The Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe III
The Reverend is not your average holy man. With his heavy metal music, black leather, sunglasses and love of hot tub bible classes, he cuts a pretty intimidating figure. A true two-fisted Tennessee trailer-trash TV evangelist, he makes the sinners swing from the rafters.
Having managed to offend virtually every religious group and been barred from most places of worship, The Reverend has taken to spreading the word of the Lord on the Television, as well as around comedy clubs all over the UK. He wrote and starred on all three series of BBC Scotland’s Live Floor Show, for which he was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA best newcomer award. His success on the show secured him a weekly spot when the show later transferred to BBC2 for a 10-part series.
His 2003 Edinburgh Fringe double-headline show with Frankie Boyle provoked massive, diverse reactions and was simultaneously hailed as the most exciting and original as well as the most offensive and dangerous show on the fringe.
The Reverend’s next solo Edinburgh Festival Show, What Would Charlie Sheen Do? received 5-star rave reviews.
The Frankie & The Rev show led to The Reverend’s alter-ego Jim Muir (and Boyle) being commissioned to write on 2 series of the Channel 4 Jimmy Carr vehicle, Distraction and subsequently Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats as well as for BBC 2’s Mock The Week. Jim continued to be a key writer for Boyle’s own projects on and off-screen until 2012 when his own commitments took over and, in 2013, he again wrote for Jimmy Carr, this time supplying content for Jimmy’s live show and subsequent DVD release.
In 2013, Yalli Productions, alongside MZA, co-produced a hell-raising chat show for the Edinburgh Fringe, called “Brothers and Sisters… It’s the Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe III”—a show that was on at 5.30pm every day for 4 weeks despite its hard-core content, with a wide range of celebrity guests offering themselves up at the Reverend’s altar, and audiences willing to devour the uncompromising spectacle despite the early timeslot—rave reviews ensued and a taster was filmed and put before the UK’s TV commissioners.
Brothers and Sisters… It’s the Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe III made a welcome return in 2014 with a run at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, again with an early timeslot, eager audiences and a host of celebrity guests keen to run the gauntlet of the Reverend’s unorthodox line of questioning.
His alter ego Jim Muir is working on several projects for TV in addition to developing the Reverend’s own show.
Laugh? I almost shat myself… Sacrilegious and divinely hysterical… Come worship at the altar of the revered funnyman
The Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe III is the best comedian I’ve seen who doesn’t have his own chat show… It baffles me that the Rev (played by Jim Muir) is performing at a Fringe bar in Edinburgh when he could easily fill a prime-time slot on ITV. I suspect that Muir, like his friend Frankie Boyle, abhors the commercialism of stand-up and wants to keep his act ‘pure’. How the Rev would deplore such piety.
His act is a tour de force in political incorrectness, and when blended with a brilliant sense of timing, it proves to be devilishly funny… uproarious and hilarious… The Reverend stays utterly in character for the duration of his show and dealt with hecklers in the best way possible—getting down into the gutter and heckling right back. I don’t know of any other Fringe shows that would supply rowdy audience members with half a bottle of Buckfast, but this is the one show which can do so and laugh it off as an improvised gag. In fact, most of the jokes spouting from the volcanic preacher came when he deigned to engage with his less-than-sober audience. It’s a mark of quality from this hilariously funny hellfire holy man that shows just how good a performer he is.
I liked the vicar. That was proper stuff
– Robert Plant
Tell him he’s the other cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis.
– Robert Plant [again]
The man is a tornado, a fount of pitch-perfect jokes coupled with quite masterful timing and material that flouts the very laws of censure… …Utterly challenging and well-crafted, it is, of course, howlingly funny.
✶✶✶✶✶ The Metro
The Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolf III invited me to be a guest on his hugely enjoyable chat show. The Rev is an extraordinary and entertaining mix of the holy and the horny. Communion with him is quite an experience. His hospitality has left me with a taste for Buckfast (Scottish Champagne as he calls it) that I never expected to develop.
– Scotland on Sunday, Kate Copstick
Unforgettable character comedy. A twisted bible toting hybrid of Johnny Bravo and Robert Mitchum in Night Of The Hunter
– Edinburgh Evening News
Imagine Jimmy Swaggart, Shane McGowan, Elvis and a tramp’s pants blended together. Not pretty, but very funny.
– Scotland on Sunday
Spending an evening with the Reverend is to step into the mind of the drug-addled bastard off-spring of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison. With a beer in one hand and a whiskey and coke in the other—no smoking remember—he is a master gag-teller, reeling off one outrageous feedline-punchline after another… All is delivered in a Texan drawl from behind a mass of black hair and shades… What Would Charlie Sheen Do? is one of those glorious hours that could have been twice as long and just as enjoyable.
– The Stage
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