Comedian Jimmy Fallon Wanted To Be A Priest
published 19 February 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski
HE FOLLOWING comes to us by way of theMusica Sacra Forum. Late-night comedy was a big deal when I was in 4th grade, but my parents didn’t allow us to watch it. To this day, I’ve never watched late-night comedy. (I’m told very few people do these days.) However, I’ve seen YouTube excerpts on occasion. I think Jimmy Fallon has a very nice smile — deep down, he seems to have a good heart. Granted, I have no factual basis for saying this, but when I saw him smile, that was my impression — take it or leave it!
How ironic, and how telling, that even a comedianrealizes there ought to be reverence at Mass!
INTERVIEWER: So you went to Catholic school when you were young.MR. FALLON: Oh yeah.INTERVIEWER: Did you have…MR. FALLON: I wanted to be a priest.INTERVIEWER: Did you really?MR. FALLON: Yeah. I loved it.INTERVIEWER: Why?MR. FALLON: I just, I loved the church. I loved the idea of it. I loved the smell of the incense. I loved the feeling you get when you left church. I loved like how this priest can make people feel this good. I just thought it was, I loved the whole idea of it. My grandfather was very religious, so I used to go to Mass with him at like 6:45 in the morning serve Mass and then you made money too if you did weddings and funerals. They’d give you, you’d get like five bucks. And so I go okay, I can make money too. I go this could be a good deal for me. I thought I had the calling.[ … ]INTERVIEWER: Do you still go to church?MR. FALLON: I don’t go to – I tried to go back. When I was out in L.A. and I was like kind of struggling for a bit I went to church for a while, but it’s kind of, it’s gotten gigantic now for me. It’s like too … there’s a band. There’s a band there now and you got to … you have to hold hands with people through the whole Mass now, and I don’t like doing that. You know, I mean it used to be the shaking hands piece was the only time you touched each other.INTERVIEWER: Mm-hmm.MR. FALLON: Now I’m holding now I’m lifting people. Like Simba.(Soundbite of laughter)MR. FALLON: I’m holding them (Singing) ha nah hey nah ho.(Speaking) I’m … I’m doing too much. I don’t want — there’s Frisbees being thrown, there’s beach balls going around, people waving lighters, and I go this is too much for me. I want the old way. I want to hang out with the, you know, with the nuns, you know, that was my favorite type of Mass … and the Grotto and just like straight up, just Mass-Mass.
I sent my wife the link to this post and told her I could definately see Fallon as a priest. His humor and his playfulness would be welcome. See Fr. Fallon performing the EF rather than SNL.
In another time, he'd have been the priest.
I heard that interview. It was on Fresh Air on NPR.
I believe Joseph Campbell said something similar. What the die-hard 'Spirit of Vatican II' folks just won't admit is that we've lost gazillions of people because of the so-called liturgical reforms of Paul VI. They like to point to the Lefebvrists and splinter groups as evidence that only a tiny sliver of crackpots would ever leave. But they're just the tip of the iceberg.
They might respond (I'm guessing) that those folks must have had a pretty weak faith if the only thing that kept them in the church was the 'sacralised clerical drama' of the old Mass. But who's to say what draws people to God? And if a bit of incense helps, who am I to judge?
I'm not saying the Sign of Peace, the Memorial Acclamation, etc, aren't good for some people. But they haven't worked for everyone--including me. I'm a Catholic in spite of the liturgy, not because of it. Mind you, as a traditionalist at heart, I wouldn't want to make other people suffer through their own liturgical winter either.
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