"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."


Friday, July 29, 2005

Dieting Is Forbidden on the Sabbath

After the sing-along, a speaker would come out. Somebody who’s an expert on some topic or other. It could be anything -- the war in Iraq, censorship, the healing powers of fudge. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s not preachy or boring. When they’re done, we’d break up into small discussion groups, which would rotate from week to week, so you’d always get to interact with different people.

A great man once said that a trek of a thousand miles begins with packing a really good lunch. That’s why every Church of Rick would not only have a Head Honcho, but also a Head Chef. There’d be a big dining room where everybody would gather after their discussions, and sit down to a great meal. There’d only be two commandments in the church: “Thou shalt not take the name of Rick in vain,” and “Dieting is forbidden on the Sabbath.” [More...]

Secular Humorists

Basically, I see church services going like this: Every Sunday the “Head Honcho” would come out and open with a 15-minute monologue, which should be thought-provoking, inspirational and -- this is very important -- funny. There’d be a lot of laughter in this religion.

It’s always bothered me that the names for people who don’t believe in God have such a negative, almost ominous, sound to them. Cynic. Agnostic. Atheist. In the Church of Rick, we’d change all that by referring to our members as “secular humorists.” We’d even have our own little slogan: “Laughing all the way to hell.”

Anyway, after the Head Honcho’s monologue, we’d sing songs. That’s what I miss most about going to church, by the way –- singing with people. Where else in life, besides ball games and birthdays, do you get to do that? [More...]

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Confessional

You have to have confession, a place you can go to get things off your chest. I mean, God knows it’s worked for the Catholics. “Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It’s been a week since my last confession and since then I put a frog down my sister’s back, disobeyed my mom, had sex with you, didn’t clean up my room…” [More...]

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Out Dead Today

In the Church of Rick, we'd study the teachings of all the great religious leaders. With Jesus we’d just leave out that whole supernatural thing. Which, frankly, I always found a little creepy, anyway.

“Abraham, son of Jonah?”

“Here!”

“Matthew, son of Isaac?”

“Here!”

“Jesus, son of God? Jesus, son of God? Does anybody know where Jesus is?”

“Yeah, he’s out dead today. But he’ll be back after Easter.” [More...]

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hope for the Spiritually Challenged

It turns out that not being religious is a real handicap in this life, especially when it comes to happiness. That’s why sometimes late at night now, when I’m feeling particularly grandiose, I imagine creating a religion for spiritually challenged people like me. I mean, really, why is it that every religion that’s ever existed has been so full of these unbelievable stories, and this convoluted dogma, and these awful threats to keep people in line? Why can’t there be a religion that doesn’t have any of that crap? A religion that combines compassion with common sense. A religion without fear or trembling. A religion called… “The Church of Rick.”

When I was a kid, my mom made me go to church every Sunday. And I have to admit I kind of miss the sense of community that gave me growing up. Today I don’t know any of my neighbors. None. I mean, I’ll wave at them as I walk out to my car, but that’s it. Of the almost 60,000 people living in my town I know maybe a dozen. The other day I read in the paper that there are 53 registered sex offenders living here. I don’t know any of them! Hell, I didn’t even know we had to register.

What I remember most about church, though, is how boring it was. Which is odd, considering the source material. I mean, think about it, you’ve got burning bushes that talk, floods, wars, miracles. Have you ever read the Bible? I have, and I’ll tell you, it’s like one of those old serials, moving from one cliff-hanger to the next. “Is this the end for Jesus?! Join us next week to see if our hero can escape ‘The Brutal Crucifixion!’” [More...]

Monday, July 25, 2005

Happiness

An even larger setback, however, was that I had yet to arrive at my oasis (see previous entry).

If anything, I was more miserable than ever. This got me to thinking about the very nature of happiness itself. What is it? And why does it hate me so much? Needless to say, I have no clue. But I do have a new one-man show. It's called "Happiness." It's about depression, anxiety, suicide, atheism, child abuse, infidelity, divorce and masturbation. Sure to be hailed as the "feel-good hit of the theatrical season," it will be up and running as soon as we find some rich asshole gullible enough to finance the damned thing.

In case you're wondering about the name of this Website, the Church of Rick is a religion I have invented for those of us who just can't do the whole "God" thing. I'm not entirely sure it qualifies as a religion, though, in that it doesn't involve the buggering of small boys. [More...]

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Welcome to the Church of Rick

For those of you who don’t know me, I was a successful comedian for many years. I was on all of the talk shows and headlined clubs around the country. Then I was an even more successful monologist. I made millions of dollars and TV shows. I won all sorts of awards. Most recently I’ve been a self-pitying bastard living off of the spoils of his past.

But I always knew that one day I’d write another one-man show. I was just biding my time, waiting for two things to happen. One, for my life to fall apart -- which, thank God, it did! And two, waiting for this philosophy to emerge from my life -- this vision, if you will. And as I approached mid-life, I began to realize what that vision needed to be. I even came up with a clever title for a show that would be a testament to that vision. "Mid-life At the Oasis." Huh? I considered other titles. My favorite for a while was "Christ On A Stick," because I talk a lot about religion and Christianity, but some people thought that was a little too negative. I also liked the title "Being And Somethingness," but it had a kind of pseudo-intellectual ring to it. Finally I settled on "Mid-life At The Oasis." Which I thought was perfect.

I mean, picture this guy -- funny, smart, likable as hell. His whole life he’s been lost in the desert, right? He thirsts for truth, the meaning of life. But he finds himself surrounded only by barren wasteland. At the end of his childhood he comes upon this giant sand dune and spends decades struggling to climb it. But, just as he reaches the top, he stumbles and begins hurtling down the other side. And as he slides down this sheer sand face, racing toward certain death, he grasps at whatever he can to slow himself. God, fame, sex, money! But nothing can stop him!

Pretty dramatic, huh?

Well, needless to say, I knew I was on to something big, here. I also knew that for the show to be really successful my main character, me, had to be "relatable." I needed people in the audience to elbow the guy sitting next to ‘em and go, "Hey, that’s me. I feel just like that." So I started doing research, finding polls and surveys about how Americans feel about various issues, so I could compare myself to the supposed "average American." Unfortunately, this did not go well. As it turns out, I'm nothing like the average American. Needless to say, this was a setback. [More...]