Broadway’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
We 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.
[Cross talk] Sherri: They had Christians, they threw them to the lions.
[Cross talk] 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]
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?
Just 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
• 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]