God's Angry Man
March 2, 2011 1:15 PM   Subscribe

God's Angry Man - a documentary portrait of Dr. Gene Scott by Werner Herzog.
posted by Joe Beese (37 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Fuck yeah. I remember this guy when I was growing up - we'd stay up and watch this cigar chompin' dude with the horses. I didn't pay attention to him and always thought he was a bit of a crank. But I just thought it was like shortwave radio came to TV.
posted by symbioid at 1:20 PM on March 2, 2011

I meant to give a h/t to elwoodwiles for inspiring the post with this comment.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:34 PM on March 2, 2011

I watched Gene Scott a lot in the mid-80s (always late at night). He either owned a local UHF station or bought all of their broadcast time in the wee hours. The broadcast format mixed live and recorded bits so that it seemed he was on the air without a break.

He could be brilliant, stewing with rage, funny, playing the saxophone, or plain-talking. When he was stewing, often over money or the FCC, it wasn't pleasant. But it was often compelling programming compared to anything else on at 2am to someone too broke to afford cable.

I called in once to ask what it would cost to get him to come speak, and I think his figure was $20k.
posted by zippy at 1:36 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

My little brother was VERY into him. . .watched him all the time. He's since transferred his allegiance to Howard Stern. I do not know what to make of that.
posted by Danf at 1:40 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

He was on one of the basic cable channels we had in the late 70's, apparently 24/7. Almost allways looked like he'd been up for several days and the drugs had just started to wear off. Probably the only TV preacher I've ever watched voluntarily. If Hunter S. Thompson had been a preacher, he'd probably be a lot like Dr. Gene.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:43 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

....ok...roll the tape....{lites smoke}.....
posted by clavdivs at 1:45 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

I have never, ever heard of this guy before. What an extraordinary resemblance to an aged, dissolute Owen Wilson.
posted by maudlin at 1:49 PM on March 2, 2011

I listened to Dr. Scott on my shortwave receiver for hours at night battling insomnia. Really helped. He also had his own satellite channel that was on 24/7 for many years. Great storyteller, reminded me of Jean Shepherd (except when he was asking/yelling at me for money).
posted by cosmac at 1:49 PM on March 2, 2011

His widow Melissa is continuing the Doctor's good work.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:00 PM on March 2, 2011

Play "I Want To Know".
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:26 PM on March 2, 2011

"Doctor Scott !" "Werner !"
posted by Webbster at 2:42 PM on March 2, 2011

I remember Gene Scott popping up on local channels in Ohio at odd hours, harangueing his roomful of sycophants with his "teaching" while he filled a chalkboard with a chaotic, unreadable mass of words and symbols and lines. It was clearly bullshit designed to show what a genius of religious scholarship he was. His flock would murmer aggreement or laugh on cue. I called the number once and told the person who answered that they were a fool to follow that man. They hung up.
Sometimes Scott would sit on his fur-draped throne and say nothing while he made his staff play the same song over and over again to show his displeasure at something or other, probably fundraising, while he glared around angrily. He would sometimes have two pairs of glasses on the top of his head and another perched on the tip of his nose. I think he thought that made him look professorial.

Gene Scott was an asshole.
posted by longsleeves at 2:58 PM on March 2, 2011

Wow. I've only ever heard him on shortwave radio. I never even knew he was a thing beyond that.
posted by mykescipark at 3:00 PM on March 2, 2011

Great fun to watch him. I remember once he ran a clip of a fellow evangelist falling over a chair or something. Scott ran it, laughed like a loon, ran it again, and again... hysterical.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 3:06 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, yeah.

Felt good to say it, though.
posted by longsleeves at 3:09 PM on March 2, 2011

Miracle Man/You're Miracle Man
posted by clavdivs at 3:14 PM on March 2, 2011

posted by clavdivs at 3:16 PM on March 2, 2011

Thank you for this Joe Beese! I've been dying to watch it.

He scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.
posted by Kloryne at 3:20 PM on March 2, 2011

I don't know, I used to watch Dr. Gene back in the 90s but he was never crazy or ranty enough for me to be truly entertained. He just kind of droned on and on and made me impatient for Colin's Sleazy Friends to start.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:23 PM on March 2, 2011

Wait, the oddly sexy pastor lady with weird unidentifiable accent who goes on at great length about . . . something . . . is that guy's widow?

*Mind Grapes Exploded*
posted by KingEdRa at 3:26 PM on March 2, 2011

Is there something that will increase the volume of a YouTube video, beyond the limits imposed by the YouTube page itself and the computer's main volume control?
posted by Flunkie at 3:38 PM on March 2, 2011

I never knew what to make of this guy and would quickly pass over him when flipping channels lest I get ensnared in his relentless psychodrama. It always seemed shrouded in horse shit.

