Dr. Gene Scott, RIP

My favorite televangelist, an L.A.-based, whiskey-swilling, cowboy-hatted theologian who would growl about piss-poor Greek translations with a babe on each arm, has succumbed to a stroke at age 75. From an obit in Macleans:

In some of his speeches, Scott would deliver complex lectures on Biblical languages to make points about the meaning of faith. But he also spoke on current events, sometimes lacing his sermons with profanity.

He supported the war in Iraq.

"Iraq is a threat to the world," he said in a 2003 speech posted on his website. "So kick the hell out of 'em, George."

Recognizable by his mane of white hair and scruffy beard, Scott never stuck to a conventional format in his talk show. He sometimes smoked on the show and once wore glasses with eyes pasted on them.

Unlike other televangelists, Scott's sermons did not condemn homosexuality, abortion or other hot-topic sexual issues. He argued such issues were a personal choice.

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  • Jesse Walker||

    I was wondering how the deaths of Sam Francis and Hunter Thompson might be fused into one story. Now we know the answer.

    Rest in piece, Dr. Scott.

  • Steve Smith||


  • Matt Welch||

    A friend, and fellow Gene Scott fan, writes in:

    His site, which has this fantastic creepy space alien vibe, has not been updated yet; it also contains this perfectly elegant description of his lunacy: "He teaches on subjects ranging from Basic Christianity, to Atlantis, to the Pyramids."

    I'm not sure what he means by "lunacy" ...

  • Warren||

    That post leave me going Whaa..WHO? Your description of Dr. Scott is incomplete, in the same way as describing The Fountainhead as a novel about an architect. You left out the key points. Gene was half Elmer Gantry, half Wizard of Oz, and three quarters kook. Surfing cable during the wee morning hours, and finding a fat, scruffy, cigar-chewing, profit of the airwaves, spewing argle-bargle about the Egyptian pyramids while simultaneously informing his audience they're all going straight to hell if they don't send in enough money to pay for his daughters dressage lessons, was an experience that could only be described as surreal, and one I suspect could only be 'Made in America'.

  • fyodor||

    God's Angry Man was quite a portrait. Only in America?

  • ||

    Does anyone have a copy of his "The FCC are a bunch of chattering monkeys!" episode where he wound up a room full of mechanical monkeys and shouted and shouted. I came upon that episode while surfing the channels late one night as a teen and was filled with awe and wonder.
    Johnny Ramone, Rodney Dangerfield, Russ Meyer, Hunter Thompson and now Dr. Gene all in one year. Is the world coming to an end?

  • s.m. koppelman||

    Rest in peace? If he's ended up in heaven, I'd imagine he's yelling at a bunch of cherubs right about now, alternately lecturing them on their pre-Christian antecedents and demanding that they tell him where the goddamned harness track is.

  • ||

    I prefer my televangelists to be 100 percent detestible, which is why I'm sticking with Robert Tilton.

  • Jeff||

    I just learned that Miss Gould aka The Grammarian died last week. We are losing all of our great eccentrics, yet Michael Jackson just keeps going...
    And I saw very little about Dan O'Herlihy's passing last week.

  • ||

    Gene Scott, what a nut. He was like having your own weird uncle who drank too much and didn't take his metamusil often enough but you kept him around because he'd tell a good joke once in a while.

    A shot of his hat in the chair with "the doctor is out" sign on it was better viewing than half the crappy old movies they'd show late at night on the local tv channels.

  • Jeff||

    One of the regular posters (I forget who) one mentioned the name Marshall Ephron. Does anyone know if tapes of his Painless Sunday Scholl exist?

  • ||

    "I've done enough teaching...now you get on the phone and send me $125,000!" --Dr. Gene Scott

  • Ken Layne||

    I don't know how often it happened, but three or four times over the years I came across Dr. Gene cutting up with his buddy Merle Haggard. That was some weirdly compelling television.

  • ||

    Anybody ever listen to a Rev. Leroy broadcasting from Delaware (near Columbus), OH?

    Last I read about him is he's selling "holy water" that's giving customers diarhea. His "church" is now in rooms A & B of the Holiday Inn.

  • ||

    We used to watch Dr. Gene Scott and crank call his number all the time back in jr. high. He once had a band on playing a song with the refrain "Kill a pissant for Jesus, and have a grand old time." We kept calling and asking them to tell us what a pissant was so we could go out and kill one, but they just shouted "You!" He was a very, very, very disturbed and stange man. he reminded me of an Al Goldstein with a white suit.

  • Kevin Carson||

    That's too bad.

    I used to just about laugh myself into a rupture watching Dr. Gene on late-nite TV.

    Some of my favorites include:

    The time he was ridiculing the idea of marital advice from celibate priests, and claimed superior credentials owing to his own multiple marriages. "I've been in, and out--in more ways than one!"

    Or the time he made fun of all the people who got bent out of shape because "Jimmy Swaggart took a peek at the Grand Canyon."

    It took me a long time to decide that he really was serious, and not just playing an Andy Kaufmanesque joke that went to far, or doing a role-playing stunt like the Church of the Subgenius.

  • Kevin Carson||

    And BTW, Warren, you forgot to mention him nonchalantly calling out the (often large) amounts of checks as he opened his mail, and then tossing them behind his chair.

    I'll never forget him, during one of his "First Fruits Offering" sermons, berating an impoverished correspondent for his weakness of faith: "'But Dr. Scott, I need that money to pay my rent!' Well, you won't be the first person to get thrown out of their house for the Lord!"

  • ||

    Now I have an excuse to play Mojo Nixon's "I'm Gonna Dig Up Howlin' Wolf":

    "Dr. Gene, I wanna see yo' spleen."

  • ||

    The one aspect of Gene Scott that you all forget is the most crucial of all...he was borring as hell.

  • ||

    I first saw Dr. Scott in the wee hours of the morning back in the early 90's. He would show footage of his horses running around and every now and again the camera would come back to him with a girl or two and he'd yell his famous "Get on the phone!" Something that I haven't seen anyone mention however...I distinctly remember him wearing TWO pairs of glasses, one over the other. Shades over prescription if I recall. Does anyone else remember that? Let me know, thanks.

  • ||

    One other thing I forgot. HE wanted the money for a broadcast tower or studio in Anguilla. What ever came of that?

  • ||

    Anguilla is up on 6090 nite 11775 day sw. He at one time wanted to turn the power up on 1610 a local am down there and cast it out over most of the US and Canada. Every one with a car radio! Get the picture? Within a few months everybody in North America would have known him. He never did this. I dont think big brother would let him have that much power. Its all about control. At the time of his death he oversaw the worlds biggest broadcasting network. Bigger than the BBC. Anguilla by the way has been up and running for years. Were you been?

  • ||

    The one amazing thing about Dr. Gene Scott was his resemblance to racing driver A.J. Foyt. In fact, if they're not the same person, how come you never saw them together?


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