Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sarah Silverman

It seems to me that Sarah Silverman is fascinating to her fans, like those at the New Yorker, for anthropological ends as much as her sense of humor. Comedy Central had a marathon of her TV show yesterday leading up to the "Secret Stash" showing of her stand-up special, "Jesus Is Magic". She's funny. I'll not go Christopher Hitchens and turn my nose in disgust because she tends to the scatological (and, of course, because she's a woman who dares to tell jokes), but much of the regard shown her stems from the fact that she's a pretty woman saying these things. Sometimes they're funny ("I was licking jelly off my boyfriend's penis when I thought to myself, 'I am becoming my mother!'") and sometimes they're bland (a joke about her seven year old niece coming out of the closet has her being punished by her mother - "no pussy for a week"), but they are never groundbreaking. But I guess there's no more ground to break in comedy - it's all been done in some form or another. I guess I just wish the critics would stop treating Silverman like the heir Lenny Bruce. Her act, like the acts of pretty much all of the successful comedians (save Dane Cook - his province is that of the douche bag call-and-response "Know what I mean?!!"), is built on meta-awareness.

The show is built around her being narcissistic and pretty much just a terrible person, which can be funny, but it wears thin after a while. I don't have qualms with her show being mean-spirited - I still think the greatest South Park ever is when Cartman has a kid's parents murdered and then fed to the kid - I have qualms with it being one-note. There are notable exceptions, mostly involving the gay couple (they get into a passive aggressive game of brinkmanship over Tab, and set off a homeland security scare by calling a fart a bomb), but those are relatively rare.

Why even write about this? Jesus Is Magic came out a while ago, and the show has been in reruns for months. I know why, I'm the David Broder of meaningless shit. He sees something he's unfamiliar with and then assigns it breaking news, since it's new to him, you see, or a new trend. I'll never forget when he said the first Spider-Man movie was disgusting because it showed firemen and policemen sitting by helplessly while Spider-Man saves people from a burning building. I guess that was a step up from when Broder saw MASH in '97 and called Robert Altman a "dirty, cocksucking communist."


You may wonder if, in fact, David Broder is the David Broder of meaningless shit. To that, I have no answer.


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