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The Bentzen Ball Preview: Sarah Silverman
To preview the upcoming Bentzen Ball, we’re interviewing several of the comedians who are performing at the festival. Today, we chat with Sarah Silverman.
Blithely offensive with no regard for social taboos and lots of foul language, Sarah Silverman has been called “the most outrageously funny woman alive” by Rolling Stone. Her performance on her Comedy Central series, The Sarah Silverman Program, garnered her an Emmy nomination in July, and she wrote and starred in her own film, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic, in 2005. She’s appearing in DC this month at the four-day Bentzen Ball comedy festival. See her on closing night, performing with her sister Laura Silverman, Tig Notaro, Steve Agee, and Chelsea Peretti at the 9:30 Club at 8. You can view the full Bentzen Ball schedule—and purchase tickets—here.
How did you get involved in the Bentzen Ball?
“Tig told me to do it, and I know not to cross her.”
You’re good friends with Tig Notaro, who’s curating the show and who also appears on The Sarah Silverman Program. How did you two meet, and how long have you been friends? How do your brands of humor interact?
“I met her outside of a comedy club. I liked her jacket. Many months later, I hosted a show she was on. She told one joke for about 11 minutes. It was amazing. Tig is someone that no matter who you are, if you meet her, you just want to be around her. She holds court.”
If you could pick any show to see at the Bentzen Ball, whose would you go see?
“Patton Oswalt, Mary Lynn, Chelsea Peretti, Natasha Leggero, Lizz Winstead, Todd Barry, and Tig.”
Who’s a relatively unknown comic performing that you’re really excited about?
“Chelsea Perretti, who’s a brilliant comedian and who we were lucky enough to have as a writer for the Sarah Silverman show this season. Also, Heather Lawless. They’re the ones to watch for sure.”
Who are some of your influences or favorite comedians?
“Garry Shandling, Steve Martin, Kevin Nealon, Ruth Gordon, Todd Glass, Albert Brooks.”
What’s something that without fail will make you laugh?
“Anything aggressively dumb. Silliness.”
In Washington we can’t get anywhere without talking about politics. How should we solve the health-care crisis?
“I think we should copy another world power where the health care works—Canada, France. Just because everyone gets health care doesn’t mean yours gets shittier.”