Web Video: Mr Deity
Yeah, if I could stop all of these things! Everybody says, "if you could stop all of these things, why don't you just stop them?"... I got things to do, okay?Mr. Deity is a series of short comedy films that premiered on YouTube before moving to Crackle and then moving back to YouTube again.. They concern the daily existence of the titular Mr. Deity (Brian Keith Dalton), the Creator of the Known Universe, who is presented here as a slightly vague, thoughtless and temperamental Hollywood Executive type (with a startling resemblance to George Lucas) who, although basically well-meaning, has an alarming tolerance for various evils and unpleasantness in his creation. Assisting him in creating and maintaining all existence is Larry (Jimbo Marshall), Mr. Deity's long-suffering and nebbishy P.A, and 'Jesse' (Sean Douglas), an actor hired by Mr. Deity to portray his son, and who really isn't looking forward to that whole crucifixion deal he has coming upnote . On the other side of the table, Hell is maintained by Lucy (Amy Rohren), Mr. Deity's on-off girlfriend, who agreed to manage Hell as a favour to Mr. Deity and really wasn't pleased by those passive-aggressive references to her being a 'snake' in 'the script'.As it sounds, Mr. Deity is all about spoofing organized religion, Christianity in particular, and the various beliefs and peculiarities that surround it - however, unlike many such spoofs, the shorts manage to poke fun without coming off as being mean-spirited or offensive.Dalton has a second series, The Way of the Mister, which talks more broadly on religion (and more specifically on Mormonism, the faith he grew up in) and the various conflicts in atheism, sometimes with a satirical bent.
Provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming: His name really is Jesus. Mr. Deity just keeps on mistaking it for 'Jesse'. Even a news ticker gets this one wrong on one occasion.
- Affectionate Parody: Of all religion, but specifically The Bible (and The Book of Mormon, since that is the faith he was raised in).
- At least at times. Some jokes are pretty friendly, and could easily be shared at church or sunday school, such as Mr. Deity using a clapper for when he said "Let there be light." Others are some pretty biting satire of legitimate concerns about the most common portrayals of the Biblical God, with the first episode featuring Mr. Deity allowing all sorts of horrible things in his creation, even after being told that there was no reason to do so.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: 'All the evils in the world are ideologically driven: the Crusades, the Holocaust, no third-party apps on the iPhone..'
- This trope is present from the beginning. The very first episode had Mr. Deity deciding whether to allow the presence of evils such as Down's Syndrome, natural disasters, holocausts, CÚline Dion...
- The Bible: Referred to as 'the script' throughout; one short revolved around Mr. Deity's annoyance at an 'unauthorized' version going around, with a misprint in which homosexuality is referred to as an 'abomination' owing to a mix-up.
- Buffy Speak: The Place of Things and Stuff.
- Crossover Cosmology: While Mr. Deity is the only god to appear on screen, the Greek gods and Allah have been mentioned as existing in this universe and having offscreen conversations with Mr. Deity.
- Technically, Allah did appear on-screen in Season 4. Said screen however, was completely black, them being in a dark matter showroom and all.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- About the only consistently positive characteristic Mr. Deity possesses is that he likes gay people, and is pretty upset about how badly represented his opinions on gays is.
- He also refuses to allow humans to harm each other just by thoughts.
- In "Mr. Deity and the Hat", even Mr. Deity is disgusted by Joseph Smith Jr.'s racism (this is a particular Take That by Brian Keith Dalton, a former Mormon, or "formon").
- Everyone Has Standards: Mr. Deity is the master of Insane Troll Logic, but even he thinks Bill O'Reilly labelling Christianity a "philosophy" rather than a religion is ridiculous.
- The Ghost: The Greek gods have been confirmed to exist in a few episodes, but haven't made an appearance.
- God Is Evil: Mr. Deity is extremely self-obsessed, loves the smell of blood, doesn't like anyone disobeying him, and, in addition to allowing in unnecessary levels of evil 'just because', created Hell.
