Martha Plimpton Will Believe AnythingBroadway’s newest rock musical, Passing Strange, is about leaving home and finding yourself. So after a recent performance, we asked audience member Martha Plimpton about a time when she tried to find herself. It turns out that in high school, she explained, she tried to do it through Jesus. “Instead of becoming a punk-rocker, I became a church lady,” she said. “I was baptized and everything, which in its own way was rebellious. But I was Episcopal, so it was only so rebellious. It’s not like I swore off sex and booze and all that. I just added church.” Lately, her spiritual quest took her to a two-hour stint in a Mexican sweat lodge. “I don’t think I discovered anything about myself, but I did learn quite a few things,” she said. “You’ll literally believe anything when you’re in a 500-degree stone igloo.” —Jada Yuan
Just in Time for Hanukkah, Sherri Shepherd Explains Judaism AwayWe love Sherri Shepherd. Since she came on The View, the show has had more energy, more weaves, and a hell of a lot more on-camera drinking. Also, it’s had a lot more interesting Christian moments. Like today, when Sherri claimed that Jesus Christ arrived on Earth and started the Christian religion before anything else in history happened. During a discussion about the Greek philosopher Epicurus (341 B.C.–270 B.C.), the following debate popped up among a lot of cross chatter:
Whoopi: Keep in mind probably when he was around there was no Jesus going on.
Sherri: No, they had Christians back then.
Sherri: They had Christians, they threw them to the lions.
Whoopi: I think this might predate that.
Joy: They believed in polytheism.
Sherri: I don’t think anything predated Christians.
Joy: No, the ancient Greeks were earlier. It went Greeks, Romans, then Christians.
Sherri: Jesus came first before them.
Whoopi: [Gently, bless her] Not on paper.
Now, Sherri is not wrong about people in the Bible being thrown to the lions way before then. But people called them Jews then, because Jesus didn’t come until 300 years later. All in all, probably a fair mistake. Just not one we expected to hear in the same episode as Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul talking about aborting an 8-month-old baby.
The View [ABC]
apropos of nothing
How Will Hollywood Offend Christians Next?Next week’s release of the probable blockbuster The Golden Compass has religious groups freaking out about its atheistic themes, and a 300-style Jesus action movie is now in the works. What’s next in the world of Christian-enraging cinema?
Kristian Laliberte Loves to Have Sex With JesusJust kidding! He doesn’t really. See, when we caught up with the stylist and ‘mocialite at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis Fashion Forward party, we immediately asked him if the news outlets that enjoy teasing him ever mix up his quotes. “The New York Observer, always, always,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I literally could be like ‘I love Jesus.’ And they’d be like ‘I love, dot dot dot, to have sex with, dot dot dot, Jesus’ and I’m like, Where did that come from?” We don’t know why anyone would ever want to doctor his quotes, because that was his answer to our first question, and as far as we’re concerned, he hit it out of the park. —Amy Preiser
the morning line
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
• We were kinda hoping this wouldn’t come out until, say, a week before the primaries, but take it away, Times: Rudy Giuliani was briefed on Bernie Kerik’s unsavory dossier, including the commish’s possible mafia ties, in 2000. Then Rudy made him the city’s top cop. [NYT]
• New Jersey governor Jon Corzine has already picked a side of the Dem roster for 2008: He’s officially endorsing Hillary. (The State Senate president, Richard Codey, is a John Edwards man.) This is not insignificant considering N.J.’s extra-early primary date. [WNBC]
• Long Island police are investigating nightmarish scenarios after severed limbs “with pink toenail polish” washed up in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester. There’s also a torso in a Wal-Mart suitcase, and revolting details galore for the curious. [Newsday]
• Since we’re reminiscing about Rudy, how about a big fat Catholic controversy around a work of art? Cosimo Cavallaro is planning an Easter exhibit of an anatomically correct (of course) chocolate (of course) Jesus (of course), and he swears the timing is coincidental (yeah, right). [NYDN]
• And meanwhile a polyester-resin security guard named Artie, installed in the lobby of a Uniondale office tower, causes no controversy whatsoever. Probably because he’s inedible. [NYT]
St. Pat’s Crowd Mostly Pans Cameron’s ChristTitanic director James Cameron was in town yesterday to unveil boxes that he said may contain the remains of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. And Sunday, the Discovery Channel will air a new Cameron documentary claiming that the two were married and bore a son named Judah, all three of whom were buried together. (So much for the whole resurrection-and-Ascension thing.) We asked people in front of St. Patrick’s today whether they’re buying Cameron’s latest epic tale.
the morning line
Poor Joe Bruno
• We’ve heard some incriminating things about Joe Bruno, Albany’s top Republican, lately; he’s been enmeshed in some fishy investments and nepotistic dealings, and the FBI is all over him. Now comes the most shocking revelation: All this hustle and the dude isn’t even rich. [NYT]
• The Health Department on the shuttered KFC–Taco Bell that became one of West Village’s main attractions this past weekend for its scampering rats: “It doesn’t look like the inspection that was done … met our standards.” What do you mean? There’s not a drop of trans fat on these babies! [WNBC]
• Apparently state senators were serious about protesting the $1.3 billion sale of Brooklyn’s subsidized enclave Starrett City to an -private equity group. After the obligatory photo ops glad-handing the residents, they’re actually trying to pass a bill that will block the deal. [NYP]
• More grief for JetBlue: Last night’s relatively light dusting of snow caused the now-extra-cautious carrier to cancel a whopping 68 of today’s flights. Yeah, we’d be unloading that stock right about now, if we had any. [AP via CBS News]
• And how can you tell someone’s got a touch of Oscar envy? James “King of the World” Cameron will hold a press conference in New York today — to declare that he has found Jesus’s grave. [amNY]