May 1998
s m u g
by Dan Reines

Memorize This, Jack

I found the nicest couple in my television last November.

It's a husband-and-wife evangelism team, Jack and Rexella Van Impe, and they do a news show on the God channel on Sunday nights. Have you seen these guys? Are you aware of them? They're great. She reads the news of the week, and then he tells us how it proves the end is nigh. The cool thing is, he doesn't do it like "Oh, the end is nigh, you're all about to go to Hell." It's more, "Look out Heaven, 'cause HERE WE COME!" It's so positive - so... fun!

They really are a sweet couple, and I love them both equally. I really do. Rexella Van Impe (that name!) is like a fabulous cross between Morgan Fairchild and Nancy Reagan - just so perky and blonde, and she always has the former First Lady's patented Dreamy Look on her face when she stares at her husband. Plus, she's really, really perky and blonde.

Jack Van Impe, meanwhile, is so great, and so smart. He talks in this really soothing whisper, like he's really excited but he's trying not to wake somebody napping in the other room. "My Jesus is a God of love!" Only he doesn't just say "Jesus," normal, he says it really exaggerated, like "Jeeesus." It's the same way you or I say it when the lady at the DMV takes a cigarette break while we're standing on line, only he means it in a good way. His gimmick is that he has the entire Bible memorized - they actually call him the Walking Bible! When he interprets the news, he just reels off quotes from the Scripture like a lawyer citing precedents. Here - here's a sample from their Easter show:

Rexella: "There's no color barrier with the love of the Lord, Jack."
Jack: "No there isn't! 'He has made of one blood all men that dwell upon the Earth.' Acts 18:24. And when we come back to Christ, 'They're from every tribe, kindred people, tongue, and nation,' Revelation chapter 5, verses 9 and 10!"
Rexella: "Oh, I love that!"

And I love that!

See, that's what I'm talking about - Walking Bible! And that's the kind of loving repartee you get when you watch the news the Rexella and Jack way. It's not like watching Action News at Five, where those two wind-blown bubbleheads chatter back and forth like flirtatious sophomores at the Sigma Pi kegger. Jack and Rex, they really love each other, and it shows. I think that's so great, I really do. I really, really do.

Now I'm sure some of you are wondering if maybe I'm a bit too into this whole Rexella and Jack thing. (I know my Mom is, because she told me so.) I mean, I myself am of the Hebrew persuasion, so it's a little bit weird to you, maybe, that I watch GodTV at all, right? But I'm not a lunatic, or a Jew for Jesus or anything. Watching them gives me this really nice warm feeling, but I know reality from fantasy, you know? I know that Rexella and Jack are big-time Bible-thumpers. And that they're married. Whatever. I don't have a problem with that at all. I have a lot of Christian friends.

So like, I don't care. The Jeeesus stuff, it doesn't bother me. Or that Jack's got that funny hair, for instance. The way it swoops up from the side of his head, like all he did was grow his left sideburn super-long and comb it all the way over. That's, whatever. That's fine. Hey, it kind of works on him! Or Rexella's hair too, how it's all teased up and stuff. Covers up her baby blue peepers, yeah, which is a serious crime if you ask me, but again, that's between her and her old man, not me.

There are other things, too. (See Mom? If it was a cult, could I go on like this?) Like Jack's voice, with the whisper thing I was telling you about. I mean, I know I said it was a good thing, but God love him, it gets kind of grating, to tell the truth. Think about it, how many people you know talk in a stage whisper all the time? And how many of those people are your friends? But that's Jack, you know? To know him is to love him! I guess.

Alright, as long as we're letting it out about the little things here (what's that verse about the Truth, Jack?), I do have one other tiny thing about Jack Van Impe that bugs me a little. It's, well... the Walking Bible thing. It's really impressive - really impressive - but it's just that it's... it's a little bit... much. Whatever. It's no big deal. I just think he could tone it down a little. I mean, it's a gimmick. It's like smoke and mirrors, and I mean, I have a Bible, and besides, I'm pretty sure they have computer programs that can do that now. So it's just kind of superfluous, is what I'm saying, I guess. Just, kind of, show-offy. Or it's not, but it could be interpreted that way if you didn't know Jack better. That's all. Like I said, it's no big deal.

Oh, and I also don't like that Rexella hides her legs behind that desk the way she does. Is that really necessary? To think how many more viewers would flock to the show - like sheep to Jeeesus! - if she'd just give us a little bone to chew on! I'm not talking smut here, people, just a little three-second silhouette, Mary Hart-style, to kick off the show. Three seconds! Come on - you gotta show a little leg just to get a cab nowadays, for cryin' out loud! Rexella is such a beautiful woman, it just seems like she should use all the weapons the Good Lord gave her, you know? And I mean that in a totally innocent, I-just-want-what's-best-for-the-show sort of a way, not... whatever. You know?

Oh my God, this feels really good. It's like a purging! I feel really relieved to get this all, you know, out in the open!

the way things should be.

Ok, wait, I have to get back to the Bible verse thing for a second. Honestly, I hate to whip a dead horse here, but I really have had it with that thing. I mean come on, Jack, Walking Bible? More like Walking Footnote! Six months I've been watching you Jack and I don't think you've made it through a complete sentence yet without citing chapter and verse! But hey! That's your gimmick, so it's ok, isn't it? Well how's this for a Bible quote: "And ye shall know all the answers, shalln't you, you smug S.O.B.!" Jeeesus, Jack, you're like God's little hall monitor, aren't you?! OhmypreciousRexella, what do you see in this man that you can't see in me! Come to me! Come to me Rexella! Come to Danny!

Oh jeez.

Um. Anyway.


For information on when you too can watch Rexellla on your TV, click here. Caution: Could be habit-forming.

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