Written by Denny Johnson
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Topics: Pope, Catholic

Friday, 23 January 2004

image for John Paul Inks Deal for "Pop Pope Picks"
The Old Pope

Ebert will be taking over Catholic Church; John Paul will Air Weekly Movie Review Show Complete with Vatican Munchies Suggestions.

When Pontiff John Paul sits down to enjoy his favorite flicks in the privacy of his own screening-room theatre, is it popcorn, pasta or nachos in that bowl on the coffee table?

According to Hollywood insiders the Pope and Roger Ebert will be imitating US-TV trends by "trading places" later this month thanks to agreement reached this week in Rome.

A Vatican spokesman said the Pope's new TV show will officially be aired for the first time at the annual Vatican Film Festival: "Show Me the Movies" scheduled to kick off Saturday with a gala movie-time parade down the Vatican's Main Street and featuring Robert Redford and Twelve Disney shorts including the seven dwarfs, and the Ghost & Mr. Chicken.

Even though the Pope suffers with poor motor skills, two Bishops will be on hand during the taping of the newest reality show: "Pop Pope Picks!" to raise or lower his thumbs according the the Pontiff's reviews.

Meanwhile Ebert, a celebrated movie reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times and Pulitzer prize winning journalist will become the 257th pope in history and the first pontiff to work without a hat.

A spokesman for the Catholic News Network (CNN-2) indicated that the new Pontiff plans to hitch up his famous thumbs in his toga and get on with the work of the church; beginning with finding blame and guilt for the murder of Jesus two-thousand four hundred and four years ago. "Somebody will pay for this," said the CNN spokesman.

Stealing a page from the Ozzie Osborne reality TV series the former Pope will offer an otherwise never before seen inside look at life around his Vatican apartment on movie night. Who chooses the films, who makes the trip to the Roman Blockbuster to pick them up and just who does the rewind after the fun-filled festivities are complete?

Meanwhile Ebert in his new role as leader of one of the largest churches in the world said through a spokesman that he will continue to watch movies but from now on he would have no opinion.

He was the first non-Italian Chicagoan chosen as Pope in 456 years and the youngest in this century
"One person pontificating over films in this world is enough," said the new Pope Ebert, "we'll tackle the problems created by Vatican Two and the disagreements over the jihad instead."

A special preview glimpse of the show aired on the Italian news network, "What's 'a Happening," last night and showed without a doubt that John Paul will be pulling out all the stops to get close to his audience.

During the broadcast he was shown to be casually dressed in a black and white sweat suit, baseball hat, custom jewelry necklace and green Nikes while his two pet gargoyles Phil and Ted stood attentively by his favorite chair drooling profusely and certainly adding to the insanity of the evening.

On his first show John Paul will review "The Passion of the Christ,' a controversial film that is the cinematographic recounting of the historical fact of the passion of Jesus Christ according to the Gospel accounts.

The film is a Mel Gibson production and his first effort without Goldie Hawn who turned down the opportunity to play the role of Jesus' therapist.

However, Hawn has seen the movie and told reporters in an interview that she thinks the former Pope is cute, and really turns her on with all that shaking he does constantly while he watches the better part of a movie. "He's definitely into the films," said Hawn.

‘‘The Passion,''is scheduled for U.S. release next month and for European release over the next few months.

-30-

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