Appearing Wednesday night at Kingsbury Hall, David Cross did not apologize for offending a good number of Mormons over the weekend.
He expressed surprise that an edited ad he posted on social media that showed him in Latter-day Saint temple garments caused such a stir. But apologize? Not even close.
“I truly had no idea how much offense people would take. I didn’t know because I never would have imagined that,” he said, opening his act by spending seven minutes talking about the controversy. “It doesn’t make sense to me."
He said he was genuinely shocked that it was “so upsetting to so many people. But I’m not using that as an excuse at all, because although I didn’t know that it would be so deeply offensive, I also don’t give a s---.”
Clearly, he did not. His surprisingly long set — which ran just 10 minutes short of two hours — included humor about abortion, Nazis, the Holocaust, terrorist bombings, AIDS and beating President Donald Trump to a bloody pulp and then urinating and defecating on him. So, no, an ad featuring temple garments didn’t seem out of character.
Cross didn’t back away from the topic. He said he’d never before seen the words “underwear” and “sacred” in unison, “but when they’re put together, they’re hilarious.”
He said the controversy “was just a reminder of how thrilled and satisfied and happy it makes me to know that I will never be affected by a photoshopped picture of a dude in long johns that you can get at a Target. You can go to a Target and get something that looks very similar.”
And the good-size crowd — several hundred — at Kingsbury ate it up, cheering and hooting in approval.
Cross, an avowed atheist, had pointed criticism of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on several occasions, saying he is “offended” by people who “ostracize” members of the LGBTQ community “until sometimes they commit suicide.”
“So I would say that people who were offended — deeply offended — by the photoshopped picture of some underwear — get your own f------ house in order first.”
Cross didn’t dwell on Utah’s predominant religion, but he didn’t ignore it, either. He told a story about visiting Temple Square and the monument to the three witnesses to the faith’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon — which ended with church founder Joseph Smith promising the three they will be “drowning in,” ahem, uh, women if they back up his “absurd” story about the golden plates.
Cross expressed amazement that, according to recent polls, members of the LDS Church support Trump more strongly than any other religious group, which he pointed to as “hypocrisy” on the part of anyone who professes to be religious.
But he also got a lot of laughs talking about being a first-time father of a daughter who recently had her first birthday — from his unique perspective.
“I'm really looking forward to that big shift when you finally start to love her,” he deadpanned.
And then there was the sometimes excruciatingly long story about how his wife, actress Amber Tamblyn, talked him into going with her for a couples colonic.
Cross didn’t mention any of his critics by name, but he did, perhaps, address a column about his infamous temple garments ad by Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke, headlined, “Sure, David Cross’ joke was lazy, but Mormons should get used to jabs from comedians.”
The comedian poked back.
“You’re confusing easy with lazy,” he joked. “It is, however, very easy.”