Pride, Sperm, Magic

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Sarah has some strong words for anti-abortion legislators in this country. Plus, she explains how she works out new material, gets upset about homophobia in schools, and shares her first sexual experience.

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Sarah, Sarah Silverman, Kim, Tim, Ben, Paul, Amy, Annie, Kristen, Sender 5

Sarah Silverman  00:13

Hi everybody. It’s your old pal, Sarah Silverman, and I really can’t believe we are a country where women don’t have total autonomy over their own motherfucking bodies in 41 states, in 41 states, 14 of them with a total abortion ban. Fucking we’re becoming this happened in Iran, and it’s happening here. Look at Iran in the 70s, women in bikinis, total hippie culture. And look at what they become now that’s what’s happening here with the Christian right. This is my opinion. You know, if you ask any scientist, any doctor, they will tell you, abortion is health care. There is not a world where any state in this entire country would implement a law that controls what a man does with his own body. Show me I’m wrong, and I’d like to remind you that sperm is alive. Sperm is living, they have olfactory senses, they can smell. So let’s round up every single man who has ever spilled his seed anywhere that hasn’t resulted in a pregnancy, and prosecute to the fullest extent. I mean, that’s fucking absurd, right? Make no mistake, this is misogyny to the fullest extent. It isn’t health care, it isn’t protections, it’s not regulations that are looking after us in any kind of way of care. And the crazy thing is the whole Republican thing, the whole thing about the Republican Party is that they hate big government, but these laws are proof that they hate women more. This pro life front is garbage if they cared about life, if they cared about babies, they wouldn’t have just voted down free school lunches for underprivileged children and on and on and on and on. Would they vote down that cares for our most vulnerable youth? Pro life, fuck you, and I’m talking about the legislators you know I I’m not saying I love anti abortion citizens, but at least they just believe with their whole heart that, like abortion is murder. The legislators, they fucking know it isn’t. They want votes more than they care about freedom of more than half of this country, abortion is not murder, it is healthcare. Don’t come at me with but late term abortion, that is a term made up by Republicans. It’s not a whim when that happens. It’s a fucking tragedy when that happens. And thanks to you fucking soulless cunts, women are dying because their state has made it illegal to get the care they need you, Fox, I know I shouldn’t say cunt, but I I just really needed to, sorry. All right, let’s take some calls.


Kim  03:45

Hi, Sarah, this is Kim. I’m a teacher in San Diego. I’ve followed you since the Sarah Silverman program, one of my all time favorite shows, just so, so silly. I love it, let’s get into it. I recently I have two aides that assist me in my classroom, because I have a high level of students that have IEPs coming on the heels of pride. Our GSA at the school I work at, an elementary that’s K through eight is putting on a pride celebration. And to my dismay, one of my aides was emailing quite bigoted ideas about pride with the argument that kids are too young to learn about that and they shouldn’t be learning about it in school. So I am openly gay as well I guess I should have led with that. I have a wife, I have two kids, and I’m very proud of who I am and open. I tried having a conversation with her, and it didn’t go well. Lo and behold, the principal took her out of my classroom, and her boyfriend, who’s also an aide there, thought it was a good idea to come into my classroom while my students were eating. Breakfast one morning and yell at me and tell me that I’m weak, just having a hard time making sense of it all. So I’d love to hear what you have to say, and if you could put a funny spin on it, much appreciated bye Sarah.


Sarah Silverman  05:13

it’s a tall order that’s it’s so annoying. And the thing that kills me about it is people who think that kids are too young to learn about gay. They’re sexualizing gay. And you might think, well, it is you have sex, yeah, so does straight, you know, you have like the bachelor, you know, like the bachelorette always is like a school teacher, and then she brings her one of her dates, one of like, the 25 men she’s dating, to her, like kindergarten class, to meet him and see if they you know, I mean, it’s like and no one sees anything wrong with that, including me. But if it’s a gay person, oh, they’re too young. No one’s sexualizing people when explaining gay to children, it’s just like saying in heteronormative culture, like when a man meets a woman and they like each other, that they maybe they have a family together, or they whatever. I mean, it’s like, it’s no different than explaining straight culture, and no one is worried that you’re gonna sexualize children with straight culture. So that’s why that stuff is prejudiced. You know, it’s not like, Oh no, I’m just worried about kids. Worried about kids what, you know, like, it seems to me that at this early age, it’s crucial for children to learn that, you know, people come in in all styles, and that we can love and accept our brothers and sisters, even and especially when they are different from ourselves, and that it is as important as and can’t wholly be achieved without loving and accepting ourselves. And again, to some, this may sound like conceit. It’s the opposite. Self loathing is exhausting. Self loathing is me, me, me, accepting and loving yourself completely leaves space. Giving yourself some fucking grace makes so much more space in your heart for others all this to say they’re wrong and you’re right. Okay, are you happy now? All right, what else?


