That’s a laugh: Pope Francis meets with comedians Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Rock and more in warm-up act to his sitdown with Biden

Pope Francis hosted more than a 100 comedians at Vatican City on Friday morning in a warm up act to his meeting with President Joe Biden at the G7 later in the day.

The conclave of comedians included Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Fallon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chris Rock, Stephen Colbert, and Conan O’Brien.

‘You unite people, because laughter is contagious,’ the pontiff told the assembled group, adding that he has prayed for 40 years for a good sense of humor.

‘While communication today often generates conflict, you know how to bring together diverse and sometimes contrary realities. How much we need to learn from you!’ the Pope, 87, said. 

The Vatican said the comedians were invited to ‘celebrate the beauty of human diversity’ and that the pope ‘recognizes the significant impact that the art of comedy has on the world of contemporary culture.’

The audience with the comedians was organized by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education and Dicastery for Communication.

Jimmy Fallon greets Pope Francis

The comedians seemed in high spirits and excited to be there.

Goldberg and Louis-Dreyfus waved from the front row as the pope entered the room.

Fallon entertained the crowd before pope arrived and was told to quickly take his seat as the pontiff approached.  

Goldberg told Reuters last month that she had offered the pope a cameo in ‘Sister Act 3’, in which she will reprise her comedy role of a singer who takes refuge in a convent and organises a choir.

‘He said he would see what his time was like,’ Goldberg said joking.

After delivering his speech, Francis greeted all the comedians individually, sharing a laugh and joke with several of them, including Rock, Fallon and Colbert, as he left the audience hall. 

Later on Friday, the pope travels to Puglia to attend the G7 leaders’ summit. He is the first pontiff to address the G7 and will discuss having stronger guardrails on AI following the boom in generative artificial intelligence kickstarted by OpenAI´s ChatGPT chatbot.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni invited Pope Francis to attend. She greeted him when he flew in on his PopeMobile.  

Whoopi Goldberg offered the pope a cameo in 'Sister Act 3'

Whoopi Goldberg offered the pope a cameo in ‘Sister Act 3’

Conan O'Brien met with the pope

Conan O’Brien met with the pope

The pope takes a selfie with some comedians

The pope takes a selfie with some comedians

Stephen Colbert was among the comedians in attendance

Stephen Colbert was among the comedians in attendance

The pope will hold a separate meeting with Biden at the summit but it will be a closed-door, private event.

The pope will also meet with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as invited leaders from Algeria, Brazil, India, Kenya, Turkey. And he’ll sit down with G7 leaders Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron. 

Biden last met with the pope in October 2021.  Biden is the second Catholic president in American history.