Comments about ‘Chris Hicks: When movies laugh at Mormons, it isn't always mean’

Return to article »

Published: Thursday, March 31 2011 5:00 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Utah Native
Farmington, UT

Fun to read this list! Here's another one; it's from "Peggy Sue Got Married," the 1986 film which takes place in 1960. Kathleen Turner's character Peggy Sue is talking to Michael Fitzsimmons (played by Kevin J. O'Connor). He is trying to convince her to marry him.
Michael: Now, this is the plan. As soon as school is finished, we move to Utah.
Peggy Sue: Utah? I thought you'd be going to Paris or New York. What's in Utah?
Michael: Rita. I met her last summer. She's cool. You'll really dig her. She's got this little cabin outside the hills of Provo where she raises chickens. I'll write, and you two can take care of the chickens to support us.
Peggy Sue: I can't do that.
Michael: Why not? Polygamy's legal in Utah.
Peggy Sue: I'm allergic to chickens.

Holladay, UT

I remember an episode of the Simpsons where Homer answers the door to find two aliens standing side by side, to which he replies. "Oh no, Mormons!"
Laughed so hard I peed.

Lehi, UT

Plus the 1960s / !970s(?) Western musical "Paint Your Wagon" with Lee Marvin & Clint Eastwood........

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

Good article Chris. There is no sense in taking offense when jokes are affectionately made.

Charlottesville, VA

It's important that we are able to take a good-natured ribbing in good humor.

But I don't think the new Broadway show is exactly that. Its message seems to be, "Obviously Mormonism is full of absurd fairy tales, but it seems to make Mormons happy, and they're nice people in a naively sweet way."

I don't think that's a compliment. It's patronizing. I'd rather see a full-frontal assault on my religion's history and teachings than see them simply brushed aside as obviously false. At least that would acknowledge that there ARE serious and compelling arguments in support.

Hyrum, UT

I love-love the reference made in the dialog in Star Trek IV...Captain Kirk tells a 20th century zoologist that Spock "did a little too much LDS" when he was at Berkeley in the 1960s.

That's some fine script writing, eh? Still makes me giggle!

Gemma, UK
Leighton Buzzard, UK

There's the wonderful scene in Cheers when Rebecca moans "Why can't more men send flowers?" Sam, in the background, "I didn't know Mormons can't send flowers... I know they can't dance."
There's more - it's brilliant. Check it out on youtube.

Sandy, UT

So lighten up about Rick Reilly's fun-poking at Jimmer!

Bluffdale, UT

Second part to the Cheers scene; Rebecca, "I said "more men" not "Mormons", you moron!", Sam replies to his buddies, "There's just no talking religion with her."

Bluffdale, UT

Skipped, The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox
Gladstone (Conrad Janis), "Mormons never kill."
Duchess (Goldie Hawn), "That's why there are so many of those little buggers."

Allen, TX


There is a big difference between poking fun at a religion generally, and directing a vitriolic personal attack on an admirable young man who earned Player-of-the-year honors. Reilly's article was offensive in any light, not fun-poking.

And I'm not even a Jimmer or BYU fan.

I love Mormon jokes, and I love that there are Mormons out there who poke fun at themselves, the culture, the religion (without being sacreligious), and especially the Utah way of life be it through articles, cartoons, movies or TV....Just don't cross the line into criticizing, or evil-speaking of the Lord's Annointed.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Rick Reilly was NOT poking fun at Jimmer. He made a vicious, unfair attack on Jimmer and BYU. There's a difference!

Quite honestly, this musical might have a positive effect on the Church. The Church has found that whenever something like this ("The Godmakers" comes to mind) comes out, the Church sees a spike in conversions. Why? Because some people get interested and decide to look into it to find out what the real truth is. When they find out that Truth is quite different from what they have been told, many end up joining the Church. I believe the same thing will happen with "The Book of Mormon."

This too will pass!

Lehi, UT

Short quips from a movie generally are not the offensive. If some one, other than a member, or the church itself, makes a movie about the LDS, you can bet it's motivated by hatred. With that said...when you consider the type of person who would author such entertainment, or the kind of person who would be entertained by it, it's really hard to take offense.

West Valley City, UT

What about the LDS movies thast were made that made fun of the LDS church like "Singles Ward' and the "R.M." They were as stereotypical as you could get. Anyone offended by them?

Ogden, UT

Perpetuating a stereotype is most often a bad thing. All the jokes about polygamy aren't funny and just fostering a stereotype that isn't true. I don't find any humor in them, and it is offensive. Jokes about Jews being cheap, Polish people being simple minded, the list goes on. These things are not funny and should not be tolerated, nor encouraged. Some of the things listed are funny, but some of the things listed above are not and should be called out as offensive.

Mormons are not polygamists, they haven't been for over a hundred years. Any joke that is a hundred years old just isn't funny. Gert over it already.

Allen, TX


No, YOU "Gert over it already".

Somebody needs a sense of humor transplant. "Any joke that is a hundred years old just isn't funny"?? Have you seen the Geico commercial with "Honest Abe" Lincoln, when he struggled to answer Mary Todd when she asked if her dress made her behind look big? Hilarious!! 'Cause he was Honest, get it?

That's 145+ year-old-humor....

Ogden, UT


Mormons aren't polygamists, Get it!

Ogden, UT

OK, I get it, Mormons show up at your door in pairs, they don't drink and don't smoke, they are relatively clean cut and sometimes prudish. All things that you can poke fun at, get a laugh, and probably won't offend people.

Unless your polygamy joke is about Brigham Young, it probably isn't funny and should just be kept to yourself.

Beaverton, OR

It's ok to be light-hearted, but the direct stab at the religion's tenants to denote that Mormonism is not a worthy religion is ill-conceived. That would also mean the rest of the religions in the world - Baptist, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, HIndu, Protestant, Muslim, as well as many others - have no good meaning or good intent as well.

Does this also mean that we are in the wrong when we laugh at those jokes where a Catholic Priest, a Baptist minister and a Mormon bishop are out fishing together, and the punch line ends up on the bishop? No. I had a catholic father-in-law who loved them just as much as the mormon neighbor.

It's really sadistic that people poke fun at the doctrine of those trying to do the right thing.

Montana Mormon
Miles City, MT

I agree with Alison. That line from Star Trek IV was great. My wife and I and another LDS couple were the only ones in the movie theater that laughed. I guess the others just didn't get it.

I am more than happy to laugh (though I sometimes cringe) at the quirks of the Mormon culture. But as has been said in previous posts, there is a huge difference between inocuous humor and inflammatory hostility. The real question is, What was the person's intent?

By the way, I have seen the pictures of the "polyg rig" and the "Brigham Brougham," and I think they are hilarious, even if the "joke" is over 100 years old.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments