Help with Nun Humor!
November 11, 2007 9:31 AM   Subscribe

FunnyCatholicFliter: For my upcoming show, help me with witticisms and "clean" jokes about Catholics.

I'm in "Nunsense" (opening next week) and there are several opportunities for audience interaction and occasional jokes etc.

What are some good funny references, clean jokes/one-liners, things I can say?

For example, "find a couple sitting close togther and urge them to move apart 'to leave some room for the Holy Spirit,' which is what the nuns would say to kids who were getting a little too touchy-feely back in the day at Catholic school. "
posted by I_Love_Bananas to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of that quip from Dogma that Catholics mourn their faith rather than celebrating it.

That may hit a little too close to home, though.
posted by The White Hat at 10:27 AM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: Get a water gun, shoot it at the audience (actually, towards, not at. this way, the get the gist without getting wet). Laugh maniacally, saying, "Ha ha! You're all Catholics now!"

/stolen shamelessly from The Flying Karamazov Brothers
posted by Deathalicious at 10:31 AM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: What do you call a sleepwalking nun?

A Roman Catholic!
posted by fermezporte at 10:37 AM on November 11, 2007

What's the difference between an __________ and an ___________? An ____________ will speak to you in the liquor store.

Insert whatever, wherever. Lutheran, presbyterian, catholic, methodist, whatever.
posted by TomMelee at 10:48 AM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: I had a friend once who was half Catholic, half Jewish. "You're going to Hell... so eat!"
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:57 AM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

Well, my parents think the whole "offer it up" thing is hilarious.
posted by runtina at 11:01 AM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: "I was on a plane last week, flying from Chicago to California, when we ran into some very severe turbulence. As it got worse, the passengers became more and more alarmed, and finally even the stewardesses began to look concerned. Finally, one of them came over to me and said:

"Sister, this is really frightening! Do you suppose you could... I don't know... 'Do something Catholic..?'"

So I took up a collection."

This and other side-splitting examples of Catholically condoned humour from St Mary's Of The Mill Parish Community!
posted by brautigan at 11:07 AM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

What's black-and-white-and-black-and-white-and-black-and-white-and-black-and-white-and-black-and-white-and-black-and-white-and-black-and-white-and-black-and-white-and-black-and-white?

A nun falling down the stairs.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:12 AM on November 11, 2007

They must believe in evolution since the big shots in the Vatican refer to themselves as primates.
posted by Kevin S at 11:13 AM on November 11, 2007

Response by poster: great! Keep 'em coming!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 11:34 AM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: The Bishop comes into the Pope's chambers and says "Your Excellency, I have good news and I have bad news."

The Pope says "What's the good news?"

The Bishop says "Jesus Christ has returned. He's on the phone and he wants to talk to you."

The Pope says "What's the bad news?"

The Bishop says "He's calling from Salt Lake City."
posted by wsg at 11:36 AM on November 11, 2007 [6 favorites]

Devout Catholic guy is driving around a large metropolitan city. Desperate for a parking space, he begins to cry out "God, if you find me a parking space, I promise I'll stop drinking, go to confession and start attending mass each sunday, without fail". Moments later, a car pulls away from the curb just ahead of him and a parking spot is his. guy says: "Never mind, I found one!".

thanks, I'll be here all week, etc.
posted by The_Auditor at 12:07 PM on November 11, 2007 [9 favorites]

Two nuns are driving late at night when suddenly a demon jumps out of the woods and onto the hood of their car. As he snarls at them through the windshield, the nun driving says, "Quick, sister, show him your cross."

The other nun rolls down the window, leans out and screams, "Oy, devil! Piss off!"

Should be "fuckoff" but you specified clean.
posted by felix betachat at 12:11 PM on November 11, 2007

Catholic mass is like attending a football game. Stand up. Sit down. Kneel. Stand up again. Fight, fight, fight!

With all the kneeling, there are entire generations of Catholic schoolkids with one bad knee and one huge thigh.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:35 PM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: This one is a groaner, but it was told by the deacon at my Catholic church years ago (back in my churchgoing days) so it's definitely clean:

A painter was hired to do some work on a local church. To recoup the cost of the discount he had given the church, he diluted his paint with turpentine.

One day while he was up on the scaffolding, almost finished with the job, he heard a horrendous clap of thunder, and the sky opened.

The rain washed the thinned paint off the church and knocked the painter off his scaffold and onto the ground below.

He knew this was a warning from the Almighty, so he got on his knees and cried: “Forgive me Lord! What should I do?”

And from above the clouds boomed a voice: “REPAINT! REPAINT! AND THIN NO MORE!”
posted by AV at 12:38 PM on November 11, 2007 [10 favorites]

Ask someone if they are a practicing Catholic. If they say yes, reply "give it a couple more years, you'll be good enough to stop practicing." If they say no, 'You must be a pretty good Catholic to not have to practice anymore."

Also try to work in the phrase "cathoholic" somewhere.

