Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic


Sarah Silverman (hereinafter, SS, for brevity) recently got in trouble for using the word “chink” on network TV. The network apologized. SS didn’t. Here’s what happened: She said a friend told her how to get out of jury duty. Just write something really inappropriate on the form you fill out. So she wrote “I hate chinks.” But then, she reflected, she didn’t want to be seen as a racist, so she wrote instead “I love chinks.”

If you don’t think that’s funny, then you won’t like SS.

Here’s a couple more: “I was raped by a doctor, which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl.” “I dated a guy who was half-black, but he dumped me because I’m such a loser. Wow, I shouldn’t say things like that, I’m such a pessimist… he’s actually half-white.”

SS is about as “edgy” as they come. She jokes about rape, AIDS, 9/11, the Holocaust, race, you name it, nothing is too taboo for her. (“I have a theory that if there had been black people in Germany in World War II, there would have been no Holocaust. … not for the Jews, anyway.”) She gets away with it because her on-stage persona is so clueless and lacking in self-awareness. She thinks she knows how to be politically correct, but then she’ll make some perfectly awful statement … catch herself … and then make a correction that is even worse than the first statement. “I love chinks.” That sort of sums it up. She is so politically incorrect she makes Bill Maher sound like Jay Leno. She is a breath of fresh air to one, like me, who cringes at liberal circumlocutions like “differently abled,” or “senior citizens,” or “people of color.” Or how about “the N-word”? (The N-word is “nigger,” friends and neighbors. There, you heard it here first. I’ll bet you were wondering.) If Mark Twain can use it, so can I. Though, come to think of it, Twain has been in trouble recently over that bit of racist garbage Huckleberry Finn

If SS reminds me of anyone, it is Lily Tomlin … and Steve Martin. Remember Lily’s high school cheerleader talking about how icky people in wheelchairs are? “Why can’t people like that just stay at home?!” Then there was Martin, with his clueless but totally self-confident jerk, making an asshole of himself and never realizing it. SS is the female side of that, forever apologetic, and never realizing how awful she is, either.

Having said that, it’s too bad I have to tell you that this movie mostly sucks. She’s very good on the stage, and then they cut away to some other business and it is cringingly awful, and it’s not funny, because you get the feeling SS doesn’t know it’s awful, as she does on the stage.