David Javerbaum was a writer and producer on "The Daily Show" for 11 years. Since leaving that show, he's written books, plays and worked on TV series like "The Late Late Show with James Corden."
He's spent lot of time cultivating the voice of God. He's done that in part through his play, "An Act of God" — which premiered on Broadway with Jim Parsons in the lead role and is now at the Ahmanson Theatre, starring Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace"). And since 2010, Javerbaum has been the brain behind the popular Twitter feed, "The Tweet Of God," which has over 2 million followers.
The Frame's John Horn asked Javerbaum about speaking for the Almighty. Below is an excerpt from a longer interview which you can hear by pressing the blue play button above.
So, God started on Twitter — is that right?
David Javerbaum: Well, actually what started was I had an idea for a book, "Memoirs by God," and it eventually became a book. But while I was working on that book my editor suggested I open a Twitter account — sort of pre-publicize a book — and I did that over the course of a year. And by the time the book came out, the Twitter account had had such success people thought the book was a spin-off of the Twitter account, but in fact it was sort of the other way around.
But God is still busy on Twitter.
God actually — and this is an announcement — God is leaving Twitter. God's done with Twitter.
There was a Scalia post over the weekend. I think the post was one word, "Justice."
That was it?
That's going to be it.
It's been taking up too much of my time and energy and mental agility. And I have other things that I want to do in my life and I just have to, at a certain point, just cut that cord. And the point was this weekend.
The triggering event was I got hacked. The Twitter account got hacked. God got hacked, which wasn't surprising. There were a number of obscene messages put up there briefly and then removed. There was a pornographic picture of Garfield. I just have to move on.
And also working on twitter for a long time, it just miniaturizes the way you think, because that's the medium. You're a miniaturist. And if I'm going to work on other things that require anything longer — i.e. anything else in the world — I need to stop doing that.
You're discontinuing God's Twitter feed. The last joke will be about Scalia — did that just feel right?
I'd been thinking about it for a while and then that hack happened. And then by coincidence that morning [that Scalia died] Stephen Fry said he was leaving Twitter. Now Stephen Fry is one of my huge heroes. And he just had enough of Twitter. He had told a joke — a very harmless joke in his opinion and in my opinion too — and just got a lot of grief and just said, You know what, this is not worth it. I don't like the cesspool Twitter has become.
This is the British actor.
Yeah, the British actor and well-known atheist. The quote he said was, It feels like I just removed a boulder from my chest. And it's great. I wouldn't characterize Twitter as being a cesspool. But I do feel just like for me personally it's time to move on. It was successful. It did very well. I somehow monetized it into a play which is really ridiculously miraculous. And I would like to think it was intentional, but it was not. It was purely happenstance.
What will you miss most about not being God anymore?
Well, I never claimed to be God... That's not true — in interviews I don't claim to be God. I think the thing I'll miss most is the thing I'm leaving deliberately. You tweet something and immediately you see people retweeting it and it feels like, Oh, you have made people laugh. You have caused people to react. And it's a rush. It's a limbic brain rush to do that. But heroin is also a limbic brain rush, and that is problematic. And after a while — it's been five-and-a-half years — and, again it was prompted by the hack. But I want to think about other things. I want to do other things. I'm done. If I have more jokes to offer or anything else to offer the world, I would like it to be in a different medium.
Yes, MySpace. Or CompuServe.
It turns out that God did reveal his plans to quit Twitter via his wife's account, @TweetOfMrsGod:
You can still hear the voice of David Javerbaum's God in his play "An Act Of God." It stars Sean Hayes and is running at the Ahmanson Theater in downtown Los Angeles until March 13, 2016.