Father Guido Sarducci

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Father Guido Sarducci is a fictional character made famous by American comedian Don Novello. Sarducci, a chain-smoking priest with tinted eyeglasses, works in the United States as gossip columnist and rock critic for the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano (sometimes mentioned as The Vatican Enquirer, a take-off of the tabloid The National Enquirer).

Contents

Background

Novello created the character in 1973, after he purchased the outfit (consisting of big floppy black hat, white clerical collar, and a long, red-trimmed black coat with cape) for $7.50 at a St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop. The character was featured in 1970s cartoons by underground cartoonists Dave Sheridan and Fred Schrier, appearing in person in the early 1970s on Laugh In and later in 1975 Smothers Brothers' TV show. His most prominent appearance was on Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s, during which time Novello was also a writer for the show. In the late 1970s, Father Guido Sarducci was featured on radio commercials for High Times magazine where he offered to perform blessings for a fee.

On his first appearance on Saturday Night Live, a skit called "How to Pay for Your Sins" on a 1978 episode hosted by Richard Dreyfuss, he was on crutches from an injury suffered during a dress rehearsal sketch about hockey players. Most of his appearances on SNL have been on Weekend Update, including one where he reported that "The take at the shrines in Italy has gone down" which he suggested correcting by creating "Shrinemobiles" and thus taking the shrines to where the people were, and another where he is sent to London to try to wake up Paul McCartney at 4:00 in the morning (12:00 in New York) by throwing coins, obnoxiously singing Beatles and Wings songs, and finally, throwing a rock at the window (he says it works every time). He has appeared in four cold openings in the 1979–1980 season (on episodes hosted by Steve Martin, Teri Garr, Elliot Gould, and Rodney Dangerfield), two commercial parodies ("MX-5 Tampons" on the 1981–1982 Christmas episode hosted by Bill Murray and "Bocce Ball My Way" on the last episode of the 1985–1986 season hosted by Anjelica Huston and Billy Martin), and two monologues on the 1985–1986 season (the first hosted by Madonna in a pretaped sketch showing Madonna's wedding to Sean Penn (played by Robert Downey, Jr.) and the second on the Christmas episode of the 1985–1986 season hosted by Garr as Sarducci's alter ego, Pope Maurice). Sarducci also hosted two SNL episodes during the 1983-1984 (when Dick Ebersol was executive producer) and cameoed during two 1990s episodes, most notably on a Weekend Update segment where he reports on Pope John Paul II's missing wallet. Father Guido Sarducci has 31 appearances on SNL, the most of any of the recurring characters.

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