Saturday, August 16, 2008

Stan Lee, Founder of The Church of Practicology

So despite all the accolades, and the fact that I like Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, I've never gotten around to watching 30 Rock. But while watching my life steadily drizzle away today (forming a small puddle of worthlessness) I watched the first episode of Season 2 over on HULU.
So delightful it was that I started watching the second episode and hence the comic connection in this exchange between Alec Baldwin and his rival Will Arnett. Arnett, whose character is gay, results to a church practice to "cure" him of his gayness in order to marry the homely daughter of the chief NBC executive, and thus become his likely successor.

Arnett: Are you familiar with the Church of Practicology?
Baldwin: You mean the cult that was invented by Stan Lee?
Arnett: No, I mean the religion founded by the alien king living inside Stan Lee. See it's my faith in practicogy that has let me uncover my true straight self.

Obviously a riff on the utter absurdity that is Scientology, and a religion founded on Stan Lee is no less believable than one founded on a mediocre science fiction writer (L. Ron). Not only did Stan co-create a whole universe of lesser gods to rival Greek mythology, but he wrote the line good enough to found an entire religion around "With great power comes great responsibility". He even has his own godlike signoffs "Excelsior!" And 'Nuff Said!" (with godlike finality).
And what did you think that whole True Believers thing was about anyway.

There's yet another funnybook connection in 30 Rock in that Judah Friedlander is a cast member. You might remember Friedlander's uncanny portrayal of Genuine Nerd Toby Radloff (Harvey Pekar's sidekick) in the brilliant film adaptation of Pekar's American Splendor (still probably my favorite comic book film).

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