workers to be shot, preferably in front of their families, it makes perfect sense that the QI crew would have regarded his presence as radioactive a week after that incident.

And anyone who thinks that the UK doesn't have an active and rising religious right hasn't been paying attention.
posted by Wylla at 9:52 AM on December 22, 2011


Ivan Fyodorovich, I know what you mean. Doubling of life expectancy is due to a drop in infant mortality mostly, not that we are living all that much longer. Maybe a bit longer. But it's not like people didn't live into their 80s in the 3rd century. (Maybe not that common, but people weren't dropping dead at the age of 30.)

I'm afraid to watch this at work, although I liked what he wrote about Santa.
posted by Hactar at 9:53 AM on December 22, 2011


Ivan Fyodorovich: "I'm sincerely curious as to how many Christians are or would be offended by this."

A lot of them would, but luckily Christians are a quiet bunch and that's exactly why people pull these stunts - it's the low-hanging fruit of religious controversy. Low risk, high reward.

I'd like to see him try it with Mohammed, though. That crowd has a great sense of humor.
posted by falameufilho at 9:56 AM on December 22, 2011


Kalimac -If you mean Clarkson's remarks about wanting striking public sector workers to be shot, preferably in front of their families, it makes perfect sense that the QI crew would have regarded his presence as radioactive a week after that incident.

Nope.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:17 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wylla: I don't think Nadine Dorries is religious right. I think she is coming out with stuff like this to see if funding or support exists for a religious right. There are plenty of UK conservatives who are looking across the pond for strategy and funding ideas.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:20 AM on December 22, 2011


Wow - tough crowd in here tonight...
posted by greenhornet at 10:22 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wylla: I don't think Nadine Dorries is religious right.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:20 PM on December 22


She isn't. She's a pandering Tory... oh wait, I can't say that word on Metafilter.
posted by Decani at 10:29 AM on December 22, 2011


Put me down as another one that doesn't find Minchin all that funny. I am an atheist and personally predisposed to find his sort of material funny, but I don't. And I am not big of musical comics either, it usually feels like the songs hide poor material, weak joke construction, and the inability to deliver a joke.

falameufilho, if I was not on a phone I would link you to a recent comment in another thread about comedy and context. "Attacking the powerful is comedy, attacking the weak is oppression."
posted by X-Himy at 10:30 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I went to see Tim Minchin in the summer (in the US) and it seemed most of the audience were there because they found the idea of someone making God jokes edgy or something. Except that I don't think the religion jokes are Minchin's strong point and it seemed that he didn't either--he kept saying things like "Well, it seems Americans like me because I make the odd religion joke, so, uh, I'll do that."
posted by hoyland at 10:38 AM on December 22, 2011


It's well known that Jonathan Ross is a huge comic book geek. If he was angry over anything, it's that Minchin quotes the line: "With great power comes great responsibility" and then says "Superman Jesus." Uncle Ben died for our sins and we shan't desecrate his memory by attributing Spiderman's words of wisdom to some lesser hero.
posted by Kattullus at 11:10 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love me some Tim Minchin. And musical comedy is the highest form of art achieved by the human race. For reals.
posted by emmtee at 11:40 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really, how many people do musical comedy well?
posted by moorooka at 12:06 PM on December 22, 2011


It is easy to add your own verses.

Praise him, honky tonk cruise missile apple pie pants Jesus.
posted by idiopath at 12:10 PM on December 22, 2011


I'd see Tim Minchin live without a second thought. But I don't think of him as a "god joke guy" buy any stretch. Tim Minchin to me is If I Didn't Have You, Rock n Roll Nerd, If You Really Loved Me, and So Fuck'n Rock (used to be a great multi-part clip on the Tube that has been replaced with lesser performances).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:11 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was gonna condemn this sight unseen, but if Tom Cruise enjoyed it, I guess I should give it a chance.
posted by straight at 12:12 PM on December 22, 2011


"Really, how many people do musical comedy well?"

One less than many people think.
posted by Pinback at 12:13 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was probably his gentlest Christian song yet, honestly. Don't invite the guy on the show and ask him to write a Christmas song if you're not expecting at least a mild ribbing. He's sort of well known for a derisive attitude towards religion.

No, it's not the most hysterically new joke in the world, but it made me smile.
posted by belissaith at 12:26 PM on December 22, 2011


Durn Bronzefist: I'd see Tim Minchin live without a second thought. But I don't think of him as a "god joke guy" buy any stretch.

He's got some splendid comedy songs, If You Really Loved Me, for instance. But my very favorite Tim Minchin song is the wonderful, uncomical Christmas song White Wine in the Sun.
posted by Kattullus at 12:33 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kattullus - I hadn't heard White Wine before today. The timing for listening to it is just right (I head back home for Christmas today) and damn this room seems to have gotten dusty.

Last Christmas when I was back home with my parents, we were watching a Minchin doco that followed him to the UK, and for the birth of his daughter. He adores that kid.
posted by belissaith at 12:41 PM on December 22, 2011


I like Minchin, but he needs a better refrain because this one kills the timing and upbeat tempo that usually carry his songs along. I would have cut it from broadcast too.
posted by zippy at 12:41 PM on December 22, 2011


By. By any stretch, egads.

my very favorite Tim Minchin song is the wonderful, uncomical Christmas song White Wine in the Sun.

That was sweet, thanks.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:43 PM on December 22, 2011


Bah. That was a mis-link, above. This is (my fave) If I Didn't Have You.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:47 PM on December 22, 2011


Tim Minchin annoys me irrationally.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:52 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tim Minchin annoys me irrationally.
Me too.

It's the eye-liner.
And the bare feet.

I still think he's hilarious though.
posted by fullerine at 3:09 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: It's always funny when it's someone else's messiah.

Seriously, though, it's trite, cutesy, and falls short of true wit, at least in my opinion. Yes, the stories are ridiculous, yes, we're well aware of how we can connect those ancient ridiculous stories with our modern ridiculous fictions (albeit badly - "with great power comes great responsibility" isn't Superman, Tim...), and no, he hasn't really done it in a novel or different way.

Let's put it this way - he's no Tom Lehrer.
posted by FormlessOne at 3:47 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


[Don't pre-doom the thread, ffs, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:57 PM on December 22, 2011


Maybe ITV is answering Dadid Cameron's call to arms.
posted by homunculus at 4:18 PM on December 22, 2011


FormlessOne: "Seriously, though, it's trite, cutesy, and falls short of true wit, at least in my opinion. "

Well there ya go, summing up Minchin's whole schtick in one sentence.
posted by barnacles at 5:15 PM on December 22, 2011


I'd like to see him try it with Mohammed, though. That crowd has a great sense of humor.

He does manage to spread the love a bit in some of his songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXfmjMlPEic&feature=youtube_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T4Wk9M2ObE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

...but, really, Muslims are something like 2% of the British population while trappings of Christianity suffuse our culture and a slim majority of Brits are at least nominally Christian (depending how you phrase the survey question). So singling out Muslims for ridicule in a gig in the UK is both a bit pointless and, given the prejudices already levelled at them in many parts of society, not very classy.
posted by metaBugs at 5:59 PM on December 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: It's always funny when it's someone else's messiah.

Had someone criticized Steve Jobs, this place would go up in flames.
posted by Yakuman at 10:48 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


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