The Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will star in his own television sitcom, to be based on the Pope's everyday life. The Pope will write the script, as he is a keen comedy writer.
The Pope has been doing standup comedy for a few years now, and specialises in observational jokes. The sitcom will continue in the same vein. Examples of his material can be seen on his DVD from last year, "The Pope Live At The Apollo". There he does jokes such as "you know how when you're giving mass at St Peter's and you forget the Latin for 'peace be with you'". Another is "hey what's the deal with Protestants?"
The sitcom will be set in his chambers in the Vatican, which he shares with his butler Barry. In the show, they will discuss the minutiae of ordinary life and the everyday problems the Pope faces. Sometimes his wacky neighbour The Camerlengo will pop in too, and join in their hilarious madcap antics.
The first episode of "Pope" indicates a strong influence from farcical 1970s sitcoms such as "Terry and June". The plotline has the Pope being visited by a local cardinal, and he needs to tidy up all his saucy magazines before the visit.
It is hoped the show will be an international success. The Pope said, "We in the Catholic church are trying to reach out and touch people, especially young people."
Another episode sees the Pope playing water-polo with a girl's college team with awkward results. In another, he visits China to meet the Chinese Pope, who is inflatable.