‘Britain? I could live in Boots’
out with comic friends — or bringing a basic idea on stage and seeing if it goes anywhere.
How do you prepare for a performance? SS: I don’t think or worry about it until right before the show. Then I take a half-hour and really focus and make a basic game plan, then there’s no time to worry because it’s showtime.
Who are your influences and heroes of comedy?' SS: Garry Shandling, Steve Martin, Woody Allen, Albert Brooks, [US actress and writer] Ruth Gordon.
Why the current support for Obama? SS: I’ve never been moved by a politician. Obama is the first one in my lifetime that has inspired me, and so many people. Plus, I’m genuinely terrified of the alternative.
Do you think your profile is helping raise awareness among younger and older Jewish voters, and can Florida be turned? SS: I hope so. Any little bit will help. Florida is Bush land.
How does being Jewish influence your comedy and your life? Does it annoy you to be labelled as anything other than a comedian? SS: The “major Jewish comedian” label can be less than thrilling — to be co-opted by a people because (to some people) I may be “good for the Jews”. I am Jewish and proud of this culturally and ethnically — the ways in which I was born this way and am happy with whom I am. I really don’t have religion, though. I am agnostic to the core. Hopeful, but agnostic. I just can’t imagine many of these things [in Judaism] are true. My sister, though, is a rabbi and she’s taught me lessons that, God or not, have taught me good things.
Do you enjoy being Jewish — not so much from a religious point of view, but the assumptions that come with it and the identity? SS: Sure. Can’t imagine not.
Do you still enjoy what you do, or has some of the romance evaporated from the days when you would do open mic spots and really graft? SS: I love it. I always have and I still do. I love the community of comedy and comics and I love getting out there.
What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? SS: We just finished 10 more episodes of my show, The Sarah Silverman Program, and the DVD of Jesus is Magic is out or about to be out soon.
When will you be back in the UK? I don’t know when I’ll be back, but I’m loving it here. I could live in Boots. Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic is released on DVD by Warner Music Entertainment