Wait...did you want these to be funny?
posted by sexymofo at 12:46 PM on November 11, 2007

I don't know how well this will go over, but ...

It was 1944, nearly the end of WWII, and the Germans were losing. They were running so short of troops due to casualties and desertion that they were sending out boys from the Hitler Youth to make up their numbers. One such boy was assigned to an infantry unit on the Polish border, and one day he was told to take a rifle and sit on a hill overlooking a country road, and shoot anyone who came down the road.

It was a long, boring, tense day, and the boy had started to doze off, when he saw a young priest walking down the road towards the village. Carefully, his heart pounding, the boy took aim with his rifle and waited for the priest to walk into range.

"STOP!" He heard a voice booming in the heavens.

"Who's there?" the boy asked, looking around frantically.


"What? No, I am a German soldier, and I will do my duty!" The boy resumed his position and took aim again.


The priest was nearly in range, and the boy hunched down over his rifle.

posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:15 PM on November 11, 2007 [4 favorites]

This one is definitely on the borderline of clean/ tasteful, but it's one of my all-time favorites:

A rabbi and a priest are walking down the street in a residential neighborhood. Up ahead, they spot a small boy playing with GI Joes in his front yard. "Hey," says the the priest, getting a sinister look in his eye, "You wanna go screw that kid?"

The rabbi, confused, replies, "Out of what?"
posted by PhatLobley at 1:30 PM on November 11, 2007 [3 favorites]

I like this joke involving a mother superior.
posted by roofus at 1:37 PM on November 11, 2007

(On actually reading the question, that's not "clean")
posted by roofus at 1:38 PM on November 11, 2007

After watching sales falling off for three straight months at Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Colonel calls up the Pope and asks for a favour.

The Pope says, "What can I do?"

The Colonel says, "I need you to change the daily prayer from 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken.' If you do it, I'll donate 10 Million Dollars to the Vatican."

The Pope replies, "I'm sorry. That is the Lord's prayer and I cannot change the words.“

So the Colonel hangs up. After another month of dismal sales, the Colonel panics, and calls again.

“Listen your Holiness. I really need your help. I'll give you $50 million dollars if you change the words of the daily prayer from 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken.'“

And the Pope responds, “It is very tempting, Colonel Sanders. The church could do a lot of good with that much money. It would help us support many charities. But, again, I must decline. It is the Lord's prayer, and I can't change the words.“

So the Colonel gives up again. After two more months of terrible sales the Colonel gets desperate. “This is my final offer, your Holiness.

If you change the words of the daily prayer from, 'Give us this day our daily bread' to 'Give us this day our daily chicken' I will donate $100 million to the Vatican."

The Pope replies, “Let me get back to you.“

So the next day, the Pope calls together all of his Cardinals and Bishops and he says, "I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that KFC is going to donate $100 million to the Vatican."

The Cardinals and Bishops rejoice at the news. Then one asks about the bad news.

The Pope replies, "The bad news is that we lost the Hovis account."
posted by ceri richard at 1:42 PM on November 11, 2007 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Since you're based in the U.S., I'm sure there's some humor to be found in the fact that we have to import a big chuck of our priest supply from other countries, but I don't have a good one-liner cued up. Maybe you could work in a pun like...devoutsourcing?
posted by kittyprecious at 1:51 PM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Q: How many Catholics does it take to change a light bulb?

A: Change???
posted by ktrey at 2:45 PM on November 11, 2007

Q: What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?
A: Hot cross buns

Also... A rabbi a priest and a minister walk into a bar; jokes for Easter; and I swear somewhere in one of the threads tagged "jokes" there is a great longish joke about building a cathedral, but I can't find it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:22 PM on November 11, 2007

A new arrival at Heaven's Pearly Gates was greeted by St. Peter, who showed the n00b around the many wonders. There was the glorious sky of blue with dumpling-like fluffy clouds, the amazing sunsets, which you could ses as many times a day as you liked, the Rainbow Room with its many splendors and the always darkened observatory where you could see the stars in all their burning glory 24/7. There were heavenly choirs, strolling minstrels, celestial harpists and all sorts of music to enjoy. Everyone there was strolling about, happy, smiling, without a a care. Finally, St. Peter and the new arrival walked down a dark hallway and came upon a door which, when opened, displayed a small room with a huge crowd of people constantly milling around and bumping into one another without a clue as to what else was outside their door.

"Who in the world are these people and why are they so unaware of what else there is in Heaven?" the new arrival asked St. Peter.

"Oh, that's the Catholics," replied the saint. "They think they're the only ones up here.
posted by Lynsey at 4:32 PM on November 11, 2007

Here's a religious site's compilation of the 10 funniest and 10 most offensive religious jokes, as selected from their forum. There's more in the Making Light discussion of it, like:

The circus was in town, and a couple of the members of the acrobat troupe decided to seek out the Catholic Church for confession. The good father heard them one at a time, then finally perplexed, blurted out, "I can't quite place your accents, are you from around here?"

