Tonight's episode of "The Hughleys" (7:30 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) - allegedly a sitcom for the entire family - takes a rather oddly placed shot at members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Specifically, the LDS prohibition against drinking alcohol is used as fodder for humor.The scene finds Darryl (series star D.L. Hughley) watching a "Monday Night Football" game between the 49ers and the Raiders with his friend Milsap (John Hen-ton) and his neighbor Dave (Eric Allan Kramer). Darryl is a big San Francisco fan; Milsap is a fan of the team from Oakland.
"How can you root for such a squeaky clean team? I mean, their quarterback is a Mormon," Milsap
says derisively, referring to Steve Young.
Then, turning to Dave - the only white guy in the room - Milsap says, "Hey, no offense. You not a Mormon or nut-tin', are ya?"
"Oh, yeah. Here's how much of a Mormon I am," Dave replies - also derisively - as he chugs his beer.
(And his body language makes it clear that he considers anyone who doesn't drink for religious reasons to be some sort of fool.)
"Well, then, hallelujah to ya," Hughley sing-songs.
It's a bizarre little scene, particularly given that it has nothing to do with anything that happens in the rest of the episode. And it's particularly odd coming in a show that has as its premise the subject of race relations.
The Hughleys have recently moved into a predominantly white neighborhood and Darryl is having some difficulty adjusting. He's particularly prickly about any perceived slights he may encounter from his white neighbors.
Apparently, while racism is bad, mocking religious beliefs is acceptable on this ABC sitcom.