Vicious gender divide in US comedy and politics is no laughing matter
Comedian Sarah Silverman wants Hillary Clinton to take a voice class
Sarah Silverman: credits conservatives with being deviously effective at naming things. Photograph: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
AS Hollywood bowed down to Hillary Clinton, who swept through on a state visit with Chelsea on Friday, there seemed to be only one person here with any reservations.
“I want her to take a voice class,” comedian Sarah Silverman said, as she curled and uncurled like a cat on the grey couch of her modest west Hollywood apartment decorated with taped-up pictures of her family.
“She’s so smart and has so much to say and can change the world but she’s” – here Silverman goes fortissimo – “TALKING LIKE SHE’S YELLING AT YOU. She sounds like a mom who’s yelling at you. And it triggers a response.”
What response does possible Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz trigger?
“Terrifying,” she says. “He’s disgusting, and one day I Wikipedia-ed him, and I’m like four days older than him, and it made me so depressed.”
She does credit conservatives with being deviously effective at naming things. “Citizens United,” she says. “What sounds more beautiful than that?”
The comedian says she’s “not smart enough” about politics, and in a forthcoming HBO special she sticks to her usual sweet depravity with jokes about rape, porn, Jews and her family. But she became a hilarious viral force in the last two elections.
In 2008 she did the “Great Schlep” video urging Jews with grandparents in Florida to withhold visits to “bubbie” and “zadie” unless they agreed to vote for Barack Obama.
In 2012 she offered billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson “an indecent proposal” involving a bikini bottom and a lesbian sexual treat if he would give $100 million to Obama instead of Mitt Romney. She teased Mitt on Twitter, asking about his sexual proclivities. And she quickly got a million views for her video slamming voter ID laws.
When a rabbi wrote to JewishPress.com to criticize Silverman’s “Let My People Vote” campaign, suggesting that she should “channel” her passion into marriage and children, her dad defended her with a few of the off-colour words he taught Sarah when she was a toddler.
But Silverman, whose persona has always been that of the adorable, pigtailed child- woman, defended herself recently after some younger male comics mocked her as a crone in Hollywood terms, admitting in a television interview with W Kamau Bell that it took a couple of days to recover her self-esteem.
At a Comedy Central roast of James Franco, fellow actor Jonah Hill said: “Sarah is a role model for every little girl out there. I mean, every little girl dreams of being a 58-year-old single stand-up comedian with no romantic prospects on the horizon. They all dream of it but Sarah did it.” (Silverman is 42 and dates comedian Kyle Dunnigan. )