Annie  07:30

Hi, Sarah, it’s your best friend, Annie, and I have a question for you about stand up comedy. I am a stand a comedian, pretty much just doing open mics, mostly right now, but I just recently started doing shows, you know, like little shows, 10 minute sets. And my question is, how many times do you think one should practice a specific joke at an open mic before you decide, like the joke is ready and you’re just gonna keep it in your back pocket and use it at a show. Sometime like, I have two shows coming up, and I just don’t know how much more I should be practicing the sets for those two shows until I do it because I don’t want it to get stale, and I still want it to have that like magic of the first couple of times you say a joke, there’s kind of a magic feeling to that, in my opinion. Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts and how often you practice your jokes at open mics or obviously, you probably don’t do open mics anymore, but you know what I mean? And, well, I just love you so much, and I think you’re the best stand comedian in the entire world, and I love you, okay, bye.


Sarah Silverman  08:50

Thank you, wow, that’s so exciting. You know, every comic is different and has a different process. Who was I just talking to Nick Kroll the other night, and we were both kind of commiserated, because I just said, you know, if somebody asked me how I write a joke, and I’ve been doing it, you know, over 30 years, I have no fucking clue how I write a joke. I really don’t. But there are comics that have a very specific process, you know, and other comics that if you look at their notebooks, I mean, it looks like art or math or, you know, everyone has a different process. I still am trying different processes as I change anyway. I’m, you know, I’m kind of two things. I’m always in process. I’m never polished, you know, and I’m a very slow honer. So to me, jokes that I’m presently doing never get stale because, I they’re never figured out totally, you know. And you know, I also am someone. I’m a slow honer. On one hand, on the other hand, I’ll, try a new joke. You know, I tried a new joke at the Greek with Jon Stewart, you know, I was like, Oh, I thought of this yesterday. Um, I’ll try, I would, I would go on talk shows, um, not when I was younger, doing like, stand up sets on a talk show, but I’d be on the couch of a talk show and try new stuff I’ve never tried like on Conan, you know, I used to be on Conan all the time when I was beginning, you know, and getting good and stuff, and I would try stuff that then I would bring to stand up, which is probably ridiculous, you know, but, um, there’s just no way, one way to do it. So the only thing you can really do as a comic is figure out what works for you. You know, you can ask other comics what their process is, and that might help you, or one thing might, or you might try different things, but ultimately you’re just gonna find what works for you, and it might not look like anything like what other comics do, because other comics do all it’s just such myriad ways that people process their stand up. So yeah, I’ll try something new at really fancy venues, and also be working on the same thing. I just can’t get to work for like, six years, you know, which I finally have one thing that I think will finally be in whatever next special I have. But it’s like I just, you know, and when you can’t get something to work, sometimes it’s just not funny. A lot of times it’s missing a pause, or an article, an IS, or an an, or a but or a, or you think you’re saying enough in the setup and you’re not, or you think you’re saying enough in the setup and you’re saying way too much, and the joke can’t hold it. It’s, it’s, it’s just so many variables. You just gotta get in your lab and try to figure it out. A lot of times, your lab isn’t home. It’s in a show on stand up you it’s not really something you can practice in front of the mirror. You need an audience to tell you, and then if you still think they’re wrong, you gotta tinker with it. What is it missing? What is it? What is there too much of? What is, what do I think I’m conveying that I’m clearly not conveying it’s trial and error, and there’s, there’s no good or bad time to be trying stuff. You know, I understand you’re, you’re when you do a paid set or like a real spot, you know, you want to bring your A game, so bring your A game. But there’s something about for me, the more prepared I am, the looser I can be. And I like to be loose but, but I learned about myself that I can’t be loose on stage. If I go on with no plan, I need a plan to veer away from. And I’ve heard that actors talk about with that with acting, that they prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare, prepare, and then they throw everything out the window and stay in the moment. But I think there’s a lot of artists that they learn all the classics and all the rules of drawing or sculpting or whatever, and until they know all that stuff, then they can veer away from it and do something abstract or do something else. And you know, but there’s also anyway I could go on and on about art and what it is, or whatever, but hopefully I gave you some little something to chew on.


