471. Hey Doc – Mike Warnke

HEY DOC (1978)

Mike Warnke

This is one of the more difficult reviews to write. I wrote in the initial post that part of this countdown premises was that an artists character, personal life and “spiritual placement” would not have a bearing on how an project would be placed or reviewed. With Warnke, it is nearly impossible to avoid.

To state that Mike Warnke has some serious baggage to contend with is quite the understatement. Enough expose material is readily available on the internet and in print so rehashing the information here would be fruitless. There have been multiple accusations and denials regarding the life, testimony and ministry of Mike Warnke, but what cannot be denied is that, for a time and even until today, he remains the very best Christian comedian of all time.

From the mid-70’s to the mid-80’s comedy albums were all the rage. The likes of Eddie Murphy, George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Steve Martin would not only frequent the top of Billboards Best Sellers list, but would sell out arenas that even the biggest rock acts at the time could not do. Comedy was huge and very little was coming out of the Christian world.

Then one day someone recorded an “open mic” event at a coffee house of a young Mike Warnke that would serve as his first album, Alive. Filled with hysterical stories, witty sayings, a ferocious fire-filled comic delivery and an inspiring and guttural story that connected with the masses. Albeit much of the “testimony” would prove questionable at best, it does not take away from the comedic results.

His third album, Hey Doc, would remain his most consistently funny and provocative. Where many Christian comedians would tread safely on “Church topics” Warnke ventured off into politics, war, Satanism, sexuality and deficiencies in the Church. Hay Doc’s basic storyline follows Warnke’s time in the armed services as a medic during the Vietnam War. This serious situation served as brilliant comedic fodder for Warnke and he really delivered on this album that remains funny today.

  1. Don
    April 8, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Met him in Haverhill, Mass at a concert. Nice guy, even if he wasn’t necessarily sincere, it appears.

  2. October 18, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    I opened for Mike Warnke in Cyril, Oklahoma in 1984 on a trailer at the football field. Through the years I have been with many funny people and he is still the best to me. Sincere and loving his audience, I will always love Mike Warnke. Hey Doc is one of the greatest comedy albums of all time. Jim Whitaker

  3. janice
    February 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I love Mike hehelp a lot of people come to Jesus, in the 80s.

  4. July 8, 2014 at 1:40 am

    I don’t beleive all that investigaed nonsense, bunch of pharisees.

    • low5point
      July 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Despite the fact he eventually admitted to it…

  5. July 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Mike Hertenstein & Jon Trott’s superlative book “Selling Satan: the Evangelical media and the Mike Warnke Scandal” is one of the few books I brought with me to the mission field —- precisely because it brilliantly details the dangers of succumbing to fantasy, in your heart, in your mind and in your life. —- and letting that fantasy become your reality.

    I re-read that book every 2-3 years… and I cringe…. and I daresay I think it the finest book on TRUE Christianity that’s been written in the last 20 odd years. If we cannot be honest with ourselves — we will never be honest before God…. and true repentance becomes an impossibility as we offer every excuse to maintain the lie we’ve bought into.

    I honestly recommend the book…. incredible piece of work.

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