Humorists vs. Religion

Critical Voices from Mark Twain to Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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About the Book

Critical humorists and religion are steeped in a long-standing cultural antagonism. This book recounts the dramatic skirmishes between religion—its dogma and edicts, political manifestations, and the nature of faith—and the satire, parody, jokes and hyperbole of popular wits. The writings of Twain, Vonnegut, Mencken and Hitchens are included, along with the films of Monty Python, the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo, the animated television series The Simpsons and South Park, the comedy of George Carlin and Bill Maher, the music of Randy Newman and Pussy Riot, the performance monologue of Julia Sweeney and the magic of Penn Jillette.

About the Author(s)

Iain Ellis is a senior lecturer in the English department at the University of Kansas. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Bibliographic Details

Iain Ellis
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 267
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7560-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3401-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 • Mark Twain 17
2 • H.L. Mencken 32
3 • Kurt Vonnegut 41
4 • Lenny Bruce 51
5 • George Carlin 59
6 • Monty Python 67
7 • Randy Newman 76
8 • Hardcore Punk 86
9 • The Simpsons 94
10 • Family Guy 104
11 • South Park 110
12 • The Jyllands-Posten Cartoons 122
13 • Charlie Hebdo 133
14 • Christopher Hitchens 145
15 • Pussy Riot 153
16 • Bill Maher 161
17 • Ricky Gervais 169
18 • Julia Sweeney 177
19 • Penn Jillette 191
20 • Parody Religions 198
21 • Public Scientists 209
22 • Humor and Religion 225
Chapter Notes 233
Bibliography 255
Index 259