"It's called intimate, fuck-face!"
November 27, 2013 10:07 AM   Subscribe

NPR and Vulture talk to Sarah Silverman about her HBO special 'We Are Miracles', and why women run comedy. Though according to Variety she shouldn't be so dirty... or maybe Variety should shut up.
posted by Artw (39 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Rolling Stone interview
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on November 27, 2013


That "Variety should shut up" link is a nicely satisfying spanking. She is pretty much the only comic that I enjoy and pay attention to; I don't really care for comedy as a genre but she is smart, angry, and dirty in all the right ways and makes me smile even when I don't laugh. She ranks very high on my personal "would love to have a beer with" list, and a large part of that is how she so reliably pushes the buttons of dipshits like that Variety reviewer.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:23 AM on November 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


Oh god that fucking Variety article:
This isn’t meant to suggest that female comics can’t work blue. The lament here is that in the wrong hands it can feel gratuitous or become a crutch, whereas unlike many of her contemporaries, Silverman has enough tools that she can and should do more.
"I'm not saying I'm holding women comedians to a different standard; I'm just saying it's higher."
posted by griphus at 10:24 AM on November 27, 2013 [30 favorites]


she’s limited herself by appearing determined to prove she can be as dirty and distasteful as the boys

Bizarre, not least because I'm not aware of any boys as dirty and distasteful as Sarah Silverman.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:45 AM on November 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


Funny enough I tried to think of a male comedian who mines sort of the same territory and the first name I came up with was Dave Attell.

Sarah Silverman's ex, Dave Attell.
posted by griphus at 10:49 AM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sara Silverman has a career that many, many comics (female or male) would envy. She's been very smart with her decisions in terms of keeping to her own set of comic sensibilities, and being so blue hasn't kept her from being cast in a Disney movie, so I don't know why the Variety critic thinks that a career as sparkling as, say, Whitney Cummings or Anthony Clark, both of whom broke into mainstream sitcoms and then...well...
posted by xingcat at 10:50 AM on November 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


Next up: Why Richard Pryor wasted his talent trying to be a dirty as the white comedians. Poor, misguided negro...
posted by IAmBroom at 10:53 AM on November 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Variety is still a thing?
posted by cmoj at 11:04 AM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other news: That Don Rickles guy seems kinda mean.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:05 AM on November 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Puthy" had me rolling.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:06 AM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


being so blue hasn't kept her from being cast in a Disney movie

Really, it has ever been thus with comedians and Disney cartoons. Just off the top of my head, Buddy Hackett ("Little Mermaid"), Cheech Marin ("Oliver & Company"), and Robin Williams ("Aladdin") all had material that would make your hair curl.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:21 AM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeah, she's in top form in this special. Very funny - I think she's getting better as time goes on, a rare thing for established comics.
posted by item at 11:23 AM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


And Robin Williams wasn't even the filthiest, most shocking comic to appear in Aladdin!
posted by Pistache at 11:27 AM on November 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


And Robin Williams wasn't even the filthiest, most shocking comic to appear in Aladdin!

Iago: All right, so this family walks into a talent agent's office...

Jafar: Haha! I love the way your foul little mind works.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:42 AM on November 27, 2013 [19 favorites]


God damn you, Joey Michaels, you actually made me google that to see if you were serious.

You metafilter.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:53 AM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


being so blue hasn't kept her from being cast in a Disney movie

There isn't much overlap to worry about, it still being tough to animate a walking, talking, yet adorable queef.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:03 PM on November 27, 2013


in commercial terms, indulging those impulses comes at a price.
Ms. Silverman may not have paid a price; she seems to be doing well, and, astonishingly, there are beautiful women who don't want to be actresses or models. Or it may have cost her financially; I don't know. If it has, she gets even more respect for being fucking awesome, being very funny and doing what comics can do very well - telling the truth.

from the Rolling Stone link:
Listen, it's not totally in womens' heads. We live in a society where women are either too thin or too fat or too wrinkly or too Botoxed. It's just this constant encouragement to crawl under a rock unless you are 19 and in perfect shape, and eventually women are gonna have to call bullshit, because they're just. . . they're not living quality lives. I say in the special, "You didn't see Mother Theresa complaining about her size. She had other things to do." Women have to take responsibility for that. Especially when they have kids. Kids see you treating yourself like shit and torturing yourself over a fucking wrinkle. It's really stupid, and it's not something you're gonna be on your deathbed glad you were spending time on.

