Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust


!!!! Man, this woman. (Man, I feel like a woman!). I love Sarah Silverman. She is so funny and she has been for so long and the only thing I like about Jimmy Kimmel is that he has to be a good person if he dated her, that’s honestly the only thing keeping me from writing him off completely because I don’t forget The Man Show and I know that probably wasn’t mostly his doing and he was just taking an opportunity but it’s still content that was put out in the world and no amount of videos of parents eating their kids candy is going to change that. Anyway.

This special starts incredibly strong and I made a very enthusiastic snapstory endorsing it, and then it kind of trailed off in the middle a little bit, less punchy and she was playing with structure in a way that didn’t always work out for me (kept interrupting herself to say, “put a pin in that” or explaining a type of joke, or “doubling back” but didn’t always come back or have a payoff worth the interruption so then I lost a little trust the next time she did it) and I would say the second half was much more story-telling than jokes? Like she would take a while to explain something and then there wouldn’t be enough at the end to balance out (in my opinion). Most notably she did this act out about TV shows and how they’re shot and she explained a lot and crouched down and used people’s real names, it was a whole thing, then didn’t have a greater realization at the end as a button, just explained, “so that’s how they do that” for these particular shots in TV. And that was a little disappointing. And she brought a legal pad onstage which I can only assume was a set list which I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do for a special! So that was kind of shocking, but also it wasn’t very distracting, she didn’t look at it that much.

She also didn’t take the mic out of the stand until 40 minutes in- which I didn’t notice until she did it and I was like, ‘oh she hasn’t done that yet.’ There was a rape joke that I didn’t know if it was worth it (the rape kit after sex one, not the one about her sister) but she always jokes about “taboo” things in a tongue and cheek way and it didn’t seem reckless or unconsidered or anything, it just wasn’t the hardest hit for me personally.

She tells a “story” at the end (which kind of felt how when I have a bunch of ideas on one topic but I haven’t figured out how to link them all together yet, or made them all successful individual jokes yet) about how she almost died. She had an abscess on her windpipe and they had to remove it and it was a dangerous surgery and she was telling the audience about this video her friend recorded, and then after the special while the credits were playing, they showed it and somehow that was my favorite part (almost) it’s really endearing and touching in this odd way.

She talks about her family really in depth in a way I can’t remember her doing in other specials, with this level of specificity that doesn’t make everyone look good, including herself, and that was interesting to me, I like to think about how maybe people’s rules for what she can say about them onstage have evolved throughout the years.

She has such a range, she’s not afraid of any topic even if it’s intense or dark and by not afraid I don’t just mean not afraid to makes jokes about it, I mean not afraid to just talk about it for what feels like minutes on end before the joke, just living in it- that happens with rape, with abortion, with having hooks for hands, you know, things that affect all women. It kind of felt like she’s so funny she’s not scared to not be funny if that makes sense. Like when I do stand up for something important I want jokes to fill every possible second so there’s no doubt that I’m funny but you can see she doesn’t need the audience to validate her so she’s just talking about what she wants to talk about in the way that she wants to talk about it.

There was a weird editing glow, it kind of looked like there was a haze over her face? Or that the special was one long glamour shot? Which was odd, I wonder if that was an editing choice to make her look younger? Or just the filter on the lights? It was a little distracting only because it was so obviously tampered with in some way.

At the end she does this audience participation part where she brings a self-identified religious guy down to the front of the stage (Troy) and asks him if he would let God come in his mouth (he says no) and harkens it back to God asking Abraham to kill his first born son (“Chip”) and he would but most guys wouldn’t let God come in their mouths and that’s so funny to me, to juxtapose people’s hang ups about masculinity with their required religious blind faith. I don’t think she specifically asked for a man (I’d have to go back and look) I think she just asked for an audience member who is religious, the joke doesn’t hinge on it being a hang up with masculinity, I think people have sexual hang ups in general especially people who are raised religious, it was just an added layer for me because lots of men really reject anything that seems “gay” or emasculating about sex (like having things put in their ass even though that’s where their prostate/bundle of nerves is) so I enjoyed that.

Overall I really enjoyed it! Laughed out loud way more times than I normally do watching stand up. Her delivery is so composed, I can never tell what was planned and what wasn’t. There was an instance that seemed like a misspeak where she traded “NPR” for “NRA” but then followed it with, “completely different tote bags” which is so funny it made me think she included it just for that?? But could she have just thought of that then?? I mean ostensibly she could have, when you see the video of her drugged up and going to surgery at the end you see how smart she is, she’s explaining Brexit and laying out a neutral media plan for nationwide happiness. It was great. Also apparently whenever she and her boyfriend are parting they’ll go, “I think we should see other people” which is true love to me. Oh! I just remembered another part she never quite tied up she had this whole bit about how movies are ruining our concept of love that I was really investing in/following that she dipped out of for a second to indulge a quick pun then never went back to. And I was sad about that.

Anyway, I could write a million more things about this but I’m late for a show!!! Time flies when you’re remembering jokes about anal sex huh??? Anyway, 4.3/5 hooks for hands, would masturbate again.

Oh P.S. I really like the name of the special and the thought that’s behind it that isn’t even a joke just seemed like something she wanted to say and get across!! Cool. And the part about squirrels was really funny too!!


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