I saw the sequel Fletch Lives in the theater with my friend Rob AND was a Christian at the time–I still liked the movie for its parody of evangelists. I’ve always disliked TV evanglists as both a Christian and an atheist because of how they target gullible people. Here’s one of the classic moments from the movie with Chevy Chase doing his version of a TV evangelist.
The character Jimmy Lee Farnsworth, an evangelist stereotype, is played by veteran actor R. Lee Ermey and mirrors the same scam artistry going on in the eighties, some of which has made a resurgence as as my complaint about BET Entertainment notes. Farnsworth wants to get a hold of Fletch’s land to build himself a Christian theme park (or so we think) and it almost feels like things haven’t changed. Various new Christian theme parks are now in development while the older, established ones have simply been bought up by other Christians before they could financially fail. We need Fletch back or at least this kind of satire. The only difference is that the scam artists aren’t as outrageous or as easy to spot unless you count people who never really went away (Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff, etc). In a way, the media has become complacent about exposing these idiots because it’s been done before–we all seem to know these people are frauds and yet, who the hell keeps donating money to them?