Pope Francis speaks during the Saturday night Festival of Families.

The 78-year-old leader of the Catholic Church has got jokes.

Pope Francis — yeah, the guy who’s releasing a pop/ rock album soon — told jokes and figuratively dropped the mic on several occasions throughout his weekend stay in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.

And the Pontiff drew more laughs than comedian Jim Gaffigan, who opened for the Pope during the Festival of Families on the Parkway Saturday night. Gaffigan got booed by Philadelphians for bringing up the whole snowballs-at-Santa thing, while Francis won smiles all weekend long by basically telling the ultimate dad jokes.

Here are a couple times Papa Francesco brought the house down:

1. This routine about mothers-in-law

After a long day in Philly on Saturday, Pope Francis gave an impassioned speech to hundreds of thousands of people Saturday night during the Festival of Families, the concert-like gathering that featured performances from people like Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli and Colombian superstar Juanes.

While discussing the importance of family, the Pope threw in a line about how families can also be kind of annoying sometimes.

“Families have the difficulties. Families, we quarrel, and sometimes plates can fly. And children bring headaches,” he said. He then quipped: “I won’t speak about mothers-in-law.”

Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the first time Pope Francis noticed the Borscht Belt fodder. According to Reuters, Pope Francis made a similar joke on Valentine’s Day in Rome last year, “we all know the perfect family does not exist. The perfect husband does not exist and the perfect wife does not exist. Let’s not even talk about perfect mothers-in-law.”

2. Helicopter parents of 30-year-olds

During a talk the next morning to clergy members at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Pope Francis joked about mothers who complain their 30-year-old sons aren’t married yet and are living at home. The Pope’s advice? Please stop doing thing for those bums.

Pope says mothers in Buenos Aires worry about 20, 30, 40 yr old sons not getting married. He says “Stop ironing their shirts!”

— Tamala Edwards (@TamEdwards6abc) September 27, 2015

3. What time even is Mass?

Some 1.5 to 2 million people were expected to show up for the Papal mass on the Parkway on Sunday afternoon, yet Pope Francis joked about how it was basically NBD. During the Festival of Families, just before he signed off for the night, told everyone “I’ll see you at Mass tomorrow… what time is Mass?”


4. Why do kids ask so many questions?

Also during Saturday’s Festival of Families when the Pontiff clearly went wildly off-script, he won laughter from the audience when he told the story of a child who once asked him a really difficult question that he had no idea how to answer.

“A child once asked me – and you know that kids ask difficult questions – he asked me, ‘Father, what did God do before he created the world?’” Pope Francis continued: “I can assure you, I found it really hard to answer the question.”

5. Dear family who traveled far: You’re nuts

A family of six traveled in an old Volkswagen some 13,000 miles on a road trip from Argentina to Philadelphia in order to see Pope Francis. According to the family’s Facebook page that documented their epic pilgrimage, they met with the Pope for several minutes and began laughing, telling them “You are the family who traveled from Buenos Aires? You are crazy.”

6. Twitter’s making us lonely

OK, so maybe this wasn’t supposed to be a joke, but we found it sorta comical. While @Pontifex was addressing clergy members at the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Montgomery County, he chided social media for its “radical loneliness.”

Goodbye forever, Twitter. You’ve been good to us.

Anna Orso

Anna Orso was a reporter/curator at Billy Penn from 2014 to 2017.