So the results are in, and George Mario Bergoglio has become Pope Francis, thereby becoming the first Pope to adopt a name no Pope had held before since 1978, and if I’m reading this list of Popes correctly, the second since the ninth century.
Being the heretic I am*, I can’t help but suggest some alternative formats they may want to try when Pope Francis leaves office.
1. The Vatican’s Next Top Pontiff
Hosted by Tyra Banks, or the most insane celebrity available if she can’t make it**, this format focuses on the Pope-as-Celebrity. Challenges are heavy on impressions of being “worn down but determined”, “humble” or “aged but regal”. The occasional “sexy” challenge will be filmed; the result will be burned to a disc, and then the disc will itself be burned. With fire. The elder who looks best on camera is solemnly handed the pimpin’ Papal tiara.
2. The Weakest Cleric
The candidates are ruthlessly grilled on Catholic doctrine and history by the most ruthless game-show host available, in tried-and-tested Weakest Link format. The winner is invested as Pope. Then, the host is unceremoniously excommunicated on the spot.
3. QI: Papal Edition
Adding a touch of comedy to the proceedings, Stephen Fry takes the top three candidates and Alan Davies and gives them the panel game treatment until one of them wins. The main draw of this one is the remote but still present chance of Alan Davies becoming Pope.
Also, someone should totally do a bumper sticker with a crucifix and “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For The Tumblr Fluffy Chicken”.
– OSM out
and quietly dousing the front of the house with water for the inevitable firebombs
*Or, if you want to be absolutely technical, am not, since only one within the membership of a church can commit heresy.
**Insert your own Sarah Palin joke here.