Sarah Silverman: interview

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Before she flies in for her London gig, sensational US comedian Sarah Silverman bats a few emails across the Atlantic to the Time Out inbox

  • Sarah Silverman: interview

    Sarah shows her softer, thoughtful, hosierily mismatched side © Barry J Holmes

  • In a recent online Q&A, acerbic US comedian Sarah Silverman was asked why she preferred to be interviewed by email rather than face to face, to which she replied: ‘Because I can say things like, “You are a fucking idiot! That question is stupid!” In person I’m way too nice and my heart would break to be so rude.’ So we put her claim to the test and, poking her with a metaphorical stick, emailed her a load of questions ahead of her London show.

    Any intelligent person watching your routine will realise you’re a racist and a misanthrope. Do you sometimes worry that people won’t actually understand that and will mistakenly think you’re being ironic?

    ‘It’s hard to answer funny questions. You’re setting me up to be the straight man. But, funny question. I’m glad. I really want you to shine in this interview. Great…’

    Who do you most enjoy offending?

    ‘Hilarious interviewers.’

    Is there anyone you’d like to offend but haven’t had the chance to yet?

    ‘Hmm… I guess just your mother.’

    At the age of 22 you were on ‘Saturday Night Live’. If you could bring one of the cast who have died back to life, who would it be and why?

    ‘Phil [Hartman] and Chris [Farley]. Their lives were taken from them.’

    You can’t actually do that, can you?

    ‘I just did. Boo-ya.’

    You, Jackie Mason and Woody Allen are all Jewish and you’re all comedians. Is that a coincidence or is there some kind of Jewish comedy mafia at work?

    ‘Jews, black people – any people who are hated or who have suffered, either as individuals or as a people – use humour. It is a survival skill. Of course, that is a generalisation. I’m not looking for pity. I just had unwanted hair.’

    Do you think having a vagina gives you the edge on those two old duffers?

    ‘One thing about vaginas in general – no edges.’

    Are you Jewish or Jew-ish? How has this affected your comedy?

    ‘I have no religion, but I can’t escape being extremely Jewish ethnically – that is, culturally. In other words, I’m not religious, but I worry and I’m neurotic. And I’m very good with money.’

    Anyone with access to YouTube will know that you’ve fucked Matt Damon. We give him a ten out of ten as an action hero, what mark would you give him in the sack?

    ‘I’m sure he is spectacular… at least, that’s what your mother told me.’

    In your film ‘Jesus Is Magic’ you say humiliation drove you to become a comedian. You’ve made a shedload of money now – would you recommend that I humiliate my daughter in the hope that it will make her successful and rich in the future?

    ‘That’s actually a sketch my sister Laura once wrote. Yes. You can do that but it’s a grab bag – either they turn into artistic geniuses or they become serial killers (see: young art student Adolf Hitler).’

    How much are you the Sarah Silverman we see on stage?

    ‘I tend to be more arrogant on stage. Far more ignorant. I sometimes say what I think and sometimes say the opposite of what I think and the lines get blurred, but I can only hope that some kind of absolute power transcends. It mostly boils down to poop jokes, so I probably shouldn’t get too deep and pontificate-y.’

    When you think of London, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The Queen, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Mary Poppins, kids with knives and bad transsexuals singing ‘Lola, she was a showgirl…’ aren’t acceptable responses.

    ‘Hyde Park, Mildred’s, Topshop, H&M, hoity-toity types, runny noses, Madonna, “Doctor Who”, French and Saunders , Ricky Gervais.’

    What message would you like to pass on to the people of London via the medium of this emailed interview?

    ‘Hold me.’Sarah Silverman will be performing at the Hammersmith Apollo, Sunday October 19.

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10 comments
tii
tii

sarah silverman is a hermaphrodite she got one vagina, one penis and two balls and her breath smells eggs in the morning btw....

Brad
Brad

Sarah Silverman is UNfunny. Lame is the perfect word to describe her boring brand of bathroom humor and racist blather. I wouldn't pay to see her in the U.K. or the U.S. I'm sure she sucked her way up the ladder.

Ron
Ron

I am still fuming two days after the gig, especially as I dragged four friends along saying she was really good. The complete lack of respect for her audience was incredible. And £42, plus an unavoidable £6 booking fee (interesting the Hammersmith Apollo doesn't have a proper box office - ie one that is open before 3 hours before a gig or on its many dark nights). She has lost a fan in me, although I'm sure she couldn't care less.

Simon
Simon

Note to Ashley - I am sure that you are a very nice person but your post makes you sound like a stalker (I am definitely not saying that you are one!) - desperately wanting to meet her in person, wanting to know where she is staying, waiting outside the theatre for double the length of the time that she was on stage for. No wonder she only stayed on stage for 40 minutes, she was probably too scared to stay for any longer. Did you manage to find her at Heathrow?!!!

Steve Cook
Steve Cook

@ Ashley Godfrey Don't bother, she is the most over hyped yank comic ever!

Alexis
Alexis

Last night I saw her show, just like these posters here, I resent what a rip off it was. It was arrogant and rude to charge £40 a ticket (minimum) for a 40minute set of old material where she kept on forgetting her lines in the song. After going off stage and being forced back on, she should have realised something was up by the fact no one had moved at all, then for the hecklers doing her own material better than she did to get the biggest laughs of the night, is not good. She needs to have bigger respect for her audience, I was a massive Sarah Silverman fan and had been incredibly excited to see her, now I think I'll just stick to her youtube clips

matt
matt

Agree with the other posters. I also resented that the support 'act' was a 10 minute video promo for her new series. If they/she wanted to use the show and visit as a pure advertising pitch, don't charge us for it. At £1 per minute for the show proper, it was a joke. When the house lights went on, nobody moved. No-one could believe that was it. Lame, lame, lame. Money back, please.

Ashley Godfrey
Ashley Godfrey

Have just seen Sarah Silverman live tonight in London. The comedy was good a little bit of new material, not much though. The show itself started over an hour late and lasted for only 40 minutes! Having paid 44 pounds ($88) a ticket for such a short performance i feel ripped off. When Sarah did go off stage and was called back by the audience Sarah clearly had no backup material and instead had a Q&A with the audience for about 10 minutes (weird). After the show I, along with a few other fans awaited for an autograph from Sarah, we waited an hour in the cold before her telling us she would be right down, which half an hour later she wasn't. :( I think Sarah needs to seriously rethink her show and consider her fans more, I guess what I'm tring to say is that I was a huge Sarah Silverman fan (don't get me wrong I am still a fan) but after tonight i have lost a great deal of respect for her :( :( :(

rob
rob

Just saw Sarah in concert and it was a rip off. She's funny for sure but if your going to charge £40 you ought to have some new material and you certainly owe your audience more than a 40 minute show. I feel robbed!

Ashley Godfrey
Ashley Godfrey

I am such a huge fan or Sarah Silverman and am dying to meet her. Does anybody know where about Sarah is staying in London? or how i can meet her in person? Thanks.