world : Pope meets Jimmy Fallon and 105 other comics at Vatican

world : Pope meets Jimmy Fallon and 105 other comics at Vatican
world : Pope meets Jimmy Fallon and 105 other comics at Vatican

Friday 14 June 2024 10:30 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Pope Francis has met with more than 100 comedians from across the world, including Jimmy Fallon, Chris Rock and Whoopi Goldberg, at the Vatican in Rome.

The Pope said comedians have the "power to spread serenity and smiles" in a world where people are immersed in "many social and personal emergencies".

"You unite people because laughter is contagious," he added.

The entertainers were hosted in the Vatican hours before the pontiff was expected in Puglia for the G7 summit.

During the audience with 107 comedians from 15 countries, the Pope praised their ability to make people smile.

"You can also laugh at God, of course, and that's not blasphemy," the pontiff told comedians, adding that "it can be done without offending the religious feelings of believers".

According to reports on US media, comedian Jimmy Fallon was seen larking around the front of the audience hall before proceedings got under way - he was reportedly quickly told take his seat as the pope was due to walk through the door.

Fallon was joined by other big names in the entertainment industry, including US comedian Chris Rock, Italy's Silvio Orlando, and British actor and comedian Stephen Merchant.

Comedian Whoopi Goldberg, well known for Sister Act, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from hit-show Veep, were also in attendance.

The cultural event preceded the pope's appearance at the G7 in the southern Italian region of Puglia - the first time a leader of the world's 1.4 billion Catholics attends the summit of the world's seven largest advanced economies.

The 87-year-old pontiff has called for global regulation of AI, warning of its danger to ethics and human rights.

In reference to current global events, the pope told comedians that while communication today "often generates conflict," the entertainers are able to bring together diverse realities.

"How much we need to learn from you," he added.

After the audience the Pope met briefly with each comedian, exchanging a few words with each - though some interactions were somewhat one-way.

"Well it was brief, he spoke in Italian, so I'm not quite sure what was said," quipped late-night host Conan O'Brien.

"It was quick... I had a wonderful time," he added.

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