Find da Popes in da Pizza

all the recent pope talk going on, Slice can't help but be reminded of Father Guido Sarducci's "Finda da popes in da pizza" bit on Saturday Night Live. From a transcript of the bit, which appeared as part of a 1979 Weekend Update segment:

It's amazing to me all the interest in the Pope last couple weeks. I think it's because of John Paul's visit, personally, but, you know, whatever the reason, people are buyin' these posters that show all of the Popes and people want to know what their names are, what their real names are, when they was livin', when they died, all that stuff. And, going along with this papal mania, I've kind of designed a contest about the popes. [holds up a large photo showing a close-up of the surface of a pizza] It's called "Find the Popes in the Pizza." All two hundred and fifty-four Popes, they're in here. And, what we're gonna do in about one minute, we're gonna put a close-up of this on your screen and, you at home, all you have to do is get some, like, wax paper, any kind of paper you can see through and paste it to your screen -- or tape it, whatever you want—and all you gotta do is get a pencil and draw a circle around every place you see a picture of a Pope. And, while we're doing this ...

20050420Sarducci.jpgWell, I think what I'm gonna do for the prize, whoever wins—you know, finds the most Popes—they'll get to have a button that I designed myself. I noticed on the tour, the best selling button was this. [holds up button] It says, "I Got a Peek at the Pope." And I designed a button that I think even more people can relate to. [holds up another button] It says, "I saw the Pope on TV." This is what you win. And now, I think, we're about ready. So while you're looking at the pizza for thirty seconds, I'm gonna play a cut from Pius XII's album. Here is Pius XII singing "On the Sunny Side of the Street." And now find the popes in the pizza. Good luck to you. All two hundred and fifty-four.

[A jazz recording of the old pop song "On the Sunny Side of the Street" plays as we dissolve to close-up of the pizza: mostly a red mass of tomato sauce, but also cheese and one rather large image of a Pope sitting behind a desk in the lower right hand corner. The other Popes are invisible to the naked eye. A clock ticks off thirty seconds in the upper left hand corner as Father Sarducci's voice chimes in with occasional helpful hints.] Some are easy to find, some are hard. ... Here's a little clue for you. Most of the Popes have red faces. Here's another clue. One of them is in the right side of the screen. Behind the desk.

This reporter isn't going to say much about the selection of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as pope, as I don't know much about him. He's got a tough act to follow. I mean, will the new Pope Benedict XVI hold a special mass for pizzamakers? We have yet to see.