Kristen  13:49

Hey, Sarah, this is Kristen calling from Baltimore, Maryland. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a couple months now. I’ve been unemployed since November. I was permanently laid off from a position that my heart really wasn’t in, so it was kind of a blessing in disguise. But at the same time, the job market absolutely fucking sucks right now, so I’m working on trying to find something it’s been hard. It’s been really hard. It’s been hard on myself, my relationship, my husband and I just bought a house last summer, and now there’s a fear we’re going to lose it, because I can’t get a job. Unemployment in Maryland only runs six months. So I’ve just been plugging along trying to find something, and there just really hasn’t been any good leads right now, and a lot of rejection. So how would you deal with it? How would you deal with the disappointment, the rejection, the unknown? You know, I know you talk a lot about living in the present, and that’s definitely something I’m trying to do, but it becomes more and more difficult everyday. So yeah, any insight you have, I greatly appreciate it. Thanks for everything you do. I think you’re just an amazing human being, and I’m so appreciative of your podcast.


Sarah Silverman  15:12

Thanks, you see the best of me, boy, I don’t I don’t know if I have a good answer for this. All you can do proactively is keep plugging away. I don’t know what your skill set is or what you’re interested in, which matters. Maybe sit down and write what you’re good at, from totally general to really specific. For example, you know, organizing or Excel spreadsheets, or you’re good with people, or, you know, blah, blah, blah, from really specific to really general, from job things to personality things. What’s your sweet spot? What are you good at? And then see what kind of jobs could really utilize those skills, or lead to jobs that utilize those skills. And then look to see if there is a job in or around those areas. And if there isn’t, you know, maybe cold call places where you know you would do great. Maybe they’re not looking for someone. Maybe you need to tell them that they need you. That kind of ambition and and go get them. Energy alone is something employers love to see. So, you know, be wonderfully ambitious. If there is a job you want, go in and be the best fucking choice for it. And this is very, very easy for me to say, obviously, and I’m, I’m aware of that, but I’m trying to offer you practical advice and, and this is just a really hard time to I don’t know that I know the best advice, but I know that these things won’t hurt and might help and might change everything. Maybe, maybe you want to be an assistant to someone who is doing something you would love to do someday, where you can, you know, walk their dog, get their dry cleaning, whatever, but also be around and learn what that job is. There’s just get creative. Think about what you’re interested in, where you want to be and where you might really be able to be effective. And besides that, I don’t know. I hope, I hope this was helpful and good luck. What else?


Paul  17:45

Hey, Sarah, my name is Paul. I found out about your existence in the time back then when I was Watching Monk. Okay, here’s the reason for my voice message to you. I wear men’s briefs, and I have a problem with man’s briefs, I’ve noticed that the pouch that holds the man’s genitals is always the same size no matter which waist size the brief has. Now I wish that the pouch in front of the brief to come in different sizes, because there are a lot of men with same waist size but different size when it comes to the genitals, you know, some bigger, some smaller, longer, shorter, whatever. And I wish the manufacturers of men’s brief would learn from the concept of the woman’s bra, where there are so many different cup sizes and forms for every shape and size of breasts that exists. I love your podcast, and I wish you all the best, bye, bye.


Sarah Silverman  18:47

All right, that’s an interesting point. Paul, who clearly has a baggy pouch she’s angry about Paul, um, that’s an interesting point. You know, bras are the measurement around 34 and then the cup see and that makes sense, but I would say that when you’re just trying to support your breasts, it’s usually just small, medium, large and stuff, because it’s really about kind of just holding them in place, and not like, do you know what I mean? Like, aren’t sports bras, like my sleep bra doesn’t have a cup size. It just is, like, extra small, small, medium large, extra large, extra extra large, or something, you know, because it just is holding your junk, your chest junk, just like briefs, really, just kind of hold it in place, you know but do cups have sizes like Jack straps? Charles, you’re the only one who can answer this here. He doesn’t play sports. He doesn’t know. He’s a gentle soul. It’s so interesting, well, it’s all like, I wear men’s tank tops. I’m trying not to say the old thing we used to call them. I wear men’s tank tops. I’ll just get like Fruit of the Loom, small and it could stretch to a much bigger person, but it still fits me very tight and good. So I mean, it’s a stretchy product, whereas bras are not a stretchy product, briefs are stretchy, but a interesting point, and what else?


Sender 5  20:31

Sarah, I have a product for you that’s called throat calm, and they’re homeopathic little tablets you put under your tongue.


Sarah Silverman  20:41

I need one right now.


Sender 5  20:42

And they dissolve right away so nobody will be choking. Try it, okay, bye.


