In the beginning, there was Twitter. David Javerbaum — a seasoned comedy writer for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report who has won Peabodys, Emmys, and a Grammy — started the account @TheTweetofGod in 2010. Like God Himself, he quickly gained millions of followers.
Javerbaum originally opened the account to promote a book, a new testament for the modern age — he just hadn’t written it yet. Javerbaum planned to extrapolate the jokes from Twitter into a fully-realized text. He finally finished in 2012, but The Last Testament: A Memoir by God didn’t do nearly as well as the Twitter account. “That’s a shame, because God’s previous books have sold in the billions,” Javerbaum says. “I explained to him that there’s a new publishing paradigm and that digital has really undercut a lot of book sales.”
But @TheTweetofGod has a surprising third act. Javerbaum recently turned his one-liners into a Broadway play. An Act of God, starring Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory as God (or, more precisely, as the normal chump whom God temporarily possesses to address the audience), opened in New York City in late May. It combines some of Javerbaum’s best tweets with his faux-memoir for a long and funny sermon from the stage.
For most writers, Twitter is a distraction from paid work, but for Javerbaum it happened to turn into a paying gig. "I found a way to do what many, many people failed to do which is to monetize my Twitter account," he says. "I can't say there was any plan to it, and I'm sure God would say the same thing.
WQXR's Terrance McKnight played God in our story.