Brother Theodore, was my kind of a God's Angry Man, and could kick Gene Scott's ass coming and going, and make you pee yourself laughing, AND even provide illumination, of a whacked out surreal and absurdist nature, instead of weird-ass weak tea narcissistic mind games. Gene Scott had no saving grace. He sat in his emotional shitpile and wallowed in it. Fuck that IMHO. Total waste of time.
posted by Skygazer at 3:56 PM on March 2, 2011

I really loved to watch that guy. But I'm embarrassed to say I though Melissa Scott was his daughter.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:01 PM on March 2, 2011

He was definitely out there, but if you'd catch him lecturing on church history in the wee small hours of the morning (which was a lot less likely than catching him smoking and staring at the camera, or showing footage of horses), he could be pretty interesting (admittedly, sometimes in a "that's not just tobacco in those cigars, is it Dr. Scott?" way).

All of which would come to an abrupt end when he'd turn to the camera and yell "If you learned something YOU OWE ME MONEY!" and refuse to go on until some station in the midwest rounded up another $1,000 worth of donations...
posted by nonliteral at 4:02 PM on March 2, 2011

Eons ago I'd watch him out of boredom in the wee hours on some UHF channel. My favorite Dr. Gene Scott moment was watching him jabber on and on about the pyramid inch or some shit while wearing a huge black leather overcoat buttoned up to the neck. Suddenly he stopped and said, "It's hot in here! Somebody turn down the heat!"
posted by cropshy at 4:12 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

But I'm embarrassed to say I though Melissa Scott was his daughter.

I'm glad I checked before submitting the comment.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:18 PM on March 2, 2011

I've always said that Glenn Beck reminds me of a cross between Dr. Gene Scott and Wally George, only less sane than either of them.
posted by Chuffy at 4:38 PM on March 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Ye gods, I did a little searching on Dr. Scott's lovely wife and apparently she's got a bit of a porny past.
posted by cropshy at 4:43 PM on March 2, 2011

Maybe Gene Scott is to Pentecostalism what Lyndon Larouche is to the Democratic Party.
posted by Yakuman at 5:07 PM on March 2, 2011

I did a little searching on Dr. Scott's lovely wife and apparently she's got a bit of a porny past.

The Doctor might reply that Jesus too was faulted for associating with base people.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:39 PM on March 2, 2011

Dr. Gene Scott was my late-night marijuana-consumption barometer for years. Turn his show on, blaze up, and when he started to make sense, well, that's when it's time to stow the bong and go to bed.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:30 PM on March 2, 2011 [5 favorites]

The thing about Gene Scott was.... the cat was so freaking out there... it all felt like some kind of Ernie Kovacs skit. You'd come home late from a night out with friends... a teenager living with your parents... stoned out of your gord... and the only thing on tv at that hour... were crappy 1930s movies, reruns of Mayberry RFD or Gene Scott. Well, if you're high as a kite... Gene won every time. I remember nodding off on the tweed couch and bolting awake when I heard a roaring voice from our Zenith console. "WE NEED MONEY AND WE NEED IT NOW!" Jesus H Christ, I almost dialed the phone right there and then.

Gene was broadcast from California. My parents always made fun of him for that fact. "Home of all the nuts" they would say. Me, I always thought he added to mystique of Cali. If this guy could sit on TV, pull the all stunts he did and make money doing it... well, anything in life was possible. That place sounded a hell of a lot more fun than the midwest.

I moved to California in 1988.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 8:51 PM on March 2, 2011 [5 favorites]

I remember stumbling across Dr. Scott on late night television back in the day and it took me a long time to even figure out that he was, at least in theory, ministering. I couldn't figure out what this crazy bearded guy in a chrome army helmet was even talking about.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 10:24 PM on March 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

My favorite Dr. Gene Scott moment was watching him jabber on and on about the pyramid inch

Weird. The first time I saw this guy was in about November or December 1989, and talking about the same thing. It did not seem to be a religious themed show when I turned it on, it was more like an Art Bell episode about predicting the apocalypse.

The only reason I remember it was the fact that I changed the channel, and came upon the first cable TV episode of a new show on the Comedy Channel called MST3k, playing the movie 'The Crawling Eye.'

Thanks, Gene, for keeping me awake long enough to get my first taste of what was to become my favorite TV show ever.
posted by chambers at 8:14 AM on March 3, 2011

There's something to be said for his honesty - he wanted you to send him money that he'd spend whatever damned way he pleased. There is a somehow refreshing difference between him & evangelists who purport to be furthering "God's work/will" but instead secretly feed their own vices.
posted by PepperMax at 8:31 AM on March 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

How did he get thong bikinis on his stallions? Is this like the camel passing through the eye of a needle?
posted by zippy at 5:11 PM on March 3, 2011

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