Punchlines ripped from the headlines

Colbert Bids Farewell to “The Artist Formerly Known as Pope”

Colbert discussed Benedict's last sermon, pope souvenirs, and the speculation about the next pope.

By Dmitry Kiper
|  Friday, Mar 8, 2013  |  Updated 12:56 PM EDT
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Colbert on “The Artist Formerly Known as Pope”

Comedy Central

Colbert declared, “We have been disempopenated.”

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“As of 8 p.m. Central Vatican Time, we are officially popeless,” Steven Colbert declared at the beginning of his segment on the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI.

Then, with a straight face, Colbert offered a few more succinct summaries of the situation the world’s Catholics now find themselves in.

“We have been disempopenated.”

“We have undergone a popendectamy.”

And, for good measure: “Pope goes the weasel.”

Colbert then went on to comment on the “controversial” remarks made by Benedict during his final sermon, namely that during his reign as pope he experienced great joy—but also had moments of great difficulty he felt “the Lord was sleeping.”

Whoa! The pope—or now ex-pope—just upset one of the world’s most outspoken Roman Catholics, Steven Colbert.

“Excuse me!” Colbert said. “God does not sleep. He has to stay awake all the time to catch you masturbating.”

But, Benedict’s comment aside, Colbert went on to thank the retired pontiff for “your leadership of my faith; you’ve done the Lord’s work with honor and integrity.”

Okay! Moving on! Having said his obligatory thank-you, Colbert then got gabbing about what is presumably on the minds of many devoted Catholics everyhwere: “Who’s gonna be the next top pontiff?”

Nobody knows, Colbert assured us. But there are some favorites, namely Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.

“Well, that makes sense,” said Colbert. “The church is in a mess right now, and they always give the crappy cleanup job to the black guy.” Then a picture of Cardinal Turkson and President Barack Obama flashed on the screen.

For more pope talk, including surprising details about Pope Benedict XVI souvenirs—plates, T-shirts, baseball hats and more!—check out the clip below, courtesy of Comedy Central:

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