In the late 1970s, one of my all-time favorites Saturday Night Live characters was created by comedian Don Novello.
Father Guido Sarducci was a fictional, chain-smoking priest with a thick Italian accent and tinted glasses, a big floppy black hat, white clerical collar, and a long, red-lined black coat with a cape he bought for $7.50 at a Saint Vincent DePaul Thrift Store.
The Sarducci character worked as a gossip columnist – and rock music critic – for the make-up Vatican Enquirer.
Around these parts, Sarducci is also a bit a folk hero for his 1992 “exorcism” of Fenway Park, in order to reverse the Curse of the Bambino – even if it did take another 12 years for the Red Sox to finally win a World Series .
Although I didn’t make it to the end of the first week of orientation at Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts – a seductive fall-from-grace story – I could identify with Sarducci’s breakaway style. I connected with him because we spoke the same language. He was a humorist with a unique sensibility.
Now fast forward to the recent years that COVID-19 shut down much of regular life for most of us. Among that standstill, our parish had few altar boys to assist the priest during the Divine Liturgy.
As a kid, the bishop ordained me an acolyte, and 65 years later, that acolyte, by default, turned into one of this area’s “earliest-born” altar boys.
In the early ’80s, Novello was featured in advertisements promoting candidates for the priesthood. With the critical shortage of clerics today, it’s worth thinking about reinventing a Sarducci for recruitment.
Most appreciably, Novello was able to take his character beyond SNLremaining an audience favorite to his fans, disciples and acolytes alike.
‘Saturday Night Live’ Movies That Were Never Made
Everyone Saturday Night Live Movies, Ranked From Worst to Best