The Senate chaplain who has garnered media attention for his pointed prayers during the government shutdown is now the subject of a Saturday Night Live parody.
Kenan Thompson portrayed Barry Black, a retired Navy Rear Admiral and the 62nd chaplain of the U.S. Senate, during SNL's "Weekend Update" segment that aired over the weekend.
"Lord, give us strength, but especially to those in Congress," said Thompson as Black. "And let them stop being a bunch of blabbering knuckleheads that go onto the television and spout all kinds of nonsense until you want to smack them across the face with a bag full of quarters – now that's change I can believe in."
Several times during his conversation with "Weekend Update" host Seth Meyers, Thompson's Black expressed optimism that the shutdown would soon end. Each time he did so, however, Meyers presented information suggesting that government leaders had not actually made much progress, launching the fake chaplain into another prayer.
"Lord, bless and forgive these braying jacka**es lest they do something that makes people want to pin them on the floor, shove a sweaty sock in their mouths and then whoop them up and down with a pillowcase full of Skittles. Make them taste the rainbow!" said Thompson as Black.
In the skit's final prayer, the pretend minister asked God to send a flood on Washington that would either drown America's leaders or carry them "far, far away."
Black had not seen the skit as of Sunday afternoon, reports McClatchy DC, but he said he is a fan of the show. He also said it was "a great honor" to be recognized in one of SNL's parodies.
As chaplain, Black serves as a counselor and spiritual advisor to Senators, their families and their staffs – about 6,000 people in all, according to the Senate website. Over the course of the last few weeks he has opened Senate sessions with some pointed prayers that address not only the government shutdown but also the attitudes and actions of the nation's leaders.
One senator told the chaplain, who is not being paid during the shutdown, that the prayers have made a difference in his "reflections," Black told ABC's John Donovan on "This Week." Even though some lawmakers may be taking his words to heart, the minister says his prayers are directed solely toward God.
"The fact that they overhear it is just one of the fortuitous advantages of what I do," he told Donovan.