Lunchtime Funnies

The Five Minute University.

A mention of Father Guido Sarducci made me think of this bit, which is one of my favorites.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Humor
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. inhumans99 says:

    This is great. I almost mentioned this in the other thread where someone asked who this guy is, he put in a funny appearance on Married With Children (the episode where Kelly Bundy holds a seance for the Bundy’s beloved pet dog).

  2. gVOR10 says:

    What’s the poli sci version? Weak parties?

  3. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Clever routine.

  4. @gVOR10: The political science version would be “separation of powers” and “checks and balances” plus “The Founding Fathers” as I am pretty sure that is all most people remember about US government.

  5. @gVOR10: “Weak parties” is all that most OTB readers will remember five years after I stop writing for the site 😉

  6. Rick DeMent says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I’ve thrown my fair share of weak parties. Thank the fates that the few good ones I’ve thrown make up for them.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    I went down a rabbit hole for a half hour today, looking at his old stuff and am impressed at how well it held up

  8. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Nah. When I think of you, it’ll be in conjunction with the squabble over what a cult is.

  9. @CSK: It is quite the legacy.

  10. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    You should be proud.

  11. steve says:

    His humor was mostly pretty gentle stuff and I dont recall him ever swearing so I guess it was predictable he wouldn’t last long on SNL. I suspect that if you liked Garrison Keillor when he was in form you would have liked this guy. (And you would also enjoy Keillor more if you knew Lutherans and Minnesota culture.) It also helped if you were familiar with the Catholic church and its foibles, especially its money issues. So I guess I am not surprised people have not heard of him.


  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rick DeMent: Thank the fates that the few good ones I’ve thrown make up for them.

    Hey, I think I was at the one in ’83. Good shit, man. Or was that ’84? ’78? The bicentennial shindig in ’76? I don’t know, I’m so cornfused now….

  13. gVOR10 says:

    @steve: I believe Sarducci was last on SNL in the 80s. No surprise he’s forgotten. As to Keillor, I’m ND born and bred, my brother was a Lutheran pastor, I have “Scandahoovian” relatives in ND and MN, and I’ll be going to a niece’s HS graduation this spring in a town of 2,000 people ten miles from Canada. (Graduating a year early because she wants out.) It does make it easy to appreciate Keillor, you betcha. A lot of his bits took me back to places and people that were 60 years ago.

  14. Andy says:

    Wow, nice blast from the past. In a sense, it was a golden age of comedy as people were trying a lot of new stuff, and Sarducci was one example. It holds up well unlike, for instance, Andrew Dice Clay.

  15. Mimai says:

    I also immediately thought of this bit. Twas before my time, and I can’t recall how/when it hit my radar. But it stuck with me.

    How much did it stick with me? When I used to teach undergraduate courses, I would tell students on the first day of class to buy a special notebook, make a special folder on their computer, etc. Label the notebook/folder: Father Sarducci Truths.

    I then explained the bit about the 5 minute university.

    Throughout the semester, I would flag key facts, principles, etc and have students file them away in their notebook/folder.

    “If you remember nothing else after this class, remember these Sarducci Truths.”

  16. CSK says:

    Novello also wrote The Lazlo Toth Letters.

  17. James Joyner says:

    @Andy: While we’re in something of a Golden Age of both scripted programming and stand-up, there was something to be said for those genres having to be more broadly appealing. In some ways, it’s easier to get a laugh or make a connection if you can narrow your focus to a narrow demographic.

    I stumbled on something earlier about “Dad TV,” which started as a pejorative for shows like “Yellowstone.” But, basically, they’re programs that have a reasonably clear-cut protagonist, are relatively safe for the whole family to watch together, and whose plots are readily understandable on first watch. A combination that’s getting increasingly rare. (Although, oddly, most of the examples in the show were a whole lot more violent than family fare that I grew up on.)

  18. wr says:

    @James Joyner: “A combination that’s getting increasingly rare.”

    Don’t worry, it’s all coming back. The new mantra in the TV biz is “bring back 90s television!” We’re going to be seeing a lot of procedurals, a lot of less complex shows, and a lot more appealing to broader audiences over the next couple of years.

    Oh, and a ton more advertising, as the streamers have all decided that this is the future.

  19. Andy says:

    @James Joyner:

    Yeah, come to think of it, in the last few years, there have been few shows our whole family watches together except some of the Marvel and Star Wars stuff. And we’ve all gotten tired of that. If we have a family movie night, we often end up watching a classic instead of something new.


    My wife and MIL will be happy with more procedurals.

    I would like to see the pendulum swing back toward more episodic TV instead of most shows seeming to be a long movie or mini-series cut into smaller pieces. I think that’s one reason I enjoyed Star Trek Strange New Worlds – I think I started on episode 4, didn’t feel like I missed anything, and caught up later with the earlier ones.