For more than a quarter century, Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Kirby poked fun at Mormon history, practices, culture and members themselves, including one particular member: Robert Kirby.
His brand of comical commentary brought not only winces and complaints but also personal insights and even community healing. He reached out to crime victims and those who had lost loved ones. He officiated at LGBTQ weddings. Mostly, though, his musings brought laughter and a lovable irreverence to reverent things.
A former police officer, he joked about being a beat cop in the Celestial Kingdom. He boasted that he could “beat up” an aging Gordon B. Hinckley, drawing a private reprimand from his local church leader and, it turns out, private chuckles from Hinckley himself. And his piece about “five kinds of Mormons” is seen as a classic of Latter-day Saint satire.
Now, after thousands of columns and millions of laughs, Kirby has retired. So brace yourselves, listeners, as he joins this week’s podcast to talk about his career as a religion humor columnist.