Cruise gives last laugh to 'South Park'

Isn't it time to just admit that religion should never try to go heads-up against comedy? Particularly a religion based heavily on space-alien themes, making it that much more attractive for relentless mocking?

Isn't it time to just admit that religion should never try to go heads-up against comedy? Particularly a religion based heavily on space-alien themes, making it that much more attractive for relentless mocking?

Yes, it is time to admit this.

The point was made nicely recently by renowned thespian thetan Tom Cruise, who switched PR counsel not long ago after he realized that perhaps his former handlers were not offering him the most sophisticated communications advice.

Unfortunately, Cruise's penchant for pulling the strings of the entertainment establishment has only gotten him more tangled in his own shoelaces.

The latest example was his ill-concealed threat to cancel a promo tour for his new film, MI3, if Comedy Central, owned by the movie's studio, Paramount, did not pull a rerun of a South Park episode denigrating his religion of choice, Scientology. The network caved, the story leaked, and while Cruise denied everything, interest in the episode skyrocketed, and Scientology-mocking was significantly up for the week.

Cruise's tantrum did persuade fellow Scientologist Isaac Hayes to quit his role as "Chef" to protest the show's "intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs of others." This accomplished nothing, except a notable increase in Hayes-mocking.

South Park's creators, needless to say, milked Cruise's covert cartoon campaign for all it was worth. In fact, the publicity no doubt prompted the show's season premiere Wednesday, "The Return of Chef!"

Note to Cruise: If you don't want your religion to be made fun of, how about keeping it between you and L. Ron.

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