Father Guido Sarducci: How Don Novello Became The Priest Of Late Night TV

Don Novello as Father Guido Sarducci during the 'Weekend Update' skit on October 13, 1979 -- (Photo by: Fred Hermansky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Father Guido Sarducci, alter ego of comedy writer Don Novello, rose to fame on Saturday Night Live in the '70s. Speaking in a thick Italian accent, Novello's chain-smoking Catholic priest would tout harebrained schemes for making the church more popular, or explain the minutiae or inner workings of the church. Sarducci became such a convincingly weird character that everything he said was just funny -- he almost didn't even need to crack jokes, as the persona, sometimes billed as a "rock critic" from Vatican City, was so strong and entertaining. Novello was able to take the character beyond SNL, becoming a guest on other late-night TV shows and specials. To this day, Father Guido remains an audience favorite from SNL of the late-'70s and '80s.