There’s obviously an alien inside that twitchy skin bag

Back in the early 1990s, I lived in King of Prussia and worked in North Philadelphia, at Temple University. It was a hellishly bad decision to live there, but we had had to find an apartment from a long distance away, and all the information we had to go on was that King of Prussia had excellent schools for our kids, and so we ended up living next door to the biggest mall in the country. That was bad enough, but the killer was the commute. I’d have to get up at 5am, very quietly so as not to disturb the kids, have a light breakfast, and then go catch a bus for my voyage down the River Styx Schuylkill Expressway.

There’d often be some downtime — gosh, I’m ready, but I’ve got 20 minutes to catch the bus. It’s not as if I could get any work done. My eyes would be glazed, I’d be sucking down coffee with trembling hands, I’d sit as one lost in the desolation of hell. So I’d flip on the TV, with the volume down low. There was nothing on at that hour but cheesy infomercials and one thing: Kenneth Copeland, or as I liked to think of it, the Creepy Puppet hour.

It was perfect for my state of mind. I was too tired to manage any kind of coherent thought, but Kenneth didn’t provide any. What he did do, with his beady little eyes and leather skin, was provide a mesmerizing exhibition of weird random facial expressions: smiling by making a huge toothy grimace, glowering by scowling and lowering his eyebrows that his eyes almost disappeared, and changing his expression at a manic pace with almost no association with the point he was making. I thought of him as a creepy puppet because when you’ve watched him a while, you begin to realize that there’s no one there, that there’s an alien persona or personas inside his head trying to mimic human responses, and thinking they’ll be more convincing the more extreme they are.

Years later, I’d get the same impression from Andy Serkis’s performance as Gollum. This is what a psychopath looks like, trying to pass as normal in public.

Now you can watch the same alien in action. A reporter from Inside Edition caught him between flights on his expensive private jet and asked him some questions about his lavish lifestyle. It’s horrific watching the animatronics struggling with limited, but exaggerated, expressions and phrases to talk with a human.

I never watch Kenneth Copeland’s gospel show anymore. I no longer need to get in the right frame of mind for a commute on the Schuylkill. Praise the Lord!


  1. says

    Jeebus. I only managed to watch 10 seconds, and I’m sure it will haunt me to the end of days. That’s the creepiest thing ever.

  2. says

    Schuylkill Expressway, known to the natives as the Surekill.

    I commuted to Philly from Media for a while, on the SEPTA media local train. Would have been a much better choice, had you but known.

  3. euclide says

    When the catholic church abused the indulgence scam during the middle age, it caused the whole reformation mess.

    It’s ironic that the country on earth that kind of defines protestantism restarted it, with the assistance of the secular state.

  4. Jack Krebs says

    I quit after “Help me Lord. Let me pray”. What I saw was boggling.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Soooo…”Men In Black 1″ had to pay royalties to this Copeland fellow?

  6. ajbjasus says

    What I find particularly baffling is that there is any more than a handful of people who fall for guys like this. What is wrong with all those people?

  7. christoph says

    That is creepy. I saw something similar years ago-I developed a vice for watching Kathryn Kulman early Sunday mornings in the early 70’s. Her intense stare and facial expressions communicated an insane fanaticism.

  8. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re Schuylkill Expressway

    to honor Hamilton’s in-laws? I know their estate is memorialized in Philly
    Surekill is the first attempt at pronunciation of their name which is actually completely different correctly.
    I too love to play around with pronouncing things weird. And pointing out weird associations of road names.
    Near here is one called CROOKED RD. which I keep wanting to see how well it matches its name.

  9. willj says

    …so I tune in Monday morning. Let’s see what PZ’s up to. Oh good, it’s a post about Philly, near my home town. What? Kenneth Copeland? Gaahh. One the chief Reptoids. The Lizard People. These are what billionaires look like. Just ruined my whole fucking week.

  10. sirrod says

    …..and she even allowed that thing to touch her….. Sir Rod de la Godfree

  11. says

    Funny… I went to Temple and worked in King of Prussia in the mid- to late-80s. Yeah, the SureKill Expressway was a fun ride at all times. They started construction on it the year i started college, I think, so it was a nightmare the entire time I went to TU.

  12. says

    Copeland is part of what American Protestantism spewed out as its bizarrely homegrown version of evangelistic Christianity — which has about has little to do with Christ as possible. Out of context Bible phrases are used to justify whatever crack-brained scheme the purveyors have for sale, whether it be sacred water from the Jordan (a gloss on the Catholic holy water business), prayer cloths with mystic powers (not to be confused—God forbid!—with Muslim prayer mats), and “faith seeds” (contributions given “in faith” to the TV preachers with the certainty of reaping rich future rewards [at least the preachers will!]). Jack Van Impe and his goggle-eyed wife Rexella were masters of the art, selling new videos annually on the imminence of Armageddon (followed by new videos explaining how their prayers to Jesus had postponed it so you could send more money). Religion can be very profitable. People can be very gullible.

  13. lesherb says

    Cervantes (post #2) my husband is from Media. Small world!

    I watched the video muted. Copeland looks liked a wooden puppet head with a caricature-like exaggeration of features. I wouldn’t doubt that he’s had quite a bit of plastic surgery. Why do people buy into these snake oil salesmen?

  14. flange says

    Even Donald Trump, although no less an asshole, seems more human than this guy.

  15. says

    (Might be a bit OT)
    I believe the leaders of the religious right will have their flocks vote for anyone that doesn’t threat their tax exempt status.
    They are used to manipulating the masses to enable their opulent lifestyles, having those people vote a certain way is just part of the business.
    It also explains why they are so hypocritical when choosing a candidate, it’s not the candidate’s morality that matters.

  16. ridana says

    There are people who pay good money (and risk their eyesight) for contacts that impart that reptilian look he seems to come by naturally.

  17. jrkrideau says

    Perhaps I should reconsider the reptoid hypothesis.

    I was a fan of the late Dr Gene Scott. I took me several months to realize that he was (probably) not doing a parody of the mad Evangelical Preacher. His discussion of the pyramid inch was outstanding.