Editor’s Note: This was a popular story with our readers when it originally ran; we’re re-posting it here in case you missed it.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t know who watches the traditional four-camera sitcom in 2018. More specifically, I don’t know who watches Chuck Lorre four-camera sitcoms in 2018.
You may not know the name Chuck Lorre, but you’re probably familiar with his oeuvre. He’s the man responsible for such irreplaceable contributions to our national culture as “Grace Under Fire,” “Dharma & Greg,” “Two and a Half Men” and, perhaps most famously, “The Big Bang Theory.” Lorre’s sitcoms are basically what you watch as background noise while you try to do work, if at all.
Suffice it to say, then, that I didn’t catch the latest episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” I’m sure Sheldon did something very socially awkward and Rusty from “Christmas Vacation” made a few “Star Trek” jokes. Clearly, it’s something I’m having a FOMO moment over.
However, one thing I’m glad I missed was this:
— NewsBusters (@newsbusters) October 29, 2018
While I don’t know much about Lorre’s shows, what I do know (if perhaps you don’t) is that he’s famous for putting a card at the end of the episode that appears for only a split second and contains a message on it. Fans can go to their DVR, pause it and take a good look at the Easter egg that Lorre has decided to leave for them. (And why not? Odds are he probably spent more time writing that than anything else in the episode.)
According to Newsbusters, Lorre slipped one such card into the end of Oct. 25 episode of “The Big Bang Theory.”
This card, however, had a very dodgy “prayer” on it.
“God, (I call you that even though I suspect thou art well beyond names and words and might actually be some sort of ineffable quantum situation), (sic) I humbly beseech thee to make thy presence known on November 6th,” he began, apparently peppering his prose with extra commas just in case.
“Demonstrate your omnipotence through us as we make ink marks on little circles in curtained booths,” the prayer continued. “Of course if you, in your divine wisdom, believe a fascist, hate-filled, fear-mongering, demagogic, truth-shattering, autocratic golf-cheater is what we need right now, then, you know, thy will be done.
“But if thou art inclined to more freedom, more love, more compassion, and just more of that good stuff thou hath been promoting in our hearts or our parietal lobes — either one, doesn’t really matter — I submissively ask that thy encourage voter turnout in that general direction.
“Also God, please help Bob Mueller,” it added. “Guide him and make him strong, brave, wise and true. And yes, I know there must be thousands of guys named Bob Mueller, so why not help them all, just to be on the safe side. Amen.”
“Oh, almost forgot, remind those who collaborate with the darkness that thou art the light, and the light is not above whipping out a little Old Testament wrath,” he concluded. “Amen again.”
The one good thing I can say about this is that Chuck Lorre doesn’t share my political views. I can totally live with not having the wealth that Mr. Lorre has, but I don’t think I could bear knowing that the guy behind “Two and a Half Men” had the same belief system I do.
Aside from that, this is one of those handy reminders of why Donald Trump won in spite of the fact that everyone in Hollywood actually seems to believe he’s an honest-to-God fascist. Or, in this case, a “fascist, hate-filled, fear-mongering, demagogic, truth-shattering, autocratic golf-cheater.”
It isn’t just that Lorre feels that way about roughly half of the American electorate, give or take, given the election that we’re talking about. It’s that he believes that they “collaborate with the darkness” and that they should receive “a little Old Testament wrath.” In case you haven’t read the Old Testament recently, let me assure you that the wrath spelled out there is a bit more than just a metaphysical rap on the knuckles. In fact, He tended to smite them.
And yes, I get that Lorre is in J/K mode here. That doesn’t make it funny. In fact, it’s decidedly unfunny for two reasons.
The first is the obvious one: It doesn’t elicit laughs. Yes, we get it, you don’t like Donald Trump or Republicans and you’re imploring God to smite them. Har, har. Haven’t heard that one before.
However, if recycling jokes were a problem, none of Lorre’s shows would be on air.
Rather, the real problem here is that it’s not funny because it’s emblematic of Hollywood’s view of conservatives. It’s not just that liberals in the entertainment industry feel the need to say that they’re against the president, it’s how far they go. Whether it’s Madonna talking about how she felt like blowing up the White House or Kathy Griffin holding up the bloodied, effegial head of the president, these are people who are so far out of touch with what the average person thinks that they think going over the top like this is perfectly fine.
I’m not particularly offended by what Lorre wrote, merely exhausted. Exhausted with the idea that this is how our political debate is supposed to be. Exhausted with the fact that this kind of vitriol is perfectly all right with the same people who get upset at the mildest of James Woods jokes. Exhausted that the bar is so low for liberal comedy in the Trump era that this could pass muster.
At least we can take solace in the fact this’ll end up changing as much as the plot of “The Big Bang Theory” does.
Tune in next week when Raj does something geeky and a misunderstanding at the planetarium leads to uproarious hijinks!
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