NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- For the first time in TV history, the late night scene is dominated by Catholic hosts: Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Carson Daly, and the recently debuted Stephen Colbert. Comedy Central's Larry Wilmore (The Nightly Show) and Chris Hardwick (@midnight) also fit the bill.
"This is a joyous occasion for the Church," said Father Andrew Small, OMI, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. "But we plead with our Catholic talk show hosts not to let ratings and rivalries stand in the way of unity."
"We're asking that comedic heads prevail," said Father Small. "If the Pope can bring together Cuba and the United States, there's no doubt in my mind that he can unite late night in one hilarious group hug."
The first step, he offered, is for the hosts to unite in welcoming Pope Francis on his historic visit to the United States September 22-27. "I challenge all Catholic late night hosts to come together and welcome the Pope by donating a joke to our JOKE WITH THE POPE campaign," Father Small said. "Join Pope Francis and change the world one laugh at a time."
JOKE WITH THE POPE is the official welcome campaign of the Pope's visit to the United States, endorsed by the Pope himself. People of all beliefs are invited to submit a written joke or a short video of themselves telling a joke at www.JokeWithThePope.org. They can also select a cause their joke will support: helping children in need in Argentina, housing the homeless in Ethiopia, or feeding the hungry in Kenya.
After the campaign ends, the funniest joke teller will receive the title of "Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope," and their selected cause will receive a $10,000 donation.
"Conan O'Brien has already stepped up and donated a joke," said Small. "I can only hope that the rest will follow his lead, presenting a united front for the Pope's visit." To watch Conan's joke, click here: http://bit.ly/1ikhXXd.
About The Pontifical Mission Societies
The Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States are the Catholic Church's official support organization for overseas missions since 1822, providing for a global network of people who are making a difference for communities in need around the globe. http://www.onefamilyinmission.org/.
Contact: Jordan Person, 646-652-7986, [email protected]
SOURCE The Pontifical Mission Societies