- God Is Flawed: Mr. Deity isn't exactly evil, but he is alarmingly lax in some areas; he'd do something about the bad things in the world... except that he just finds it easier to say 'yeah, leave it in'.
- God and Satan Are Both Jerks: The show is somewhat inconsistent on this. Lucy is usually the first to object to anything in "the script" promoting violence or hatred, but she's also completely casual about arranging all manner of eternal tortures for minor crimes in her first appearance, when asked to make an alternative philosophy to Jesus's suggests inventing Nazism, and in a meeting with David Silverman the two resolve to "stop eating babies".
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: Averted; Mr. Deity doesn't seem to get anything but enjoyment from hearing his name used or having people pray to him. In fact, he doesn't even bother to listen to more than a handful of prayers each day - the rest, stored as voicemail on his phone, are erased.
- Hurricane of Puns: The season 4 finale. A short example:Mr. Deity: (attempting to initiate the Big Bang with his iPhone) I'm out of battery!...I left Pandora running in the background!Larry: You opened Pandora's box?Mr. Deity: Was I not supposed to do that?Lucy: (handing him another iPhone) Here, take my Apple.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: He's the Only Sane Man in heaven.
- King of All Cosmos: Mr. Deity is essentially a George Lucas parody who has control of all creation.
- At least a significant chunk of creation, anyways. There's a mention, in Season 3, of what the Greek gods are giving their people, in comparison to what Mr. Deity has come up with.
- Prequel: Season 4 explains how Mr. Deity got started.
- Pronoun Trouble: When Mr Deity and Jesse try to understand the trinity, complete with word counters for "You", "Me" and "I".
- Psychopathic Manchild: Mr. Deity is a Type C. He's a Jerkass God who deliberately allows all sorts of evil things into his creation for no real reason and frequently inflicts horrifically cruel punishments for minor crimes, but behaves in a very childish manner, particularly in the way he reacts to criticism. One episode had him refuse to believe that Santa Claus isn't real.
- Purely Aesthetic Era: But justified as the main characters all have the ability to time travel, as does anyone else in Heaven.
- Retcon: Season 4 doesn't really fit with earlier seasons. The first blatant case of this was Mr. Deity meeting Jesus.
- Rule of Funny: The exact nature of the entities who are the main characters makes no sense unless you just accept that they run on this trope.
- Sanity Ball: Gets passed around a lot as Mr. Deity is such a Cloud Cuckoo Lander that pretty much anyone seems reasonable in comparison, but mainly between Jesse, Lucy, and Larry. Mr. Deity himself does get it though on a few occasions, particularly Mr. Deity and the Hat and Mr. Deity and the Philosophy.
- Satan Is Good: Lucy is presented as quite amiable and decent (but see God Is Evil above).
- Shameless Self-Promoter: Parodied, sort of; at the end of every short since about Season 2, Brian Keith Dalton shows up and both (a) thanks the audience for watching and (b) essentially begs for money. He at least has the decency to be reasonably funny, clever and entertaining about it, though. Except for the end of Mr. Deity and the Hat.
- Take That: Again, to organised religion; while it's mostly good-natured and affectionate, the satire can get quite pointed at times.
- Tempting Fate:
Mr. Deity: My chosen people? Are you kidding me? That's never gonna happen, I mean who doesn't love my chosen people?
- In "Mr. Deity and the Promised Land", when Larry points out to Mr. Deity the possibility that someone might one day try to wipe out the Jews the same way they wiped out the Canaanites:
Jesse: Sir, the people down there? They're gonna think that you don't want them to use your name, like "Oh my God"-you love that one! And, or what about "God damn it!"
- In "Mr. Deity and the Top Ten", when Mr. Deity comes up with the "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" commandment and explains that it means "don't do evil in My name".
Mr. Deity: Well, I'm the God of the Universe and they think I'm gonna be that petty? God isn't even my real name, it's a stage name, you know that.
- Top Ten List: The commandments.