22 October 2005

Sarah the Jew

Finally got around to reading the Sarah Silverman article in the recent New Yorker (impossible to keep up with that subscription). I first saw her a few years back when Bravo reran The Larry Sanders Show. I had heard-of-it-but-never-watched-it when it first came out, and was completely hooked when it ran on Bravo. Hey now! Sarah Silverman was a writer on the show and in one episode did a very funny stand up routine. She's cute and disarming and has such a unique comic voice that ends up being really really menacing. Some quotes:

I was raped by a doctor, which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl.

Or this scene described later on:

Ten years ago, when Silverman had recently moved to Los Angeles, she decided to try something conceptual in her standup routine. She took a pair of khaki pants, dabbed a tiny bit of red paint in the crotch, and wore them to a gig at a club called Largo. After telling jokes for five minutes, she started roaming around the stage, admonishing herself aloud for not using it to better advantage. She did a somersault, and heard a slight, mortified intake of breath. “I just thought it would be an experiment, interesting because the audience would think it was funny and also be dying for me,” Silverman says. “Then I went back and did five more minutes of jokes, to see how it changed the room, how it was this elephant in the room.” At the end of the set, she allowed herself to notice the stain, and said, wincing, “Did you guys—you, you must think that I have my period and you’re probably dying for me. Of course you did. Why wouldn’t you? No.” She paused and said, as if to reassure, “I had anal sex for the first time tonight.”

Finally, the hilariously offensive explanation of her use of the word chink in a joke:

I got in trouble for saying the word “Chink” on a talk show, a network talk show. It was in the context of a joke. Obviously. That’d be weird. That’d be a really bad career choice if it wasn’t. But, nevertheless, the president of an Asian-American watchdog group out here in Los Angeles, his name is Guy Aoki, and he was up in arms about it and he put my name in the papers calling me a racist, and it hurt. As a Jew—as a member of the Jewish community—I was really concerned that we were losing control of the media. Right? What kind of a world do we live in where a totally cute white girl can’t say “Chink” on network television? It’s like the fifties. It’s scary.

There are only two Asian people that I know that I have any problem with, at all. One is, uh, Guy Aoki. The other is my friend Steve, who actually went pee-pee in my Coke. He’s all, ‘Me Chinese, me play joke.’ Uh, if you have to explain it, Steve, it’s not funny.

[ posted by sstrader on 22 October 2005 at 6:01:57 PM in Culture & Society ]