Sarah Silverman  20:50

I’m still in that habit of cough drop after cough drop before, like while lying in bed, but I’ve promised Rory so I sit up so I don’t fall asleep, and then I can’t lie down unless there are no cough drops in my mouth. That sounds great, throat, calm, but like part of it is just like the flavor in the I don’t know, but yeah, I’m gonna get that throat. Calm, does it have a flavor? I guess I’ll find out. All right, thank you, thank you, thank you for the hot tip buddy. You may have saved my life. What else?


Ben  21:28

Hi, Sarah, it’s your friend Ben from Dallas, Texas. I’m such a big fan of yours. I have watched your Netflix special a speck of dust, probably 30-40, times through at this point I can quote it by heart. It is such a masterpiece. So let me get to my question. I am normally an overthinker. I worry a lot about things and just things that are shouldn’t be that big of a deal, are always a really big deal to me but two months ago, I went on a trip with my dad to Ghana, in Africa, and we built some computer labs in schools. We met kids and villages and just all sorts of people in Ghana, and that experience was the first time I’ve ever left the country, and also just the biggest exposure to culture outside of the United States and my own family and life that I’ve ever had. This has so deeply affected me and broadened my worldview that now I’m the opposite of an overthinker. I just I can’t seem to find meaning in anything in my life anymore, because I’ve been exposed to how big the world really is outside of me. So I guess my question is, how do I balance not caring so much about the small things in life with also understanding that my life is meaningful, even though it’s so small compared to the everything. Thanks for your advice.


Sarah Silverman  22:44

What that’s called is perspective. It’s a lot to take in. You know how insignificant we are, but there is also kind of freedom in that, I think you know, from just being lovely and spreading that good energy all the way to going to Ghana and building labs that will change people’s lives. They both change people’s lives, you know, and in both cases, you you maybe change someone’s life who goes on to change the world. It’s those big and small gestures that make change at all, but also nothing matters, and that’s the kind of thing that can get me into a downward spiral and get me out of a downward spiral. This is we’re just experiencing life on a rock in outer space. Ultimately, maybe nothing you do will matter but the butterfly effect it does, you know, and sure, like our lives are a tiny, tiny, teeny, tiny microcosm of bigger things that matter more, maybe, but what, what makes us despair about that our insignificance? It could also be joy. It’s like people who live for their legacy, like, what’s legacy? You’ll be dead. You won’t even know the difference. Who cares, don’t live your life trying to plan some kind of legacy, because it it, as far as you’re concerned, that doesn’t exist. I remember my dad saying, everyone will be forgotten. I’ll be forgotten. You’ll be forgotten. George Washington will be forgotten. My ludacity will be forgotten, and all that’s left is just impressions, imprints, you know, through various generations and even that won’t be left anymore. And I know that sounds horrifying, but I do think there’s some kind of comfort in it. There’s some kind of relief, some kind of freedom that like ultimately, you better be making the perfect life for yourself. You better be making choices that are your happiness, not someone else’s happiness, not what we’re supposed to want, what you want, what your perfect life looks like, and working towards that, because otherwise, what’s the point we got to grab joy wherever we can find it in this life period, right? I don’t know.


Sarah  25:39

Hi Sarah, this is Sarah from Seattle. I’m trying to ask you a question about what are some of your most favorite or weird objects that you own. I was gifted a photo album from the 70s my friend found in a thrift store years ago, and inside is nothing but Polaroid pictures of cats, cats jumping from roofs, cats wearing little outfits, cats standing like humans. And then one of the pictures is the owner of the cats, and you can tell that he just loved his I couldn’t say he probably had like, six to 10 cats, at least, and he just loved his little cat filled life. So, so yeah, but that’s, that’s my priceless treasure, and I would love to learn more about yours, thanks.


Sarah Silverman  26:35

But a cool, like coffee table book, you know, to that you just, I don’t have a lot of like things, maybe a note, letters, love letters. I keep love letters in a drawer. I hide them away, what do I keep, Amy? Do I have any like weird objects I keep?


Amy  26:55

Like, an entire cupboard of toothbrushes?


Sarah Silverman  26:59

Okay, that’s fully practical, that’s not sentimental, I.


Amy  27:04

Your buttons, your mom’s buttons?


Sarah Silverman  27:06

Okay, yeah, okay when my mom died, I took her overalls and her jewelry box filled with political pins, but that’s like, yeah, I I took a t shirt from my dad when I cleaned out his apartment, and it says peace is possible in um English, Arabic and Hebrew.


Amy  27:30

Most of the stuff that you collect are the photos similar to, like, the background of this podcast. You have a bunch of them in your house.


