Stand-up comedy is a old, beloved tradition which has given us some of the finest comedians in the world. In this post, I will feature four notorious clips of famous atheist comedians talking about their experiences and opinions on religion, it’s history and it’s impact on society.
Dave Allen (1936-2005) was a Irish born comedian that identified himself as a “practicing atheist” and was known for the joke: “I’m an atheist, thank god!”. He was well known for his relaxed, intimate way of performing his stand up and was widely popular in Canada, Australia and Great Britain. Even if Allen often joked about religion, he didn’t feel that he was mocking belief, but rather rituals and church customs. He explained this ideology in 1998, when he stated: “The hierarchy of everything in my life has always bothered me. I’m bothered by power. People, whoever they might be, whether it’s the government, or the policeman in the uniform, or the man on the door – they still irk me a bit. From school, from the first nun that belted me”.
In this clip Allen talks about his first experience with Religion:
Eddie Izzard is a English comedian who has become widely famous for dressing up in drag while performing his Stand-Up comedy. His humor is often partly social commentary, partly popular cultural spoof and parody and surreal telling of historical as well as biblical stories. Izzard has also acted in films, his latest being “Mystery Men” where he played a villain. Izzard has been openly atheistic for many years. In this clip he talks about how church of England was born:
Bill Hicks was a Texas born left-leaning comedian that’s Stand-Up was unusually political. Hicks spoke of legalizing drugs, allowing gays to serve openly in the military and criticized extreme and blind faith. Hicks was never shy from speaking his mind; he was one of the most bold and intelligent comedians the U.S has offered, and was token from us way to early in 1994. In the clip I’ll show Bill Hicks talks about his encounter with some religious fanatics.
And of course, lastly I will show the legendary George Carlins clip where he completely rejects all ideas of religion and belief. This bit is very strong, so be warned. Carlin is also one of the first political comedians from the U.S. He became infamous for his Stand-Up routines on religion and censorship. He died in 2008.