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Sarah Silverman: On roasts, her show and lesbian fantasies
NUNN ON ONE: COMEDY
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2012-06-13

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Sarah Silverman. Photo by Robyn von Swank


Comedian Sarah Silverman has always gone her own way in the business of making audiences laugh. Whether she is poking fun at stereotypes or religion, Silverman lets it all hang out sometimes getting her into trouble.

No stranger to stand-up, she started very young; she then gained exposure writing for Saturday Night Live, although none of her sketches actually aired.

After several small roles on films such as There's Something About Mary and School of Rock, her one-woman show Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic became a box-office and video hit.

She then went to Comedy Central for three seasons of The Sarah Silverman Program, and was nominated for an Emmy.

Silverman returns to Chicago to headline the Just For Laughs festival and is bringing a group of her comedian friends, calling her act Sarah's Pro Choice.

Windy City Times: Hey, Sarah. Why not call your show Pro Gay Marriage, too?

Sarah Silverman: Because that's not a double entendre for the "choice" comics on the show, Sillypants.

WCT: People always want to know about your love life. Isn't that kind of personal?

Sarah Silverman: I'm an open book. For instance, right now I'm dating a very funny man. He will be on the show on the 16th. You have to guess which one!

WCT: If you were going to swim in the lady pond with someone these days, who would it be?

Sarah Silverman: Hmm... I feel like you want an answer that more correlates to what women I admire, but the truth is, if I were going to have a lesbian experience it would probably be with a faceless, slutty, big-boob stripper type.

WCT: Can you talk a bit about your movie Take This Waltz? Was it hard to convince you to go naked in the film?

Sarah Silverman: No. I was so honored that Sarah Polley wanted me for this part and so excited to get to work with her. She called me after I signed on to ask if I was going to be comfortable with this and that it was very important to her. I figured who am I to blow the chance to do something real? I trusted her completely. And, look: In the end it's not a big deal. It's just a body, exactly what you'd expect.

WCT: How was it working with Michelle Williams?

Sarah Silverman: She's lovely. She takes her work very seriously and thoughtfully, but she's a generous laugher, too.

WCT: Do you have any more roasts planned?

Sarah Silverman: No. Who knows? I just feel like Comedy Central has veered away from the heart of the roast. You're supposed to roast the ones you love, icons, people you admire. Not pop-culture jokes. Joan Rivers was the last roast of a real legend. But I'll always watch because they are amazing. I find it sad and scary that the last two comics to close the last two roasts have had untimely deaths. Jeff! Lisa! BE CAREFUL!

WCT: Did you have a favorite moment from The Sarah Silverman Program?

Sarah Silverman: So many, actually. We shot all this extra stuff for the box set (which comes out June 19) and we were all so happy to see each other we all got drunk/stoned and acted like animals. I haven't laughed that hard in so long—since we were all together!

It was a real abortion of a DVD extra, but the editors at Shout Factory made it very cohesive and shockingly coherent. We did a bunch more audio tracks, too. Season three wasn't even gonna get released so this is the only way to get season three as well, the whole thing. My heart swoons for that show and the experience we all had.

WCT: What do you think about Britney Spears being a judge on the X Factor?

Sarah Silverman: I don't think about it. What are the kids on the street saying?

WCT: That she will be entertaining to watch. Have you ever felt like one of your jokes goes over the line?

Sarah Silverman: Sure! I'm not frozen in time. I think it's good to look back at your old stuff and cringe. It means you're in a new place. There's definitely stuff in Jesus is Magic that I can't believe I found appropriate. But I still love it. It's where I was at at the time. I was in a place where I assumed everyone knew what I really thought and that there was a stark contrast between what I said and how I felt.

And I do think most people did. I'm in total flux now. Every show is a part of a process that may never get to a sparkling final place, you know? That's just where I'm at right now.

WCT: Would you like to write another book?

Sarah Silverman: Can't imagine it now. But someday when I feel one in me. I am working on a children's book with my friend [and TSSP co-creator] Rob Schrab that I'm excited about.

WCT: Future projects in the works?

Sarah Silverman: Yeah, but mostly I'm daydreaming for what the next thing for me will be. Oh yeah, have a Disney coming out called Wreck It Ralph that is so amazing. Those movies fucking kill me. They rip your heart out, right?? But I'm so honored to be a part of it. It's so good!!

Silverman and company arrives at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., on Saturday, June 16, for shows at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. See www.justforlaughschicago.com .

The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series debuts on DVD June 19.


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