A Priest, a Rabbi and an Imam walk into a bar to serve as a focus group for an angel planning to become God in Lucifer.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Lucifer Season 5B, streaming now on Netflix.
“A Priest, a Rabbi and Imam walk into a bar” is the setup for one of the most common and oldest non-jokes known to humankind. There’s never really been a single correct answer to this joke, as it’s mostly meant as a setup, with the punchline varying wildly between different tellings. Sometimes, even just saying the opening is meant to be the entirety of the joke itself, depending on the context of when and where it’s said. Lucifer, however, uses it for a funny visual gag during “Season 5, Episode 13,” when the trio meets up with Amenadiel in Lucifer’s bar of Lux at the Angel’s request. The mere sight is funny enough, but the context behind it both increases the amusement while also showing off Amenadiel’s character development.
During this period of the show, God has announced his plan to retire, leaving Lucifer and Amenadiel to wonder what happens next. Lucifer initially comes to the conclusion that God plans for Amenadiel to take his place, leaving Amenadiel to consider taking on the role of God in his stead. In an act showing his character development, Amenadiel spends much of the episode considering just what taking up the role would entail. To that end, he goes around asking the humans around him about what they would consider God to be like, and whether or not they would like anything changed if he did take over for his father.
This leads to the scene in question, where Amenadiel called down a Priest, a Rabbi and an Imam to Lux to use as a focus group and get their opinions and advice. It’s a nice display of Amenadiel’s character development, especially compared to how he started in the show, regarding humans as little more than animals or annoyances. So for him to seek out the advice of humans, including major religious figures who worship God, and getting their opinion on the subject, shows just how far he’s come to regard humanity as worthy of respect, instead of simply believing that he was superior to them. It culminates when he asks Ella Lopez about her own opinion of God, and she answers that he is in the little things of life.
Ultimately, Amenadiel decides that he doesn’t want the role of God, taking Ella’s advice and choosing to focus on being a good father and raising his son, Charlie, something he expressed a desire for in an earlier episode. When Lucifer hears the news, he ends up deciding to become God himself, something that Amenadiel ultimately supports him on to the other angels. The episode and the season as a whole showed just how far Amenadiel and Lucifer have come since the show began, and a simple visual gag of a Priest, a Rabbi and an Imam sitting in a bar, workshopping with an Angel what he’d do if he became God, serves to underline that fact.
Lucifer stars Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar, Lauren German as Det. Chloe Decker, D.B. Woodside as Amenadiel, Rachael Harris as Dr. Linda Martin, Kevin Alejandro as Det. Dan Espinoza, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Mazikeen and Aimee Garcia as Ella Lopez. Season 5B is now on Netflix.