The Sarah Silverman Program: Season One (review)

I hate to reduce stuff to gender stereotypes, but Sarah Silverman brings out the worst in me. Well, no, strike that: I can’t say that it’s the gal herself that I feel particularly strongly about one way or the other — I can take her comedy, or leave it. What irks me is that her schtick seems deliberately calculated to induce paroxysms of nerdy joy in a specifically juvenile segment of the male audience: she’s like a “guy,” with her jokes about poop and her disdain for romance and all tender emotion, but she’s, you know, a girl. Which would be fine if I actually believed she was actually like this — she may be, but the persona comes across as deliberate and just a wee bit strained. Or maybe that’s just because I find it hard to accept that anyone over 14 — male, female, or Martian — really and genuinely finds toilet humor funny. Anyway, this is Silverman’s (School for Scoundrels) Comedy Central sendup of the sitcom format, in which she plays “herself,” a slacker of a gal who or may not be a lesbian (a joke that, I can’t help but believe, is here only because “guys” think “dykes” are “hot”) and whose most meaningful relationship is with her dog; the relationship with her sister, who supports “Sarah,” is more on the order of that of a tapeworm to its host. Whether she’s making fun of homeless people or getting stoned on cough medicine, the premeditated un-P.C.ness of these six episodes gets real tedious real fast. Unless, perhaps, you’re a 13-year-old male nerd. Extras include audio commentary, musical performances, a karaoke feature, and more. [buy at Amazon]

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Thu, Oct 25, 2007 6:56pm

I’m happy that she has succeeded in appropriating teenage guy humor in a way that highlights its stupidity, shallowness, and predictability. Unfortunately, simply highlighting those aspects doesn’t make the material any more funny or clever than it would be coming out of an unattractive male comic’s mouth. Her cuteness and vulgarity definitely appeal to horny guys. I’ll admit that she’s great at getting my attention initially, but then her jokes seem to lose momentum before they get interesting (no, that’s not a subtle masturbation reference you sicko). A couple of her Jesus is Magic skits came close to actual satire, but they seemed clumsy and unfinished too. Anyway, I agree that this show gets boring fast, but I am hopeful that she’ll move on to something smarter and edgier when this fart/poop/fuck schtick gets unprofitably stale.

Thu, Oct 25, 2007 8:22pm

when this fart/poop/fuck schtick gets unprofitably stale.

Do you think that’s likely to happen? Cuz I don’t. Not anytime soon, at least.

Thu, Oct 25, 2007 9:55pm

I like her show, i’m happy for her success and look forward to season two. I enjoy her comedy, her “shtick” if you will, but i don’t think she deliberatly sets out to be “edgy”. I’ve seen a lot of her interviews and her standup and unless she puts on a Borat-like facade everytime she’s near a camera (which i find very hard to believe) she’s just being herself.

Obnoxious, unpredictable, witty, cruel and very funny.
This is coming from a guy (far from 13) who loves a wide range of comedy and thinks Frasier and Who’s Line is it Anyway are the best comedies to ever hit the air.

It’s narrow minded to think 100% of her fans are immature 13 year old male nerds who’s favourite hobby is jerking off to lesbian porn.

She makes me laugh, and that’s enough to make me a fan.
Truly, gladly and unashamedly a fan.

Bob C
Bob C
Fri, Oct 26, 2007 3:52pm

This is a show that you’re either going to love or hate – there’s just no in-between. Personally I love it but I can understand why people would find it a little too low-brow.

John Thomason
Thu, Nov 08, 2007 12:48am

I saw Silverman live recently and was majorly disappointed, but I do love the show and feel it’s a great outlet for her humor: puerile, but absolutely inspired. And your review neglects to mention the best aspect of the show: the supporting characters played by Brian Posehn and Jay Johnston, whom I think you can embrace without buying into Silverman’s albeit calculated schtick.

Thu, Nov 08, 2007 1:22am

whom I think you can embrace…

Think again…

Fri, Dec 07, 2007 2:13pm

I confess, I enjoyed the first episode with Sarah getting blasted on cough syrup and running amok just because it was so downright ludicrous, but frankly, after that, it just lost all appeal. It was actually VISIBLY falling apart, and the watching was just too sad. Like a continual train wreck, it was amazing at first, and then it just got shrill and loud and kept me up at night. Metaphorically, anyway.

Thu, Jan 31, 2008 4:36pm

please enlighten me: exactly what is brian posehn’s main occupation? i recently downloaded a song from a metal site labeled “Brian Posehn – Metal By Numbers”. i hated it, because it made fun of metal stereotypes (cleverly, i’ll grant it that, but as a metalhead, i still renege it.)

now i keep seeing posehn in comedies and stuff.

so what is he, a comedian or a pseudo-musician? or both, like weird al yankovic?

Thu, Jan 31, 2008 5:56pm

“but as a metalhead, i still renege it”

That word… I do not think it means what you think it means.

Fri, Feb 01, 2008 7:43am

to renege, as in renegade – refuse, deny.


Fri, Nov 15, 2013 11:53pm

Pedro, you might wanna google it before you use that word again.

Tue, Nov 04, 2014 6:34am

That’s exactly how she is defying gender stereotypes… Acting, thinking, and speaking like a guy, but being a girl. Funnily enough, there ARE girls out there who are like that.