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After the Laughter October 17, 2009

Posted by monty in comedy.
Tags: , , ,


Historically, I’ve always been resistant to Sarah Silverman.  Ambivalent is probably a better word.  I find an awful lot of her stuff to be groundbreaking and hilarious, and I admire anyone who is so adept at pushing people’s buttons.  At the same time, some of her standup seems so calculated to be offensive that it stops reading as humor and enters the realm of those Truly Tasteless Jokes collections that I used to devour when I was, you know, twelve.  It’s probably just personal taste, and while I’m not offended by it myself, that calculation – the desire to offend at the expense of humor – has always kept me from embracing her in the way I’ve embraced some of my other favorite comedians.  My resistance to her reminds me of the way I roll my eyes at some of Bill Hicks’ stuff.  I love him to death and admire so much of what he did, but there are other moments when I want to tell him to just put a sock in it.

Anyway, Sarah’s appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher last week went a long way toward cementing her reputation as one of the country’s greatest comedians, and eliminating any previous hesitation I had in admiring her comedy.  I was going to show this video last week, but then my computer went kerblooey, so I figured I’d missed my window.  But now that the predictably humorless Catholic League has issued an official statement condemning the video, I figure it’s still got some relevance.  Apologies if you’ve seen it before, and if you’re a sensitive soul, be warned that it’s got a smattering of potty language.

This is the kind of thing that I think she’s been leading up to, where her humor starts to enter the realm of social satire and really takes off. (To be fair, she’s already started exploring this angle in the first season of the excellent The Sarah Silverman Program.)  I’m excited to see where she goes with this next.

On a sort-of related note, I came across this site while doing a cursory search about Silverman.  Apparently it’s an anti-Jew site (hosted on WordPress, no less), and the gist of the page linked above is how Silverman is a Jewish heathen who will surely burn in hell for her comedy.  Or, in their words:

After viewing Silverman’s skits on JewTube, I’ve concluded that there’s some substance to the aforementioned allegation that she’s a cot case or just simply clinically not sane. One thing is for sure, Sarah Silverman is a very wicked woman who has run up a very heavy debt with Almighty God; and she’s certainly a singular exemplification of the Jew whore who rides the beast in the biblical book of the Revelation.

What can you possibly say in response to that kind of delusional hatred?  When does “love thy neighbor” enter into the equation?  It’s so far beyond the pale that it reads like a particularly inspired sketch from Mr. Show. The rest of the site is just as bizarre and troubling, with links to posts titled “Why the Jews Are Your Worst Enemy,” “Jews Invented and Foster Communism,” and “Register of Sexually Depraved Rabbis.”  The site also features a photo of a smoking World Trade Center with the headline, “Jews Mini-Nuke the Twin Towers.”  If this were a satire of the ultra-crazies on the Right it would be one of the most brilliant things ever created, but unfortunately it’s real (and for an extra jolt of paranoid rambling, read some of the user comments).

As an ardent supporter of free speech and the First Amendment I know I have to allow for this kind of thing.  But I wish I didn’t.


Current listening:

Women s-t

Women – Self-titled