oct 14

Why Sarah Silverman Sucks

Why Sarah Silverman Sucks is probably a story that should be written, but it shouldn't be this one. See also: No One At Silverman's Obama Schlep and Silverman on Letterman last night.


Meh, "She was comedic and vague instead of thorough and unfunny!" The overall message was clear even though she was all over the map for the sake of comedy: She wasn't saying all old jews are going to vote for McCain, she was saying "if your grandparents are going to vote for McCain, make sure they don't."

posted by BradOFarrell at 2:49 PM on October 14, 2008

The thing is, who listens to Sarah Silverman about anything serious? That's probably a large part of problem. If Dave Chappelle was on my screen talking about something political, I'd be looking for the angle, the joke, waiting for the punchline. But even with him, there could be the possibility of some tiny kernel of seriousness. Not with her though. I saw the Schlep thing and didn't even realize she was seriously promoting some kind of dialogue. I just figured she was riffing off the election and mocking it like she riffs off of everything else. In terms of serious issues, due to the nature of her humor, she's the girl that cried wolf. Nobody will ever take her seriously about anything.

posted by Eric at 10:50 PM on October 14, 2008

Eh? I dunno.

How many comics do we take today in that way? Stewart & Colbert, and.... g'head, name someone outside the fake news industry.

Saying something "serious" is a claptrap -- or at least a danger. Comedy becomes satire when it says something profound by accident -- or that it seems by accident.

If you've watched her show, there are moments that matter -- that become satire. There are also an overbearing number of moments that are fart jokes -- pure comedy.

People like to criticize her about this balance, but it's what I think makes her a genius.

posted by Rex at 11:43 PM on October 14, 2008

she's critisized because she's not funny. Yes jewish women are able to sleep their way to the middle too. I don't care. The thing about her that's really offensive is that she encourages antisematism

posted by proudjew at 3:10 AM on October 15, 2008

A Semite who can't spell it? SUSpect!

posted by PiusChrishten at 9:36 AM on October 15, 2008

To refine and augment what I said, let's recognize the "does she mean it or not?" effect that she evokes in her audiences. Let's say she says something nasty and stereotypical about black people, for example, in her silly voice and looks you right in the eye with the exaggerated happy smirk. A delicious discomfort hangs in the air between you as you try to process what she just did. If you've seen enough of your stuff, the dialogue in your head goes like this, "Is she just saying out loud what lots of people really think but know they can't say, and in that way is she pillorying them (us)? Is that the point of her saying it, to make us look full on at the little uglies inside ourselves that we don't acknowledge? Or does she actually kind of think that way herself and knows she can get away with saying it because she can easily say that it was just a joke? And is that situation richly satisfying for her in an exhibitionist sort of way? Is it some of both?"

The point is that you never really know her motivation or true message, and she never breaks character. So I can see that there's a brilliance there in terms of being able to be enigmatic while making people really think and never giving enough info to allow them to decide one way or another. That's one of the measures of success for a truly challenging piece of art, really. It asks questions, makes you think, but gives no answers. So she gets credit as a master craftsperson. But it still means you can never rely on her for anything factual or genuine because she shows no cards. I mean, if she did a breast cancer awareness bit, you'd be thinking, "Is she really just mocking celebrities who do cancer awareness bits, and us for being influenced by them?" It's impossible to tell whether she really genuinely cares about anything or if everything is a big joke to her, all things being ridiculous and mockable, all people being stupid rubes. That would say more about her than everyone else, but would also be another reason not to use her as your spokesperson for anything. She can make you think, but think what? If you're pushing a product or position, that question has a specific answer. Not with her though. More fart jokes please!

posted by Eric at 10:42 AM on October 15, 2008

when you have to spill that much ink to explain why a comedian funny they're not. Sarah silverman is the product of Jimmy Kimmels show business clout and publicist. She's not self-aware she's self-entited. The most offensive thing about her is that she encourages hatred of women and jews.

posted by proudjew at 2:56 AM on October 20, 2008

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