Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rev. Ike

When we heard Reverend Ike died this week, the words, "pie in the sky"... "sweet bye and bye..." and "now" came to mind immediately. After all the time we spent covering crooked television evangelists, we looked back with fondness on Reverend Ike, the first TV preacher to take advantage of the soliciting power of television, and a man who was refreshingly up front about his mission: while he preached prosperity, his purpose was soliciting donations, preferably in paper cash (He'd say, “Change makes your minister nervous in the service.”)

Ike was the TV preacher we remember from the Seventies, a cross between Jackie Wilson and Eddie Murphy, and his money message certainly set the stage for the real crooks who'd follow.

Rev. Ike died this week after suffering a stroke two years ago. We were surprised he was only 74. His church as asking for donations in his memory.

And the entire Rev. Ike pitch went like this:

“The love of money is not the root of all evil,
It is the lack of money.
Have you ever seen a rich man
down in the street mugging someone?
You can talk all you want
about the pie in the sky
and the sweet bye and bye,
but what about the good ol' now and now!”

1 comment:

Elli in Israel said...

my memory of rev ike is that he ended up buying the loew's 175th st., about which the times wrote in his obit: "In his book “On Broadway: A Journey Uptown Over Time,” David W. Dunlap, a reporter for The New York Times, described the former theater as “Byzantine-Romanesque-Indo-Hindu-Sino-Moorish-Persian-Eclectic-Rococo-Deco style.” " it WAS all that, and more, and a wonderful memory of one of my childhood movie theaters.