NewsBusters Podcast: Christmas Comedians Kick Over the Nativity Set

December 13th, 2023 10:22 PM

Comedians wouldn't cast a shadow on a single page of the Koran, but it's always fair game to mock the marriage of Mary and Joseph, and joke that Joseph was gay. Christians and their New Testament stories are irresistible grist for mockery. But mock Hillary Clinton, and there's hell to pay on the Jimmy Kimmel set. 

There are really two kinds of Christmas. There’s the winter festival, and there’s the Christian Christmas, the birth of the Christ. There’s "Let It Snow" and there’s "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." So when comedians joke that everything about Christmas is gay, it’s not as outrageous to suggest that Rudolph or Frosty or the Grinch are on the rainbow spectrum. It’s another to kick over the Nativity set and mock the triune God.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, they turned to gay comic actor Sean Hayes for the mockery: “And then there's Joseph…Why do you think they needed an immaculate conception? Joseph was the only guy in Bethlehem with two beards. The one on his face, and Mary.” Kimmel and Hayes were both "raised Catholic," which sometimes can predict they'll be first in line to mock their upbringing.

For contrast, in 2018, Glamour magazine rounded up female comedy writers, including Kimmel's head writer (and wife) Molly McNearney. She described her fury when Hillary's outfits were mocked: "I remember when Hillary was coming on a year ago, people were still making pantsuit jokes. I was like, “What the f--k are you doing? You’re minimizing this woman to her clothes?” We’d never talk about a man’s outfit. Everyone heard me and they did cut it, but there is learning to be had."

Then there’s The Daily Show: comedian Grace Kuhlenschmidt decided to go after the Nativity Story as she interviewed people on the street. She said to one person, “Christmas has never been gay at all. It's always been about a beautiful straight couple, a virgin and her husband who have never had sex, and he’s just remarkably chill when she gets pregnant.” 

When she was reminded how sparkly Christmas is, Kuhlenschmidt proclaimed, “How have I been so blind? It’s the queerest holiday of all.” Kuhlenschmidt continued, “How did I not see this? The twinkling lights, the tinsel, working with elves? Christmas is so gay."

One can wonder how journalist Tim Alberta would greet this trend. His latest anti-Trump book complains about the "extremism" of Christians who threaten to destroy their faith by worshiping at the feet of Donald Trump. PBS and NPR (among others) loved his thesis. But what about the other "extreme," people calling themselves Christians (or "devout Catholics") who energetically support abortion and every item of the LGBTQ agenda? 

Enjoy the podcast below, or wherever you listen to podcasts.