Waging Comedy Against The Status Quo
“My goal is to tear false things down,” says Joe Raiola about his new solo show, American Heretic.
“So God and country seemed like a good place to start.”
In the tradition of George Carlin, Raiola fearlessly challenges the status quo while comically dissecting religion and belief. “It’s not my job to make people feel comfortable,” Raiola says – and in American Heretic the MAD Senior Editor leaves no doubt that he means it.
On God The Father: “I never cared much for him. He’s always struck me as a cosmic Peeping Tom.”
On Jesus: “Honestly, I was never a big fan. I’m naturally suspicious of martyrs. And besides, Jesus didn’t have enough of a sense of humor for me.”
On The Holy Spirit: “I feel bad for him because the Father and the Son get all the good press. The Holy Spirit’s treated like the third wheel of the Trinity – kind of like Shemp in the Three Stooges.”
Outspoken, outrageous and thought-provoking, American Heretic is an explosive evening of comic theater that leaves audiences laughing and questioning the roots of their religion.
“Joe touches a raw nerve wherever he plays,” says his long time Director, Barbara Pitcher. “He’s irreverent, but he comes from a very caring place which moves audiences deeply.”
Raiola says that his goal is to fully un-censor himself on stage and promote what he calls “enlightened ignorance.” When asked by an interviewer what that meant, he answered, “I’m not exactly sure. I’ve got the ignorance part down all right, but I’m still working on the rest of it.”