By: DAVID RICE
Re: Cult Laugh-in
From: email@example.com (Merchant of Chaos)
Subject: Anti-Scn Jokes on "Nightstand"
Date: 7 Dec 1995 07:25:12 GMT
This past weekend, the talk-show spoof "Nightstand" did a
"cult show." For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it
is set up to look like a typical daytime talk show...only all
the participants are actors, and the lines are scripted. The
only "real" people are the studio audience members, but even
some of them are actors who have been planted there to ask
phony questions. The host of the show is "Dick Dietrick"
played by Timothy Stack.
The topic of last week's show was "cults" and it was
HYSTERICAL!!! They promised to look at "both sides of
cults----the kooks who join them and the wackos who start
them!" The show opened with a female "cult member" from a
fictitious group called "The Children of Yerri." After she
began speaking in a typical cult jargon, Dick Deitrick
complained, "I have to get me an English-to-Yerri Dictionary!"
Then they brought out the cult leader, and it was quickly
revealed that he had his female followers engaging in
prostitution. (This show always has to go for the "sex"
angle!) The funniest part was when the former cult member,
who was silhouetted behind a screen because she supposedly
wanted her identity concealed, began speaking. In order to
disguise her voice, she preceded each comment she made by
sucking the air out of a helium balloon! This shtick had me
rolling on the floor!!!!
In the next segment, they brought out a "deprogrammer" who
immediately announced that his "organization" is
"conveniently located across the street from $cientology
centers around the country." This prompted wild laughter and
applause from the studio audience!!! The deprogrammer then
explained the warning signs of being in a cult...one of which
was "You find yourself at more than one party with Tom
In the show's final segment, they introduced somebody who had
supposedly been "successfully deprogrammed". The guy spoke
with exactly the same mannerisms and tone of voice as the
deprogrammer, which shows that the folks at "Nightstand" are
determined to make fun of BOTH sides of every issue.
Finally, they brough the cult member's mother, who after
yelling at the cult leader, found herself captivated by his
charm. By the end of the episode, the mother, the
deprogrammer, the deprogrammed former cult member, and the
host, Dick Dietrick, were all singing together on stage,
while the other former member, the one who wanted her
identity kept secret, ran out from behind the screen and
attacked the cult leader. (Every episode of this show
usually ends with some sort of fistfight.) The woman was
dragged off the set screaming and yelling, and it reminded me
of the Geraldo show fiasco of 1991, when Scientologists were
so successful at taking over the show, that a stunned Steve
Hassan and Monica Pignotti were left screaming and yelling
The show was very funny, and the jokes were quite clever. It
was obvious that the writers of the show were well educated
about cults, because you have to have knowledge about a topic
in order to make fun of it that well.
My favorite one-liner from the show was when the host said to
the cult member:
"I'm not laughing *at* you. I'm laughing *for* you."
If I hear that the show is going to be repeated, I'll let you
... "God never intended Christians to be fools." -- "Kato"
* Origin: "And furthermore, 'Don't call me brother.'" (1:124/9005)