[Update, 6 pm Eastern: Video added.]
Liberal comedian Robin Williams waded into Pope Benedict-bashing again on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson – just hours after millions of American Catholics celebrated Holy Thursday and the commemoration of The Last Supper, and in the wee hours of Good Friday morning.
The talk began as Ferguson and Williams talked about how the Scottish ask you which soccer team you favor, which is a roundabout way to ask about religion. They chewed over the phrase "some sort of Catholic," and Williams said: "Some sort of Catholic. Same religion, less pedophilia." Then he kicked into gear:
WILLIAMS: It’s going to be an interesting Easter for the pope. Everyone else is hiding eggs. He’s hiding priests. [In comic voice] ‘Find the pedophile! Find the pedophile! Find the pedophile! Where’s the pedophile? [Gibberish and laughter] Oop! There he is! Here’s a hundred thousand dollars! Replace the pedophile!"
FERGUSON (for comic effect): "Give me a second here, give me a second. CBS doesn’t endorse the views of Mr. Williams. Alright, go ahead. You’re alright."
WILLIAMS: "Before I’m excommunicated, I want to say thank you to all the people who watched me on this show."
FERGUSON: "No, no, you’re alright. They’ll be fine."
WILLIAMS: It’s rough, though. The pope, if this really gets big and bigger and bigger --
FERGUSON: Whaddaya mean, get big? It’s a pretty big story right now!
WILLIAMS: Yeah, but he can’t resign. The popes don’t resign. You stay until [feigns death]...even if the pope had a really severe accident, and becomes robo-pope. Pope Stephen [like Stephen Hawking]."
Williams sat on the Ferguson set for 20 minutes (with an ad break), as he and Ferguson chatted about how they each reacted to cocaine use, and Williams also mocked Southerners as living below the "Manson-Nixon line" in a discussion of whether the word "redneck" is offensive in Alabama.
This is actually a return to Catholic-bashing form for Williams. On the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2007, he said, similarly: "Here we go. Find the priest, find the pedophile. Find the priest, find the pedophile. Here you go right now. Move 'em around, move 'em around. Oh, you found the pedophile."
At least that time, it was in July, not as the Catholic faithful remember the last hours of Christ's life.
Then, Williams was asked about the controversy that followed the routine in a Today show interview, and Williams suggested his critics didn’t care whether child-abusing priests were exposed, that keeping it quiet was okay.