Is Watching Comedians who Joke Coarsely a Mortal Sin?


I must admit that I enjoy Dave Chappell. As an African American woman, I think that his humor holds a lot of truth about race relations in the United States. He says things that many people are thinking but are too afraid to say and might be hurtful to say in a forum outside of humor. I also find him very funny.

I am a new Catholic, and I love the Church and I do not want to do anything that offends Jesus Christ. Yesterday, I popped in a DVD of the Chappell show to enjoy a skit that I thought was particularly funny. It was peppered with swear words and sexual innuendo, among other things, but I still found myself cracking up at it (though mentally recoiling from the offensive stuff). It was evening and time for evening prayer, and as soon as I left the living room and went to another room to start prayer I started wondering whether or not watching this type of show is something that offends God. It has been nagging at me ever since.

Since becoming a Catholic I have found myself drawn to God more and more and things that I used to just brush off as “fun” I have begun to question. Both my husband and I came into full communion with the Church together but my questioning of activities and shows that I used to “have fun with” in the past has put a strain on our bonding time, especially since he does not feel like there is anything wrong with them and I am just going overboard. I have found myself engaging in activities, watching shows and movies that I might otherwise abstain from just so that I don’t appear to have become a twenty something “fuddy duddy who doesn’t have any fun.” Being labeled this may seem innocuous enough, but it has caused real strife in my marriage.

How can I keep peace in my relationship, keep my sense of humor, and still honor God? Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated!


Hi :slight_smile:

It has been nagging at me ever since.

I would listen to that voice. Contrary to atheist Freud’s explanation of the many voices that we hear in our heart: Id, subconcious and conscious,etc., there is still a true voice that does always speaks to our heart. The voice of God through your Guardian Angel. His voice will become louder now that you have entered the Church. I would listen to it! It is already giving you a sense of discernment as to what may bring you closer to God in the spiritual life and what may cause you spiritual confusion.

I went through the same gradual awakening and I believe that many in this forum have gone through the same situation. The closer you come to God the more that you will become sensitive to the ways in which our secular culture does offend Him. He created Sex, Holy! Our current comedy degrades it and profanes it by ridiculing it and making us laugh when we abuse it. Like they say: God never intended His gift of sexuality to be a spectator sport.

You are in the right track! The transition will not be easy because our culture has desensitized us gradually, but with prayer and perseverance you’ll succeed.:slight_smile:

To Jesus through Mary :thumbsup:

Edward Henry


Remember that St. Paul advised us to only pay attention to those things which are good, honorable, beautiful,etc. Yes, if your “little voice” was telling you it isn’t good, then it probably isn’t (and most, but not all, of the popular comics have followed the secular culture to show that sin is not sin).Most likely, in a few more years you won’t even think Chappell is funny. One way to help form your conscience is to look at an Examination of Conscience that is printed (they are all over the internet, plus most parishes have one also-I like to have a few handy to see if my “little voice” was accurate). Then, of course, off to the confessional. And since nature abhors a vacuum and so that you don’t become a “gloomy saint” like St. Teresa of Avila so disliked, look for “clean” comics (yes, they are out there) like the Keystone Cops or many old comics - plus look at the posts about clean jokes on the Clubhouse portion of this forum, then read them to your husband when appropriate.

As far as being someone who’s going overboard, as a fifty-something fuddy-duddy who does have fun (but good, clean fun), it can be done. After all do we teach our children to always be serious? They have fun, and we are to be like little children Jesus says. Look for those opportunities (many adults in our culture have just become “too sophisticated” for those same innocent and funny things). It may gradually change your DH’s mind to think that you are deserving of being on a pedestal for being pure and innocent acting. Wouldn’t you like that? In order to evangelize, bring him/friends up to your spiritual level, don’t go “slumming”! Also, constantly put your husband up to Him in prayer. Look what it did for St. Rita of Cassia. Do whatever he asks, as long as it’s not morally wrong, and he will start to see you as an angel. St. Rita prayed for a softened heart toward her husband.

Just my :twocents:


There are several comedians and actors that I used to like a lot… until they started bashing Catholics and our priests. I’m not going to mention names here but I think everyone is running names in their heads right now and going :yup: . But I have stopped watching them on specials or if they are on late night or even renting their movies. I just won’t put more money in their pockets to just have them belittle and bash my Lord.



I really know what you mean. I had been watching Family Guy on and off and sometimes there would be some non-offensive episodes that got a few laughs from me and then some off color ones that drew my ire. Then an episode aired where the Precious Blood was ridiculed in a terrible way, and that was it on me ever watching that diabolical show.


The criterion I have tried to teach my teenage and young adult daughters: If Jesus and Mary were in the room with you, would they watch it with you? Would they be pleased that you were watching it?


Would Jesus think it was funny if He was watching it?


I guess I never answered this part of your question. I experienced the same thing when I started to take my faith seriously. My husband and daughters would put stuff on TV that I found offensive. I asked them to change the channel, and if they refused, I left the room. Even if my daughters’ boyfriends were in the room, I would express my opinion on what they were watching and ask them to turn it off.

Being a Christian is no way to win a popularity contest. But we must still speak the truth to our loved ones.

Gradually, they started switching the channel away from the offensive stuff as soon as I walked into the room. I pray that someday they will no longer find it appealing to begin with. I can’t completely control their actions, but I can influence them.

Lately we have found a lot of good stuff we like to watch together — old-fashioned murder mysteries, more innocuous comedy series, etc. Since there’s not a whole lot of that on the networks right now, we have gotten several old series on DVD that we enjoy watching. We can have “all of the pleasure, none of the guilt”!

It takes some work and creativity to integrate your deepened faith life into your life with a family who are not in the same place spiritually. But it can be done!

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