By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 11/26/2020
Posted: 12/10/2019
Topics/Keywords: #Humor #Religion #Writing Page Views: 435
What TV needs is a sitcom about a funny pontiff.

Isn't television fascinating? Through the years it has shown us greed, tragedy and illicit sex...and that's just on the evangelists' shows! But I've just had the most wonderful idea for a TV show. It truly has everything: romance, adven- ture, fantasy, religion, even doctors and police. It's called, "My Favorite Pope".

The series takes place in Montana in the 1880s. Pope Fred George IV, a mythical historical figure, is the first pope ever to visit the United States. While he is touring the country, his train breaks down near Billings; the Pontiff falls in love with the place and decides to move there, along with the entire Vatican. Unfortunately, smuggled into the country along with the Vatican effects, come Mafia Godfather Nunzio Mozzarella and several of his godsons. They have this wonderful plan to develop a small town in Nevada, Las Vegas, into a gambling center but are continually thwarted in their attempts at mischief by Billings' sheriff, Matt Welby, and the town's drunken doctor, Marcus Dillon. In their own bumbling way they solve the various crimes perpetrated by the Mafia and each week's guest villains.

But Pope Fred tires of these hijinks and orders Mozzarella to leave once and for all. Mozzarella is not about to and decides to do away with His Holiness by placing a killer shark in the pope's swimming pool. The trap misfires, however, when the shark mistakenly eats a Carmelite nun who has sneaked out of the convent to see America. There follows a dramatic scene, heavy on the special effects, where Pope Fred exorcises the nun from the shark's belly. Safe at the side of the pool, she sings the first three chapters of the Book of Ruth and vows never to leave the convent again.

Meanwhile, Welby and Dillon have been riding across the desert when they have a close encounter with a flying saucer. When the men inside the spacecraft ask to be taken to the Earthmen's leader, the first person they think of is Pope Fred. His Holiness is somewhat busy at the time, having just invented the steam engine and interchangeable parts, but he agrees to give the aliens an audience. The meeting is somewhat confusing for both parties, especially when the Pope extends his ring to be kissed and the little men eat it.

The aliens have come to Earth because their own planet is dying and they need a place to live. The Pope creates the Line of Demarcation and gives them all the land East of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Then, giving them some Earth-style clothes and a year's supply of collection envelopes, he sends them on their way.

Then there are other episodes, like the one where the Pope and a band of Chinese railroad workers from Billings attack a house of ill repute run by Mozzarella; but the final episode is the high point of the entire series. It is a dramatic sequence showing the first meeting between the Pope and the President of the United States. They are both kidnapped by Mozzarella and taken by steamer to a small island in the north Pacific where they are marooned until ransom can be collected. Alone on the island the two men become fast friends as they hunt and fish for food to keep themselves alive. One day, while the Pope is making spaghetti from the local wild grains, the President, exploring a cave, falls into a crevasse. He drops into a grotto inhabited by a magic mermaid who offers to lead him and Pope Fred to freedom, if only he will take her with him to Washington. The President is forced to agree, but is concerned: What will the First Lady say? What will Congress say? Will the American People re-elect a President who has been in a compromising situation with a magic mermaid?

Fortunately the problem never has to be solved; for, with a burst of light and a roll of thunder, the angel Gabriel appears and blows his horn and the World comes to an end.

Don't you think that would be a fantastic finish for a TV series?

Feel free to tap or click on any photo to see it full-screen. From there, browse all the pictures on the page by tapping or clicking on the arrows on the side. If you have a full-sized keyboard, you may also use the arrow keys. Click on the picture to toggle viewing any captions that may be present.