Mr. Deity is the brainchild of writer-director-actor Brian Keith Dalton, whose previous credits include indie films Killing the Dream, which he’s trying to expand into a feature called 15 Minutes Later, and Ennui. As described by Dalton himself, “Mr. Deity is a semi-monthly video series (every two weeks) that looks at God and the Universe with a smile (and sometimes, a wink).” Dalton’s aim is to get Mr. Deity picked up as a half-hour series for television, as explained in this interview with Humanist Network News, where both Dalton and Mr. Deity take turns at answering poignant questions. While the show has yet to garner any offers from major television networks, it has still managed to develop a substantial fan base.
The humor of Mr. Deity works by way of anthropomorphism. Mr. Deity is not some unknowable, awe-inspiring god but rather a neurotic, often inept and aloof businessman who must bargain with Jesse, a.k.a. Jesus (Sean Douglas), to do his bidding; makes the “Let There Be Light” command respondent to the Clapper; and consults with Lucy, aka Lucifer, on the décor of hell. Usually in the midst of a white, cosmic nether region, Mr. Deity (bearing, as one youtuber has commented, an uncanny resemblance to George Lucas), Jesse, Lucy, and reliable assistant Larry engage in dialogues that touch on the more absurd aspects of Judeo-Christianity, from the Lord’s allowance of evil to the tendency of athletes to claim a higher power responsible for their triumphs. The production and performances of the show are impressively top notch, but the quality of the show’s musings vary from episode to episode and sometimes within a single one—the best of Mr. Deity can be compared to the philosophical comedy of Woody Allen, while the worst can be likened to an all-night conversation among college theology nerds. At the very least the show contains a ridiculously catchy muzak theme, available through the site as an mp3.
The fourth episode of Mr. Deity is the most consistent of the show, and certainly contains the wittiest dialogue. Titled “Mr. Deity and the Messages,” it has our favorite omnipotent being checking prayers left for him on a cellphone (upon learning he has 2,996,804,760 messages: “Unbelievable. I just cleared these yesterday.”) He flippantly deletes a grace said before dinner (“That’s 60% of my voice mail right there—spam”), heartlessly skips over a suicidal plea for help, and derides as a pest a certain young girl named Margaret. When Jesse expresses incredulity that God should leave prayers unanswered, Mr. Deity responds with the perfect line: “That’s all I can do—I listen to a few and delete the rest.”