He was told that no, they were some acrobats from the visiting circus. "What kinds of things do you do?" he asked. Whereupon the acrobats started demonstrating their talents in the aisles of the church to the priest who had come out of the confessional to watch.

Whereupon Rosie O'Grady and Molly Malloy walk through the doors. Rosie takes one look at the goings on and exclaims to Molly (in a thick Irish brogue, which I can't do so well here), "Ach Molly, an' look at what the good father's givin for penance today. An' me without a stitch of underdrawers on!"
posted by Zed_Lopez at 4:59 PM on November 11, 2007

A Catholic friend of mine loves the thing where - apparently - people think that Catholics worship the sun. The whole sunburst behind Jesus's head thing, and apparently there are a lot of Host containers (not sure what they are called ) that look like sunbursts. Anyhoodle, there is a lot of potential there about worshipping the Sun God Ra and so forth.
posted by Medieval Maven at 5:32 PM on November 11, 2007

(Maybe not clean enough, but I heard it at Catholic school...) Sister Catherine walked into the dining hall for breakfast. "Sister, I see you got out of bed on the wrong side this morning," Mother Miriam said to her. (I can't be bothered to type out the whole of this shaggy dog joke, but assorted nuns say the same thing to her throughout the day, with Sister Catherine each time saying that no, she's in a good mood.)

That evening Sister Teresa comes up to her. "Sister Catherine, I see you got out of bed on the wrong side this morning."

"No, I've been cheerful all day! Why does everybody keep saying that I must've gotten out of bed the wrong side?"

"Well, you're wearing Father John's shoes."
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:32 PM on November 11, 2007

Here's an oldie:

A couple had a son who was failing math in school, mostly because he hated math so much that trying to get him to do his homework and study for tests was like pulling teeth. They decided to send him to a nearby Catholic school where they had heard that both the discipline and math instruction were good.

The first day he came home from the Catholic school he went straight to his room and did his math homework. His parents were impressed, and as the first semester passed they were thrilled to see that their son continued to make every effort to do well in math. When their son brought home his first report card from his new school, his parents were delighted to find he had received an A+ for math.

They said to him, "Son, we're so proud of you! But we'd like to know how exactly the teachers at the Catholic school motivated you to work so hard on math."

Their son said, "Well, Mom and Dad, that first day when I walked into the school and saw that guy nailed to that plus sign, I knew they meant serious business."
posted by orange swan at 6:09 PM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: know how to find the catholic "star wars" fans? they're the ones who reply to "may the force be with you" by saying "and also with you"
posted by rmd1023 at 7:40 PM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

A rich businessman has a son, and does not know if he should make him a banker or send him to seminary school. He asks advice from the town priest and the town banker, and a test is set up. They place a crucifix and a bag of coins on a table in a room, and hide behind the curtains. Depending on what the son picks up when he enters the room, he will become a banker or a priest. The son walks in, stares at the table for a second, and lightning fast he takes the crucifix in one hand and the money in the other. At the same time, the priest and the banker exclaim "He will be a Jesuit!"

Yes, I went to a Jesuit school.
posted by Dr. Curare at 9:10 PM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

there are a lot of Host containers (not sure what they are called ) that look like sunbursts.

They're called monstrances.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:42 AM on November 12, 2007

My family had a certain fondness for the phrase, "about as useful as a nun's nipple."
posted by plinth at 8:02 AM on November 12, 2007

As someone who once created an internet hit with Catholic humor even though I'm not catholic... I can tell you that made-up saints with crazy backstories are VERY VERY well received.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:32 AM on November 12, 2007

Hey I just posted this over on the wary gray, but I'll repeat it here:

So there's this group of nuns who tend a lovely vegetable and herb garden. They've taken a vow of silence, but because they are members of the Sacred Order of Saint Letitia Esoterica the Sublime, once a year one member is allowed to speak one sentence.

The feast day of Saint Letitia rolls around as is its wont, and the good sisters work diligently preparing a sublime ragout from their garden to dress their pasta. You can see why the ragout should be sublime; I won't get into that.

The feast has ended, and the gnarled hand of destiny has pointed a wizened digit at Sister Loretta, who stands, clears her throat, and prepares to speak for tte first time in years.

"Sisters," she begins, voice quavering, "the ragout was too salty." She lowers her head gravely and sits down.

The next year, the sisters prepare a mushroom stock. This year, the honor of speaking falls on the youngest member of the order, Sister Helen Baque, a spritely 57-year-old.

She stands to speak, somewhat haughtily in the eyes of her solemn sisters. "Sisters," she intones, "the stock was a bit oily for me." And with that re-takes her seat and her silence.

The next year, the sisters prepare a stew of squash and beans. The wisest of the order, Sister Edwig, rises slowly on her stiff joints, ready to address her order.

"Bitch, bitch, bitch."
posted by Mister_A at 9:56 AM on November 12, 2007

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