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Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles

Mon Dec 30, 9-10.20pm, Sky Atlantic

Sarah Silverman’s HBO special could – like many of her shows – be misconstrued as a mindless tirade of vulgarities and shocking-for-the-sake-of-it material. But ‘We Are Miracles’ isn’t short of clever, funny and well-constructed jokes. Beginning with a revelation about her porn-viewing habits doesn’t scream originality, but Silverman’s takes on topics such as religion, the separation of church and state, adoption and the sexualisation of children do yield decent laughs. Such topics certainly are weighty and important, but her treatment of them is usually flippant and the segues non-existent.

It’s inconsistent, and at times the controversial trumps the funny (her awkward 9/11 widows piece is particularly weak), but there’s no doubting her skill as a stand-up. Playing to a receptive audience of 39 makes for a very intimate affair, but the laughs are often freely given rather than earned. She isn’t for everyone, but her fast-paced style means that if one joke doesn’t hit home, the next one might.