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April 26, 2015

Moral Orel: God Fearing

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 27th 2006 10:34AM

moral orelAny show that views religion through a satirical lens is bound to be misunderstood. The Simpsons dealt with religious themes from the beginning and caught a lot of flak until it became clear that the target of its humor was not "God" but rather how human beings interpret religion and spirituality. The same could be said for South Park, especially with the recently vilified "Bloody Mary" episode. While South Park's approach is certainly more abrasive, neither it nor The Simpsons ever denies that God exists. The satirical crosshairs are always pointed directly at us lowly terrestrial beings.

Of course, one can't get too caught up in such things when you're trying to make a funny show. As Moral Orel creator Dino Stamatopoulos said in a recent interview, "I leave it up for others to decide what's offensive. Let the party poopers have that crappy job."

He's right. If your particular medium is satirical humor, it's inevitably going to be offensive to someone, and last night's episode of Moral Orel was a testament to that. The episode takes place during Halloween, but Orel is so full of God's love that nothing scares him. Using the kind of logic that previously resulted in him raising the dead and selling his own urine as a sports drink, Orel decides the only thing that will truly scare him is to make God angry, so he sets out to break all Ten Commandments in one day. He breaks nine of them easily but has a little bit of trouble with that pesky "Thou Shalt Not Kill" rule. Fortunately, he's able to solve that by tricking an old man into stepping out in traffic. This marks the second time Orel has killed an old person on the show, and both times the act fills him with absolute elation. Orel figures he can just repent the next day and everything will be fine, and in perfect Moral Orel fashion, his father commends his son for being so observant.

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