Acid-tongued comedian Dennis Miller will replace Bill Cosby tonight at a major Catholic fund-raiser for Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Catholic officials announced this afternoon.
On Tuesday, Cosby caused a stir in the Archdiocese of Detroit by telephoning local Catholics concerned by the closing of 18 Catholic schools in metro Detroit. Cosby initially asked if he could meet with a group of the people trying to keep some of those schools open, before going to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dearborn to help raise funds for Cardinal Adam Maida’s seminary.
Then, Tuesday night, Cosby canceled both appearances for personal reasons unrelated to the dispute over Detroit’s Catholic schools.
Scrambling to provide entertainment for the $250-a-plate fundraiser, seminary supporters instead booked Pittsburgh native Miller, who became nationally famous as a sarcastic anchorman on “Saturday Night Live.” Miller also appeared in several movies and starred in his own recently cancelled cable TV show.
Miller is known for mingling conservative political views into his comic monologues. However, he also is the comic whose quip in April, upon hearing news of the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, has been widely repeated. At the time, Miller said, “Usually when I see a German guy on a balcony with an adoring throng underneath him, it tends to make me a little nervous.” [Source]
I occasionally caught parts of his short lived talk show and while he is generally conservative on some issues being that he is a 9-11 conservative, he is certainly no social conservative being both pro-abortion and for gay rights. He also seemed to take every opportunity he could to snipe at the Church on the sexual abuse scandal. Not exactly the best choice to raise money for a Catholic seminary. I find him pretty funny most of the time if only he could come fully over from the dark side.
Update: Dennis Miller missed a flight and did not attend the fundraiser.
It is strange, isn’t it? Reminds me a lot of the problems with Derbyshire at NRO – you really want to like him, because he seems like an engaging personality and he has a lot of good things to say – but his horrific position on the Schiavo matter, for example (which I blogged about at my site) makes it so hard for you to respect him. It’s the same with Miller. Eventually you don’t even get angry – just sad.
Heh, Derbyshire…I like it when Ramesh Ponnuru disputes his claims when it comes to life issues. Derbyshire is just an NRO novelty. The real intellectuals there generally overshadow him.
Heck, if you read Derb’s opinions on that study that suggested political ideology is genetically determined…you can swear that he’s just gonna turn around and declare himself a Social Darwinist someday…you know, for the sake of his god “Science”.
I almost fell out of my chair when I read this. I wonder if they even tried to find a Catholic speaker, like Father Corapi or someone, first. I love comedy, but at such a fundraiser for a seminary, why not give people a little education and edification for their money?
What is it about Derbyshire that makes you want to like him, Mitchell?
I think he’s an idiot.
Did anyone attend? It was last night.
I know someone who did. Teresa Tomeo on Ave Maria Radio was talking about it this morning. But she didn’t mention that. Instead, she emphasized we should be focused on the good things and opportunities in the SE Michigan area for growing in our faith.
Now I know the context.
Miller is a savvy comedian, and irrespective of what he may really think, I suspect he will have done a good job for the seminary if he was willing to take the gig.
Actually his quip about the new Pope was the only Nazi one I thought was sort of funny.
I think Dennis Miller is very funny, tho he can often be a pompous jerk. I think I’d pay $250 for an evening with him. If it included sitting at his table and the evening ended with him taking a turn in the dunk-tank.
I don’t want to call him an idiot, but my respect for him has dimmed. What I’ve liked about him – like him, I tend to be a pessimist, especially when it comes to contemporary culture. He’s been an outspoken opponent of PC thinking. I thought his columns immediately following 9/11 were quite moving, and on the mark. In particular, what made a profound impression on me was his link to the memorable Paul Johnson column in which Johnson told of his dream of a nuclear attack. It was that kind of commentary that appealed to me.
On a personal level, especially listening to his Derb Radio broadcasts, there’s something about the sound of his voice that suggests you might like him as a neighbor, as someone who you’d talk to on the porch.
But his wrongheaded thinking on Schiavo, along with his statement today that he could actually envision a situation where he’d vote for Hilary, plus his constant Catholic-baiting, leads me to wonder if he isn’t just a contrarian, someone who likes to provoke for no particular reason other than to be the devil’s advocate. Mind you, I’m not suggesting that this is the case – to do so might be uncharitable – but again, his actions would lead a reasonable person to think that this might be the case.
If only he weren’t wrong on the fundamentally important issues, disagreeing with him without losing respect for him would be easier.
I find Dennis Miller amusing at times but he is also a very public EX-CATHOLIC. When he had Ray Flynn on his old HBO show during the height of the Boston scandals he made no secret of this.
Dennis Miller missed the flight? So what did they do for entertainment, play bingo?
re: Derb, I have had carried on a personal correspondence with John off-and-on for several years — pre 9/11, certainly. Talking one-to-one, he is kind, funny, polite, and a fount of interesting small details that enlighten a conversation. His life revolves around his family and he is sentimental in that regard; one of our conversations centered on getting the best veterinary care for his elderly dog, which was making him anxious. Tempermentally he is like most of the men I grew up around in the rural midwest of the 1960s, gruff and plain-spoken and not particularly attuned to social niceties. His position on Terri Schiavo did not surprise me; he is kind of like Winston Churchill regarding religion, appreciating its traditional and cultural value but unable to believe it himself. I am somewhat dismayed to see him the subject of such criticism round about the blogosphere lately.
I used to enjoy Derbyshire with a one major– okay, huge—reservation which I won’t get into here but after Schiavo I can’t read him or the Corner at all. I fell out of love and fell hard.