Tuesday, April 18th, Alamo Drafthouses across the country will show the first two episodes of Silicon Valley season four followed by a livestreamed Q&A with co-creator / executive producer Mike Judge and cast members Martin Starr (Gilfoyle), and Zach Woods (Jared). Get your tickets here!
When you think of a gun-totting, Mexican, mercenary priest, some of you may think of the more recent film, Machete and the part Cheech Marin played. Not to take anything away from Marin, who did a pretty badass job in his role, but there was an OG of the Catholic priest badassery scene in the form of King of the Hill’s character Monsignor Martinez long before Robert Rodriguez ventured into Machete territory.
Based on the sometimes outlandish nature of tele-novellas, Mike Judge came up with his very own titular in-universe novella hero. In the same way RoboCop features S.D. Nemeth’s, Bixby Snyder perfectly delivering the line “I’d buy that for a dollar,” and periodically appearing throughout the film. King of the Hill featured a TV show titled Monsignor Martinez. This was a favorite for the Hill family, and especially of Peggy Hills.
The show featured snippets of Monsignor Martinez’s bullet-riddled adventures, in which he would always manage to save the day in a church shootout before finishing off the last bad guy, making certain to speak his popular catchphrase, “Viya con Dios.”
Mike Judge came up with the character while watching late night tele-novellas, and even gave voice to the Monsignor. Turns out that Peggy Hill wasn’t the only one in love with the character either. In 2000 Fox ordered a Monsignor Martinez pilot. This live-action adaptation was directed by Judge himself and starred Ivo Cutzarida as the gun-slinging priest and co-starred, Judge favorite, David Herman as John Smith. While that line-up sounds pretty great to me, Fox decided to shelve the pilot. Herman has been asked several times about the episode and has told fans that it simply came down to Fox not being completely on board with a priest wasting so many fools in church on his first outing. This makes you wonder if Fox knew what they were asking for in the first place. That is like ordering some new episodes of Lost and then getting super pissed that there was a plane and island involved.
I’m sure Judge is content and has his hands full with HBO’s Silicon Valley, but in this new age of neato television shows on Netflix and the like, I have to wonder if Monsignor Martinez could still come back to us in some form or another, and if there would still be an audience for the mercenary seventeen years later. Who am I kidding, we just got a Power Rangers movie and Trainspotting 2, and those did okay, so I for one am totally on board.
At the very least, Fox could be nice guys and release the pilot to the public by some means. Maybe there would be a ton of support for it, I’m sure there are all kinds of legal clamps around this thing, but as time goes on perhaps the fine Fox folks will give the fans a look-see.
At this point the whereabouts of the lost pilot have become the stuff of legend. In Youtube’s early days, it was said to have been leaked in full, and the deeper you go into the interwebs, you will find King of the Hill hardcores have written detailed descriptions about the episode. Sadly, at the end of the day we are no closer to getting a look at the pilot which seems to have become as elusive as Monsignor Martinez himself.