Father Guido Sarducci Pitches “The Five Minute University”

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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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pope John Paul II Takes Bat­ting Prac­tice in Cal­i­for­nia, 1987

John Belushi’s Impro­vised Screen Test for Sat­ur­day Night Live (1975)

The Mak­ing of The Blues Broth­ers: When Belushi and Aykroyd Went on a Mis­sion for Com­e­dy & Music

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.