The Book of Mormon proved to be "God's Favorite Musical" at the 2011 Tony Awards, taking home nine trophies, including Best Musical. The show's dominance could have turned the Tony telecast into a Mormon snoozefest, but the source material and clever jokes helped the ceremony maintain a heavenly momentum. Take a look below at our five favorite Mormon moments.
1. Chris Rock Teases a Best Musical Win By Cracking a Hooker Joke
As Motherf**er star Chris Rock took the stage to announce the winner for Best Musical, the comedian humorously acknowledged he wouldn't even have to open the envelope to figure out which show would prevail. "We know what the best musical is," he joked about the Mormon's almost pre-ordained win. "It's such a waste of time. It's like taking a hooker to dinner. You're gonna get laid." Rock's prediction proved true as he called out the musical's name with a sarcastically shocked face.
2. Mormon Founder Joseph Smith Gets His Due, Courtesy of Trey Parker
When co-director, composer and book writer Trey Parker took the podium to accept the show's Best Musical win, he had plenty of people to thank (including stars Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells), but Parker acknowledged that Mormon would never have come to fruition without the help of a late 19th century visionary. "The night would be a big disappointment if we didn't thank our co-writer who passed away, Mr. Joesph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion," Parker quipped. "He couldn't be here tonight, but you did it Joseph. You got the Tony!"
3. Nikki M. James Buzzes About Her Best Featured Actress Win
James, who plays village sweetheart Nabulungi, lit up in disbelief when her name was called. Tears streamed down the actress' face as she threw her arms up in victory and launched into one of the evening's most passionate speeches. "Tony, come on over and live with me," she cooed before comparing her devoted mother to a hard-working bumblebee. "I come from a long line of bumblebees," she said. As the orchestra swelled, James declared, "I will not leave this stage." And no one watching wanted her to!
4. Andrew Rannells Believes
Hoping to avoid a bleep-fest from CBS censors, Mormon producers opted for Andrew Rannells to perform one of the show's more tame numbers, the ode to Mormon perseverance, "I Believe." Donning the signature Mormon missonary white shirt and black tie uniform, Rannells tore into the galvanizing anthem, lovingly teasing some of the Mormon faith's odd principles. "I believe that God has a plan for all of us, I believe that plan involves me getting my own planet...I believe that in 1978 the church changed its mind about black people," he sang. This makes us want to give the real Book of Mormon a read.
5. Neil Patrick Harris Raps About Mormons in the White House
As the Tony telecast came to a close, Neil Patrick Harris took the stage one last time for an impromptu freestyle rap (written by previous winner Lin-Manuel Miranda). While Harris recounted the evening's highlights through rhyme, he gave Mormon star Andrew Rannells a special shoutout that indicated the actor could have an impressive political career ahead of him. "Andrew Rannells sang 'I Believe,' and he landed it so well, now he's Mitt Romney's VP candidate," Harris rapped, referencing the Republican presidential hopeful and high-profile Mormon. See you on the campaign trail in 2012, Andrew!