Writing Comedy About Religion an Essay by Nicole O'hara

We're on a mission to write satire without cruelty. Satirical comedy has a long history of targeting marginalized groups in the name of a "joke." Jokes led to mockery. Mockery became stereotypes. And stereotypes perpetuated oppression. Myth Illogical hopes to rewrite the satirical comedy genre. Marginalized groups are no longer the butt of the jokes. It's time we honor them, turning our commentary toward the broken systems, oppressive groups, and individuals corrupting our world. 


Religion is the gateway to uncovering deep truths about humanity. Religions, myths, and legends are the stories that have shaped our cultures, our world views, and our values. Early civilizations, the foundations by which we live, were often ruled by religious elites. Himiko was the shaman empress of ancient Japan. Pharaohs were considered gods on Earth. Even European royals claimed the throne by Divine Right. Religion and power have walked together hand and hand for most of human history. 

As we know, power corrupts and religion was not immune to corruption. Many religions have been historically weaponized for the sake of generating power. Catholicism during the Spanish Inquisition, Shintoism during WWII, and Protestantism during the Jim Crow era, are all examples of weaponized religions used to justify mass destruction while leaders profited from their victims.


This is not to say that religion is the root of corruption and hate. Many people who have suffered the most from religious corruption were everyday men, women, and children who were heinously and unbearably persecuted for their faiths. The Jews were tortured on multiple occasions, tribal Nations were labeled savages and massacred, and Muslims in China today are currently facing a modern genocide. 

This is all to say that as we write this show, we are not looking to satirize religious doctrines. There is nothing wrong with any religion on their own. All religions are valid. Religion is the voice of the people and the conscience of our souls. However, as we learned from observing history, scripture can easily be exploited. Radical zealots, extremist groups, and even governments have taken even the most innocent religions and built towers of oppression in the name of "faith" for the sake of power. These are the structures we satirize in the hopes of disrupting and dismantling them.   


A comedy series about religion is a high-risk endeavor. But humor is human. When we can smile, chuckle, or belly-laugh with a stranger we realize how much we have in common. However, we recognize we will probably offend many people, but our intentions are to celebrate the stories that shaped our ancestors' understanding of the world.


Myth Illogical will honor multiculturalism and strive to champion diversity as no show has done before. 

 

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