Stand-Up Comedian Preachers

Here it is, clearly stated:

The answer was provided by a Canadian correspondent: these performers have adopted the style of the American stand up comic. The swaggering up and down; the conversational banter; the faux outrage; the mocking cynicism about anybody who might value decency and order as traditionally conceived; the studiedly slovenly dress style; the portentous pauses while waiting for a laugh; the ugly profanity; and, in some well-known cases, a preoccupation with talking about sex. All of this is, I am told, standard fare among the professionally controversial comics.

These stand up comedian preachers would not work in the church in other parts of the world because aesthetics of plausibility differ from culture to culture — they are not superior or inferior, please note, but merely different (I am not scoring patriotic points here). Confidence men in every culture need to find what idiom works in their locale in order to part the local gullible (or ‘marks’) from their money and their time. Here in the USA it is stand up; elsewhere it will be something different.

You probably didn’t need me to tell you. When I see them, as I did recently, I am filled with horror. It is not so clear to me what would keep me from being the way they are. It makes me wish I could write everything in my sermon out, examine it carefully, and then read it adhering strictly to saying only carefully considered things (mostly! not that writing something out makes it considered and that consideration leaves things well-considered enough). But because of the way things now are, it is hard to do that in the USA and it is impossible here.


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