Follow TV Tropes


Theatre / The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)

Go To

The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) is a play by Adam Long, Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor, with additional material by Matthew Croke, first presented by the Reduced Shakespeare Company in 1995. The show skims over all the books of The Bible in two acts: one for the Old Testament, the other for the New Testament, adding in anachronistic jokes and songs and a SuperSoaker Fire Extinguisher for entertainment value.

This show contains examples of:

  • Abridged for Children: The Children's Illustrated Bible, used as research material by one of the performers. It doesn't include stories like Sodom and Gomorrah or Abraham nearly sacrificing Isaac, and the darker stories it does include all have the same tacked-on happy ending.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The Tower of Babel scene has fake Spanish ("Taco sombrero Antonio Banderas!") and fake Japanese ("Buddha shinto mushy-mushy, Godzilla killy-killy sukiyaki?").
  • As the Good Book Says...: When the players are idly chatting about the weather, one of them quotes the apocryphal Bible verse, "Many are cold, few are frozen," from the Book of Galoshes in the New Testament.
  • Audience Participation: Six couples are selected from the audience to play the animals on Noah's Ark. The rest of the audience plays the drowning sinners.
  • Audio Adaptation: The recorded version of the show makes a few changes, to include a Lampshade Hanging of how they had to cut out the visual gags.
  • Brick Joke: During the Tower of Babel segment it's mentioned that "Go to" is "biblical for 'hey'". The final song ends with everyone shouting "Go to!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: This trope is mentioned in the script:
    He gets the SuperSoaker Fire Extinguisher, thus fulfilling the Chekhovian unities, to wit: "If you bring on a SuperSoaker Fire Extinguisher, it must eventually go off."
  • Chest Burster: Eve emerges from Adam's ribs in this this manner.
  • Easter Bunny: Included, despite the protests of the actor who has to wear the bunny suit that it has nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: What starts as a discussion about how events in the Bible might have contributed to antisemitic stereotypes eventually derails into exploring how all the alien species in Star Trek relate to real-world cultures.
  • He's Got a Weapon!: In the Tower of Babel scene: "Look out! He's got a picture of a bomb!" The picture goes off with a Written Sound Effect.
  • Knighting: God tells Abraham that giving God his foreskin will establish a covenant between them: "You will be a knight in my army. I will dub thee Sir Cumcision."
  • Lurid Tales of Doom: One of the Wise Men says that they're following The Star, an issue of which he produces showing the headline: "Virgin Mary has space alien's baby in Bethlehem."
  • The Mel Brooks Number: ends with a cheerful song-and-dance salute to The End of the World as We Know It as prophesied in the Book of Revelations: "That's Armageddon!"
  • Misery Poker: The Angel of the Lord announces an auction in which God's favors will be awarded to the one who suffers the most.
  • Self-Deprecation: The opening song is done in the style of a blues number:
    "There's nothing like a good old blues song!"
    "Yes, and this is nothing like a good old blues song."
  • Sound Off: One for Joshua and his soldiers:
    Gather round it's time to go!
    Kick some ass in Jericho!
    Listen up, now here's the news!
    We're taking Israel back for Jews!
    No sound!
    No noise!
    Let's go down and kill goys!
  • Stealth Pun:
    "He [Joshua] slew the people of Midian, known as Midianites, the people of Girgash, known as Girgashites, and the people of Paris, known as the French."
  • Take That!:
    • The start of Genesis includes a potshot against the band of the same name, specifically the material they made after Peter Gabriel left.
      "Ladies and gentlemen, our first reading is from the early part of Genesis, which many scholars argue is the definitive part of Genesis, because that's when they still had Peter Gabriel."
    • "The Miracles of Jesus" includes Jesus balancing the Federal budget, explaining the appeal of Opera, and ends with him convincing Christian Fundamentalists to be tolerant of others. The last item is followed up with "That would be a miracle!"
  • Top Ten List: The reading of the Top Ten Rejected Commandments.
  • Visual Pun: Two of these are thrown in near the end: Pontius Pilot, and the Axe of the Apostles.
  • World's Shortest Book: One of the players announces a reading of "the funniest sections of the book of Job." Awkward silence ensues, because, of course, the book of Job doesn't have any funny parts. Another compares the Book of Ruth to other short books like Great Moments of Tolerance in the Old Testament and Positive Images of Women in the Bible.
  • Written Sound Effect: The Tower of Babel scene ends when one of the characters threatens the others with a picture of a bomb. On the reverse of this picture is printed "BOOM!", or, when the bomb-picture-thrower is speaking in fake Spanish, "EL BOOMO!"