(JNi.media) After three weeks and thousands of jokes from 47 countries, the Joke With The Pope Campaign has been concluded, with Rabbi Bob Alper of Vermont receiving the title, “Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope.”
Needless to say, this was the very first time a pope, or his advisers, felt the need for a comedic advisor.
Alper’s joke went: “My wife and I have been married for over 46 years, and our lives are totally in synch. For example, at the same time I got a hearing aid, she stopped mumbling.”
Actor Bill Murray’s joke was: “Did you hear about the two antennae that got married? The service wasn’t so great, but the reception was fantastic.”
Latenight host Conan O’Brien contributed: “The drought in California is so bad, people in Napa are asking the Pope to turn their wine into water.”
“It had it all,” said Andrew Small, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which is behind Joke With The Pope. “It was the kind of joke I think the Pope would use himself, and that’s what befits an Honorary Comedic Advisor,” he explained. “We congratulate Rabbi Bob and we thank all who submitted their ‘jokes and funny stories,’ as Pope Francis asked at the start of this campaign.”
“For me, Joke With The Pope was doing good while having fun,” said Rabbi Bob, who donated the proceeds from his joke to the homeless in Ethiopia. “It’s the joy of the mitzvah,” Alper added, saying he feels Pope Francis “exudes warmth, honesty – and there’s his humor,” and so “We all benefit from his model.”
Rabbi Alper is not the only winner of the current campaign. The Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, the Pope’s own messangers and the brains behind Joke With The Pope, will donate $10,000 to three humanitarian causes in celebration of the large number of joke donations. Money will be provided to three causes on the newly released Missio app: housing the homeless in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; helping children in need in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and feeding the hungry in Nairobi, Kenya. Additional projects can be explored on Missio.
“Joke With The Pope helped spread joy to the world,” said Small. “But more importantly, it inspired many people to download the Missio app as a way to continue that joy by making a difference in the poorest communities of our world. Missio puts the power of change right at your fingertips, connecting you with change-makers and life-saving projects across the globe.”
Small’s own joke went: “How much did it get cost the pirate to get his ears pierced? A buck an ear.”
The Missio app is available through the App Store and Google Play, or at www.missio.org. The new app coincides with the Catholic Church’s celebration of Mission Month which honors and supports the work of Catholic missionaries around the world.