Daily religious-oriented series hosted by televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, which adopted a talk-show format.


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Jim Bakker ...
Tammy Faye Bakker ...


Religious programming has been a staple of television since its infancy. Local stations have always films and tapes of local church services, as well as airing a devotional message from local ministers at various times of the day. By the 1970s, televangelists often fundamentalist preachers with a conservative religious philosophy rose to power with programs such as "The P.T.L. Club." The P.T.L. was founded by Jim Bakker, a minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of God church; he explained the initials stood for "Praise the Lord" and "People that Love." Bakker and his wife, Tammy Faye, had already their own local children's religious show and the original "700 Club" before "The P.T.L. Club" took to the airwaves. The show adopted a talk-show format, not unlike "The Tonight Show" and others of the era. Frequently, between chats with guest stars, religious messages ("God loves you; He really, really does!") and musical numbers, the Bakkers appealed for funds from the television audience... Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

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Family | Talk-Show





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Did You Know?


It has been estimated that if the P.T.L. Club hadn't toppled, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's empire would've been worth more than $1 billion by the year 2000. See more »


Spoofed in Fat Girls (2006) See more »

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Classic Camp
16 July 2004 | by (Santa Cruz, CA) – See all my reviews

Growing up in the 1980s, my sister & I would watch this show religiously. We used to roll on the floor & laugh so hard that it hurt. This was the funniest show on TV in its day. Our mother would often reprimand us for making fun of the program (and equating our reactions with sacrilege). However, mom would soon find out (thanks to us) that her mother had been sending PTL $$$ (On one visit, I noticed that she had the "Rice Patty" dolls, given to donors of over $100), Of course, our grandmother was a bit dippy so it really didn't surprise me.

The Bakkers really knew how to get Americans to cough up their $$$, and with such cheezy entertainment too. If only the Jerry Lewis Telathon was as unintentionally entertaining. Of course, Tammy stole the show with her crying & her makeup. But sometimes, the conversation would even trump these histrionics. My favorite was Tammy recounting a Tennis match with their neighbors (who drank & swore) & said that he told her: "Tammy, I may swear a lot & I know you pray a lot, but each of us knows that we don't mean what we say." Everyone reacted shocked to the comment, making it quite ironic & funny to see....and of course every time the money started dropping off, they'd wheel out a cripple in a wheel chair. It was quite transparent to my sister & I (early teens) at the time that they were milking people for their money. We even told our grandmother that it was a scam, but she wouldn't listen... until the scandals hit. Then she refused to acknowledge that she ever gave them any money.

It would be nice if someone could track down the tapes of the show & release them on DVD, or at least a "Best of....". I know I'd buy a copy.

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