I can do standup and I can go on the road and I can support myself. I don't make money making videos for the Internet. That's just a pure love of the game. And I don't make money in movies; I have no power in that genre. So stand-up is the only thing in my life that I have actual control over. I keep a very low overhead, so it doesn't take too much. I own my apartment and I've had my Saab for 10 years. I'm not wanting for much. My shit's paid for and I'm free.

Fuck you, Variety. She's not buying into your sexist bullshit. I have to love her for that.
posted by theora55 at 12:20 PM on November 27, 2013 [22 favorites]


it still being tough to animate a walking, talking, yet adorable queef.

As seen in the upcoming Disney sequel to Tangled and Frozen, Bloated.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:21 PM on November 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I could care less whether or not she's male or female. What I care about is do I laugh when she opens her mouth.

The answer to that is no.
posted by prepmonkey at 1:12 PM on November 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't really care for comedy as a genre but she is smart, angry, and dirty in all the right ways and makes me smile even when I don't laugh.

Yeah, as long as you're not Asian. She was the first "hey, man, free speech! Irony! Sorry, you're butthurt" comedian.
posted by ignignokt at 1:14 PM on November 27, 2013 [7 favorites]


I couldn't care less how much she swears if she was funny, but to me, she's quirky, not funny.
posted by noaccident at 1:16 PM on November 27, 2013


Sarah Silverman is a lot like David Cross in that they're filthy, I love the shit out of them and have since high school, and I just never know if their new project (or film cameo) is going to be something I absolutely love or loathe. Such a variable success rate, but they're both, in my eyes, genius comedic minds (who sometimes phone it in and sometimes give it their all when they could really use an editor to reel them in)

See also from the next generation: Kristen Schaal
posted by elr at 2:58 PM on November 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read it as women ruin comedy, which I thought a curious POV given the source.

Don't find her funny, what little I've seen, but that's just me. But then, I generally don't find dirty humor funny. Shock value is a whole lot easier than genuine wit, and I hate to see anyone in any field taking the easy way out. (Which is not to say that dirty jokes can't have wit, but it's the exception.)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:36 PM on November 27, 2013


Definitely not going down in the annals of comedy. Whatever. Vulgarity for its own sake does not make a comedian! Bob Saget can be as blue as he wants, and I'll laugh my ass off when it's funny. He will never be George Carlin. Silverman can talk all the shit she wants.. she will never reach the Carlin level. Pure inventiveness. That's the problem with most of these blue comics.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:15 PM on November 27, 2013


Whenever any conversation about this dingbat comes up, I always feel sad that there's a ton of female equivalents to Tucker Max but not one female Eddie Izzard.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:05 AM on November 28, 2013


> "Whenever any conversation about this dingbat comes up, I always feel sad that there's a ton of female equivalents to Tucker Max but not one female Eddie Izzard."

Welp, aside from calling someone you don't know at all a dingbat, you've also managed to casually dismiss the work of, for example, Andrea Rosen, Aisha Tyler, Kristen Schaal, Chelsea Peretti, Amy Schumer, Gina Yashere, Margaret Cho, Jackie Monahan, Jena Friedman, Jenny Slate, Jen Kirkman, Karen Kilgariff, Jessi Klein, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, Josie Long, Laurie Kilmartin, Judy Gold, Wanda Sykes, Kathleen Madigan, Maria Bamford, Brooke Van Poppelen, Michelle Buteau, Kelly Oxford, Michelle Collins, Maysoon Zayid, Chelsea Handler, Natasha Leggero, Phoebe Robinson, Laura Kightlinger, Kathy Griffin, Roseanne Barr, Rachel Feinsten, Julie Klausner, Ellen DeGeneres, Sara Schaefer, Nikki Glaser, Jenny Johnson, Shappi Khorsandi, Janeane Garofalo, Wendy Liebman, Joan Rivers, Whitney Cummings, Sandra Bernhard, Lily Tomlin, Susie Essman, Tig Notaro, Charlyne Yi, and Christine Nangle.

