Sarah Silverman

[COMEDIENNE/CHANTEUSE/BED-WETTER]

“PEOPLE GET FUNNY AS A DEFENSE MECHANISM. HUMILIATE YOURSELF BEFORE THE INEVITABLE HUMILIATION COMES FROM OUTSIDE FORCES.”
A comedian should never:
Wear a funky hat
Go to therapy with any regularity
Make your Nana cry
Avoid jokes involving diarrhea

Sarah Silverman trusts that the introduction to this interview will be adequate, but I am not convinced. We agreed that it would be wise to avoid hyperbole, like “The triple-threat entertainer can now add the title ‘producer’ to her growing list of hyphenations.” I just don’t feel comfortable making comparisons like “Sarah Silverman is this generation’s Rusty Warren” or “If Lenny Bruce had sex with George Carlin, their comic spawn would be Sarah Silverman.” A biographical recap also seems unnecessary, although it may be worth reminding readers of her stints on The Larry Sanders Show, Crank Yankers and Mr. Show with Bob & David, as well as her controversial appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Sarah thinks all will be OK as long as I mention how pretty and youthful she is.

If you’re skimming, I’ve provided bullet points for your convenience:

  • Sarah does not want to talk about her brief stint at Saturday Night Live, because it’s “boring.” She was fired from SNL via fax.
  • A natural athlete, Sarah is surprised by her underwhelming beach volleyball skills.
  • Sarah’s recipe for cannabis brownies is to die for.

In her forthcoming film, Jesus Is Magic, which arrives in theaters in November, Sarah cracks wise about the Holocaust, AIDS, musicals, bongloads, bed-wetting, being hirsute, rape, Catholics, Jews, blacks, Christ, peeing, facial money shots, 9/11, the Japanese, Ethiopians, labor unions, misguided activism, lesbians, retards, positive spin, sexual harassment, Harvey Weinstein, her dead grandmother, old people, altruism, masturbation, Martin Luther King, Jr., dutch ovens, molestation, strippers, anal waxing, porn, world hunger, Barbie, Nazis, midgets, Puerto Ricans, Gary Busey, acne, homosexuals, Patty Hearst, low self-esteem, Mexicans, and ’70s prog-rockers Yes.

Sarah is pretty and youthful.

I interviewed Sarah via email because she is shy.

—Tim Bennett

*

THE BELIEVER: When did you first discover your gift for being “offensive,” or for saying or doing funny yet impolite things to get a reaction?

SARAH SILVERMAN: I never really thought about it. But your question made me think of a terrible thing. My parents had a son, between my two sisters, who died while he was in the care of my Nana. It’s a very tragic story. Anyway, I was told about it when I was five. Don’t ask me why. Every Sunday, my Nana would come pick my sisters and me up and we’d have breakfast. The Sunday after I heard this story, we got into my Nana’s car. She said, “Everybody buckle up!” I said, “Yeah, we don’t wanna end up like Jeffrey!” I was used to getting big laughs, but instead, this made her break down in hysterics. I’d never seen her cry, and now she was crying because of me.

BLVR: Good Lord.

SS: It’s kind of hilarious, though.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

Tim Bennett is a filmmaker, musician, and HAM radio enthusiast who lives in Hollywood with his girlfriend, two cats, and the transgendered-giantess-next-door.

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