Press release of the day: “Film Sets New Christian Comedy Trend”

Back in the immoral age of comics, Christian comedians seemed out of place in any other venue besides a church.

Some would argue that the only thing that goes on in a church is comedy, but that would be going for the cheap laugh and I would never do that.

Or how about: “Three comedians walk into a church. Only one of them knows he’s a comedian.”

Aren’t all comedians Immoral? (“deliberately violating accepted principles of right and wrong“)  The basic job definition is holding up a fun-house mirror to society & letting people consider ideas that they would never think of otherwise.

It would be hard to come up with a bigger violation of currently accepted principles of right and wrong than humbly pursuing your faith, loving your God and your fellow man even over the pursuit of material gain. Thus Christianity can be pretty damn immoral. When the late Mr. Carlin went on about the seven dirty words that you can’t say on television he was making a point about the unpleasantness of swearing serving to distract us from the true obscenities of the world like poverty, war, bigotry. For me that’s a very Christian message.

I actually have a bunch of God related material in my act. “Two phrases I hate: ‘person of faith’ and ‘faith-based organization.’ Please do not insult my belief that way. Cubs fans are a people of faith and support a faith-based organization. Me, I believe in God.” (The way things are going I’m going to have another patsy organization. GM? The Knicks? The Fed?)

In case you were wondering what the hell: “Enter Ron Pearson, a Christian who is explicit about his faith yet is one of the top secular comics in the business. … Pearson’s latest project, Apostles of Comedy; The Movie, is a masterpiece that’s sure to set a new trend in both the Christian and secular comedy world. The film fuses 4 award – winning comedians that spotlights not only the quirks but explores their private lives as they share their journeys of love, faith, hope and forgiveness. You’ll see famed comedians Pearson, Anthony Griffith, Brad Stine and Jeff Allen as you’ve never seen them.”

“As you’ve never seen them?” Well, that’s setting the bar pretty low. How about as you’ve never heard of them?

And just FYI: Bob Newhart is GOD!

Punk god illustration by George Coghill.


A moment of silence for one of the greats … Dick Martin

Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In was a truly great show and every bit as subversive as The Smothers Brothers. It was the place where America saw the best in the old tradition of comedians — Don Rickles, Charlie Callas (I think), Sammy Davis Jr. and many, many others — cross paths with the new tradition as seen in Lily Tomlin, Arte Johnson, Goldie Hawn, Flip Wilson and countless others. It was where Richard Nixon said, “Sock it to … me?” And John Wayne was a regular guest. Martin (right) was Gracie Allen/Lou Costello to Dan Rowan’s George Burns/Bud Abbot. They did political humor when the nation was even more polarized than it is now and they did it without being mean. Martin was 86 and I miss him already.

Welcome home, as it were

Welcome to the new home for Collateral Damage, that irritating blog that used to be at CMO magazine, until CMO bit the dust. For those of you new to my little menagerie of stories — this is where I, yet another opinionated blow-hard, go on at length about business and marketing and vainly attempt to be funny.

About me: I’m Constantine von Hoffman, a senior writer for BrandWeek magazine and standup comedian.

Here is what in journalism parlance is called the “nut graph” about me. A veteran journalist with more than 20 years professional experience, I am one of the few people to have worked for both the devil (AKA Rupert Murdoch when I was city editor at the Boston Herald) and The Deep Blue Sea (associate producer for National Public Radio’s environmental news show Living on Earth).I have covered everything from fires to sewer committee meetings to science to the arts and A LOT of business stories. Prior to BrandWeek, I was senior writer for CMO magazine and before that I was a freelance writer. My work has appeared in a whole bunch of magazines, including the Harvard Business Review, Sierra, Boston Magazine and CIO.