Sorry that "not one" of them meets your exacting standards, but that may say more about you than it does about them.
posted by kyrademon at 6:27 AM on November 28, 2013 [12 favorites]


Thank you for putting words in my mouth, Kyra. I really appreciate that.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:29 AM on November 28, 2013


The point I was trying to make is that it's easier for women to get air time and attention by being crass and pretty and playing dumb -- which are all things that Sarah Silverman does -- than it is to put forth an intelligent, sophisticated act. And as someone who doesn't think that being cute and talking about bowel habits in a public forum is funny or insightful, I find that sad.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:34 AM on November 28, 2013


Well, first, "dingbat" was your word, and I still think it's a crappy thing to call a performer you don't happen to appreciate.

Second, every single person I listed is a headliner-level standup comedian. Plenty of them have acts I would consider intelligent and sophisticated, including among the subset which is as or more famous than Eddie Izzard.

So, yes, you were being dismissive of them, whether that was your intention or not. If what you meant was that you think it's easier to get attention by being crass, say that. Don't say not one female comedian has ever been successful without doing so. It's not true and therefore doesn't at all make the point you wanted to make.
posted by kyrademon at 7:45 AM on November 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


[One comment deleted. You don't have to like Sarah Silverman, but you have to figure out ways to talk about this post without dismissing all women in comedy, without using offensive gendered terms, and without starting an almighty flame war. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 8:41 AM on November 28, 2013


She's so concerned with hitting all the right notes and treading that line between offensive/not offensive that she forgets she's not supposed to make people think or whatever - she's supposed to be funny.
posted by gertzedek at 9:51 AM on November 28, 2013


I'm not sure that all male comics are conventionally funny, and some of the best -- Carlin, Louis C.K. -- often aren't. Saying she's "supposed to be funny" is much like saying women are "supposed to be" secretaries instead of bosses, homemakers instead of professionals, mothers instead of out there enjoying themselves having sex.
posted by dhartung at 4:43 PM on November 28, 2013


Variety should definitely shut the fuck up.

At some point, however, it would be really nice if Sarah Silverman, who is clearly hilarious and very intelligent, would either discuss beauty privilege or do some jokes about it. Really complicated, really interesting. I don't have any particular judgements one way or another about it, except to say that I haven't heard her acknowledge that she's really hot and that this probably had some affect on her career. There are advantages and disadvantages to this for a female comedian, and I think she's good enough at being a comedian to tackle them, just as Louis CK is good enough to use his own physical awkwardness and his awareness of it as part of his routine.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 11:21 PM on November 28, 2013


I have a feeling that Ms. Silverman isn't interested in doing material random folks on the internet feel she "should" do.
posted by item at 2:50 PM on November 29, 2013


> Whenever any conversation about this dingbat comes up, I always feel sad that there's a ton of female equivalents to Tucker Max but not one female Eddie Izzard

How many other male Eddie Izzards are there? I can't think of anyone else who comes close; gender has nothing to do with it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:07 PM on November 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


ignignokt: She was the first "hey, man, free speech! Irony! Sorry, you're butthurt" comedian.
So, you're completely unfamiliar with Don Rickles? Richard Pryor? Lenny Bruce?
posted by IAmBroom at 11:47 PM on November 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


gertzedek: She's so concerned with hitting all the right notes and treading that line between offensive/not offensive that she forgets she's not supposed to make people think or whatever - she's supposed to be funny.
"Your favorite band comedian sucks. That's not what this FPP is about, but I had to let you all know that."
posted by IAmBroom at 11:52 PM on November 29, 2013


So I found this thread on a random search for other stuff, and I was not aware of this HBO special. I'm not really a fan of Sarah Silverman. I don't hate her, but her Comedy Central show is kind of awful, and I hate the poopy "I'm just as hardcore as the boys" schtick, and basically meh. Especially compared to all the amazing female comedians out there who don't need to have a pissing contest about how much of a blunt instrument they can be.

But I needed something to listen to while I cleaned house. And holy shit, this HBO special is fantastic! Her standup doesn't have that irritating I CAN BE JUST AS MUCH OF A PRICK AS ANY DUDE vibe at all, and frankly isn't unsophisticated in any way.

Highly recommend, even for people who don't think they like Sarah Silverman.
posted by Sara C. at 12:45 PM on December 15, 2013


OK, all of that said, she definitely blows her wad early in the set and spends the last 15 minutes or so doing short, repetitive, and dull blue jokes. So yay, the first half hour is lovely and sophisticated and incorporates her trademark style really nicely into some more thoughtful material, and if that's what you want, just turn it off. If you like blue two-liners, stay tuned till the end of the set!
posted by Sara C. at 1:50 PM on December 15, 2013


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