Tuesday May 15, 2007
Sarah Silverman, 36, gives a revealing and sensitive interview in the June issue of Maxim -- a magazine that usually only reveals women's private parts.
See interview highlights below as our modern day Mae West explains how she overcame depression and how a Jewish girl from New Hampshire came to have the biggest balls in comedy.
Did you take it personally when Jerry Lewis said female comics aren't funny?
"It's pathetic that anyone would make a big deal out of that. The guy is a thousand years old."
Are you trying to offend as many people as possible on The Sarah Silverman Program?
“The misconception is that I’m making fun of people when it’s my character who’s clearly the ignoramus. You can call Archie Bunker racist, but you wouldn’t call All in the Family racist. Not that I’m comparing my show to All in the Family – my show is much better. Did you see the episode where I shit my pants? Very cerebral. My point is, if you don’t look at the show as a whole, you may get offended. But that’s true for everything. In so many ways – politically, socially – we sell ourselves short by not looking at the whole picture. If you look too closely at the TV, all you see are dots.”
How do you distinguish between a joke about racism and a joke that’s racist?
“By not being retarded?”
Is a Jew incapable of being anti-Semetic?
“Please. No one hates Jews more than Jews.”
Did your sense of humor develop as a defense mechanism during childhood?
“I grew up in blonde, L.L. Bean New Hampshire. I was dark and hairy, and kids called me Ape Arms. I was also a bedwetter into my teens, so there was a lot of humiliation. When I was 13 to 16, I went through a dark depression. But I wouldn’t trade the pain of my childhood, because it’s made me who I am – not just to be funny but to be compassionate. I don’t think I could take the pain of watching a child go through that. I can say pretty confidently I won’t be having kids of my own. Maybe I’ll adopt when I get sick of this freedom.”
Why were you so depressed?
"I remember the day it started. I was coming home from a camping trip -- torture because of the bedwetting -- and my mother was there to pick me up. As I walked toward her, a cloud inside me covered the sun. When I tried to explain it, I said, 'It feels like homesickness even though I'm home.' I also remember the moment the cloud lifted. I was a sophomore, and all of a sudden the sun in my brain or heart came out again, as suddenly as it disappeared three years earlier. Weird."
Have you ever entertained the troops in Iraq?
“No, because I’m a huge p-ssy.”
Any advice for young girls in Hollywood?
Anyone who could use a little making fun of?
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