BY ERROL CASTENS
TUPELO – Nazareth's “Proud to be an American” comedy concert at First Evangelical Church on Sunday at 6 p.m. promises to combine laughter, patriotism and dose of spirituality.
Nazareth, an Israeli-born Christian comic, aims to give his audience “a renewed appreciation for this country and a sense of pride as an American as you are reminded about that which our great country was established upon.”
One of his recurring themes is his Middle East background.
“My name is Nazareth,” he says in one routine. “I was born in the city of Nazareth in Israel, and my parents named me for the city. It's kind of a tradition over there.
“I feel sorry for my brother Waikiki and my other brother Albuquerque,” he added, “and my sister, Buffalo.”
Adjusting to life in America furnishes lots of material, too.
“I had trouble learning English,” Nazareth said. “I filed my taxes at a taxidermist's place. My refund is still hanging on the wall.”
Even Nazareth's spiritual conversion is fodder for fun. Since he was no longer looking for girls in bars, he said, he had to change tactics.
“When I became a Christian É I didn't know what my pick-up line was gonna be: I agape you, you weaker vessel!'? Or I'd say, I was praying to the Lord, and He led me to you,' and she'd say, Go back and pray again.'”
After winning his audience with mirth, Nazareth takes a short time to be more serious, giving his own testimony and inviting audience members to become Christians.
“God paid a price for you, and he wants you back,” he said.
Two other Christian performers – illusionist Jarrod Mac and Latino comic Tony Rey – will also take a turn at entertaining the crowd.
Doors open at 5 p.m., and admission is free; a love offering will be received. American Family Radio is co-hosting the event with First Evangelical Church.
For more information, log on to www.nazarethusa.com.