THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM created by Sarah Silverman, with Silverman, Laura Silverman, Brian Posehn and Steve Agee. Airs Thursdays at 10:30 pm on the Comedy Network. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNNN
In comedian Sarah Silverman's world no topic is taboo. The Holocaust, AIDS, masturbation, African famine babies, midgets, boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel's balls. (She's compared the scent of Kimmel's crotch to the smell of her nana's house: Benson & Hedges DeLuxe Ultra Lights and brisket.)
No cow is too sacred, it seems. Hell, Silverman is likely to hump the particular heffer with a steel-belted strap-on until it tips over.
She stole dirty-joke doc The Aristocrats with a deadpan account of being raped by geriatric New York TV host Joe Franklin. Jesus Is Magic, her deliriously depraved concert film, managed to make fun of 9/11, the Holocaust and Martin Luther King Jr., and it ended with her singing Amazing Grace - in three-part harmony with her ass and her vagina.
And now somebody's had the brilliant idea to make her the scatological star of her own outrageous sitcom. If comedians like Roseanne Barr and Brett Butler pushed the envelope for female comics in prime time 20 years ago, then Silverman is mailing that envelope special delivery to your ass.
The Sarah Silverman Program is basically a small-screen version of Jesus Is Magic, full of songs, animated clips and skits loosely tied together by something barely resembling a plot. For example, the first episode involves Silverman getting busted for DUI after downing a bottle of cough syrup and crashing into a playground, although it's little more than an excuse for Silverman to be profane, profound and very, very funny.
In anticipation of the launch of her show, the pretty girl with the potty mouth agreed to answer a few random questions via e-mail from the NOW staff.
In the first episode, the black woman in the grocery store says that family is the most important thing in life. Is this true? "It depends on your family, although even if you have a terrible family, close friends can become your family. And in that sense, yes."
Are you tired of headlines for stories about you that say Saving Silverman? "Not as tired as the headlines that call me a potty mouth."
Favourite headline? "Jimmy found one for a bad review that he loves: Queen of Farts. Now it's the only thing he'll call me."
Your fiercest female stand-up comic competition? "I don't know. Why don't you ask Chris Rock who his fiercest black stand-up competition is?"
Jesus Is Magic seems heavily influenced by Sandra Bernhard's Without You I'm Nothing. Do you feel any particular kinship with Bernhard, you know, in that Jewish chick kind of way? "She's Jewish?"
Does dating Jimmy Kimmel get you preferential treatment on his talk show? "Yeah. (When someone cancels...)"
What joke do you wish you'd written? "Crap, I can't think of one off the top of my head, but for sure some of Zach Galifianakis's jokes."
What to watch this week
Monday, March 5
WORDS TO MUSIC: CANADIAN SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME (Special) Featuring performances by James Taylor, Herbie Hancock and Michael Buble and a tribute to Joni Mitchell. 8 pm on CBC
KIVIAQ VS. CANADA (Documentary) Directed by Oscar nominee Zacharias Kunuk (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner), this is the story of Canada's first Inuit lawyer, a former boxing champion and CFL star who sued the Canadian government to secure for Inuit people the same official status as all the other aboriginal peoples. 9 pm on History Television