Review: Sarah Silverman Charms and Startles with 'We Are Miracles'
It may be a more intimate setting for comedienne Sarah Silverman, but that doesn’t mean she is going to be tame – or quiet.
In her first HBO comedy special, the bold and ballsy brunette takes to the stage at Largo, a music and comedy club in Los Angeles that holds only 40 people. Well, as Silverman playfully and sheepishly points out in the special’s funny, awkward introduction, she is actually performing in front of 39 people, because she counts towards the fire safety maximum occupancy.
The title of the special, ‘We Are Miracles,’ comes from one of the more earnest moments in this hour-long stand-up routine. Of course however, with this and other moments of clarity and reverence, the monologue dissolves conveniently and funnily. In this case, it’s about sperm, conception, and her father.
Set to air for the first of many times on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 10 p.m. EST, Silverman is reflective and musing, somewhat current, and refusing to give in to either political correctness or segues.
Touching on such topics as politics, religion, and pornography (sometimes in the same stretch), Silverman is effortlessly natural in with her slightly awkward, casually profane, and ever-impish routine. She rarely if at all breaks character, and it would seem that while a few times talking to the audience, only once briefly might she be going off script.
The shocking moments (of which there are many, but may vary depending on how sensitized you are, or not, as the case may be), creep up on the audience, following innocuous or respectful remarks. She alternates between flooring the audience outright, or lulling them into a false sense of security.
The most outrageous and thusly memorable moment of the randomly assembled cavalcade of jokes is when Silverman discusses rape. She brings a hesitant audience to the discussion, alleviates their fears with insight, and then drops the floor out from under them and unleashes a torrent of uncomfortably funny and maybe divisive jokes.
Those offerings from Silverman, along with the ones concerning 9/11 widows and terminally sick children, stand out the most in a special that ranges from staggering and hysterical to cute and pedestrian. Sometimes the veteran comedienne and actress will miss every so often with a joke that results in a mere chuckle or smirk (the lackluster response is made all the more evident by the small setting).
Sometimes she connects with a home run though, one that while you’re laughing at, will make you either uncomfortable about your company or happy you’re watching alone.
There is a reflective nature to her jokes as well, which is an especially clever conceit. It works in a couple different ways. For some of the jokes, Silverman will admit that they are thoughts that enter her head, strangely and all too often, and both the images she evokes and the sheer fact she has mulled such a thought are both especially funny.
In another way, she will pose a hypothetical, putting ideas out into the air that are funny by mere contemplation, not by adherence; neither you nor Silverman may agree with her contemplations, but they sure are laughable.
Riffs on Scientology along with a vulgar song Silverman plays while strumming a guitar are neither charming nor relevant, but they can’t all be winners. Though incoherent, Silverman will startle and amuse early and often in this occasionally edgy and worthwhile special.
'We Are Miracles' airs on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 10 p.m. EST on HBO. You can check out the teaser below.
The problem I have with this "comedy" special is fundamental. Comedy, as such, is supposed to be funny. I am a fan of Sarah Silverman. Have been for a very long time. As an introspective, social commentator, her HBO hour was stimulating, provocative and revealing. But, NOT FUNNY. Am I missing something here?
Level 1 (26%) Since: 28/Oct/12
Message Posted On Nov 22nd, 2013, 5:16 pm
It's a shame they revived her career for another 15 minutes. Another talentless hack who uses tasteless jokes to mask that fact.