If you experienced the heyday of Saturday Night Live, you’ll almost certainly remember Father Guido Sarducci, the chain-smoking, sunglass-wearing priest who worked (rather implausibly) as a rock critic for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. The Sarducci character was the brainchild of Don Novello, a comedian who first began playing with the character in the early 1970s, when he bought a monsignor’s outfit for $7.50 at a thrift shop. Novello took “Sarducci” from the San Francisco nightclubs, to The Smothers Brothers Show, to Saturday Night Live in 1977. The irreverent priest often appeared on the “Weekend Update” segment and even once opened the show. And then, later, Novello brought Sarducci onto the American comedy circuit where he pitched audiences on the “Five Minute University,” a concept you’ll want to consider in case that MOOC thing doesn’t quite work out. Apparently it now has VC funding too.
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