J-Hovah: 10 Wildly Varied Versions Of Jesus Christ In Pop Culture
Easter Weekend is upon us, with all the stores and churches looking to do brisk business between now and Sunday as people seek ways to honor the holiday. The reason behind the special, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, gets muddled each year for people who aren't especially religious. For most people it's another blasted family holiday, and a Friday off from work if you are lucky and work in an office setting.
Pop-culture is fascinated with Jesus, with countless musical references, books, fiction and non-fiction, artwork, blasphemous and otherwise. He gets you use for comedic effect, more than most anyone else, aside from politicians and dictators.
The most surefire way to piss people off and make others laugh hysterically is to either use the image or persona of Jesus Christ or Adolf Hitler. Preferably dressed like a hip-hopper or a hipster.
He almost always ends up looking like a hippie directly from central casting, with a loving beard and tilted gaze, and not the "scary" dark-skinned man who would be strip searched before even buying a candy bar at an airport gift shop.
Pop-culture has depicted Christ in so many ways, with the most recent trend towards the son of God as a sort of affable drinking buddy, just as clueless as any of us. A few years back on Family Guy he was leading an unassuming life working at a record store, only to go Hollywood and get mixed up with drugs and girls.
It's safe to say a few decades ago the mere thought of Christ hanging with the likes of Lindsay Lohan would be grounds more deportation and/or blacklisting like so many supposed Communists in the '50s.
From Kevin Smith's Dogma, who wouldn't feel comfortable trusting in this version of Jesus with a winning smile and a knowing wink. He would help you move and won't take the last slice of pizza.
Jesus Is A Jerk
A meme hit last year, JIAK shows J.C. as a careless, mischievous character, goading modern people into sex, drugs, and running down hobos in tractor trailers.
Willem Dafoe As Jesus
Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation Of Christ cast Jesus as a tortured soul, with Willem Dafoe in the title role. Wildly confrontational and controversial, it was 1988's most talked-about films.
Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus is surrounded by groovy folks of all colors and creeds in this document of the free love era's take on Christ. Ted Neeley's Jesus is a doe-eyed hunk who would be modeling for Ralph Lauren now. The music is catchy glam-rock stuff from Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the 1973 film, directed by Norman Jewison, is set to be remade again in 2014. Thanks a lot, Glee.