Sarah Silverman  27:38

Yeah, and, and a lot of them are personal, and a lot of them are Mr Rogers with just a little kid who’s a fan and can’t believe he’s there, and my dad and his in his pride shirt with his the hat from his favorite diner, the airport diner that we always went to. And oh, this picture of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner hugging, Oh, I love it so much. This is a when I turned nine, my mom made me a doll, Rosie ended up being my first sexual experience, yeah, um, I do love pictures. I love, um, I love, you know, photo photographs, you know, yeah, sentimental things that are say that I can read, you know, voicemails from my parents, stuff like that. But I don’t have, like, strange objects. I don’t know, I used to have an evil eye, you know, one of those, like, may the evil eye look away that was my Nana’s, but it literally just broke off of me on an airplane.


Amy  28:45

Yeah, it makes it very challenging to buy Sarah gifts.


Sarah Silverman  28:49

Yeah, well, I don’t like I’m not a gift. The greatest gift, one of the best gifts I ever got, Amy made for me for my 50th birthday. It’s on my wall, right next to my bed. And I love it. You know what? Dimitri Martin and his wife, Rachel came over and they I showed them the house, and they came into my bedroom, and Rachel went, what is that? Oh, my God, I love that. It was your the needle point you made.


Amy  29:19

My punch needle?


Sarah Silverman  29:21

Yeah, it’s so beautiful. But she had the same reaction as me. She was just like, Oh my God, that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. But anyway, there you go. I wish I had some real fun answer. You know, I have, I have some stuff from Gary Shandling, like I have hit the yarmulke that he got bar mitzvahed in, and I have his FBI, for some reason, it says FBI or CIA on it jar that he keeps weed in, kept weed in, and it would inside like a Tibetan cloth in a jar that says like FBI or CIA or something that’s smell proof or keeps it fresh, I don’t know. And I have a little bit of his ashes in a necklace that I keep in a little matchbox, and every once in a while, put on. That’s about it. Little things from I took the I took my dad’s, did I tell did I say this on the factors I took my dad’s when I was cleaning out his apartment, I took his scale. You know, I’ve never had a scale. I’ve just never weighed myself. And, I mean, I’m sure I’ve weighed myself, but I’ve never had a scale. And I have a scale, and I do his exact health regimen, which is this, he has in his mind his perfect weight, and he’d weigh himself every day, and if he was a little under, he’d eat more, and it was a little over, he’d eat less. I was like, all right, you know, I’m gonna take this so now I have it in my bathroom, all right, what else?


Tim  30:59

Hey, Sarah, it’s your friend, Tim. I just wanted to call and say, Thank you. I love you, and I love your podcast. And one of the things I love about your podcast and about you is how you talk about mental health. You bring it down to such, like, an everyday conversational level. And I feel like that’s so important, and you’re helping more people than I think you realize. Case in point, I deal with a condition where, like, environmental noises sometimes make me instantly crazy, and they tickle my lizard brain and take me to a ragey place. And frankly, scared me for a while, until you opened up with your audience and you were vulnerable and you talked about your own experience with misophonia. I can’t tell you how much of a game changer that was for me. You gave me a name to this condition, a definition. Shared your own experiences that made a world of difference. So my heartfelt thanks, and if I have consent, a virtual hug for you, it meant the world. It means the world on a lighter note. You were recently talking about musical tastes and how you love Taylor Swift. I also love Taylor Swift. So I had an artist to offer you if you don’t know about her, which you probably do. Her name is Brittany Spencer, and her first album is my stupid life. I just think you’ll really enjoy, like, the music. It’s, it’s one of those kind of albums where you can listen to the whole thing without wanting to skip the narrative. Is like really good throughout the music, and I think you’ll enjoy her. So anyway, thanks for all you do love you have a great day, bye.


CREDITS  32:27

Brittany Spencer, my stupid life, all right, very cool, check her out. I love music. I love all kinds of music. Yeah, yeah, misophonia. I mean, when there was finally a name for it, it was like, oh, I’m not just a fucking asshole. It’s a, first of all, I’m guessing there’s the same for you. It only, and Tig is the one who pointed this out. It only gets triggered if there’s any kind of stress in my body, and it is a chemical rage at sounds, random sounds, but understanding that isn’t just like, well, deal with it everybody. I have a chemical rage and I’m gonna go fucking crazy. No, I’ve learned how to take myself out of the situation. I understand what it is, what’s happening. If I can’t take myself out of the situation, I just explain it to people, whoever’s making the noise, and see if they could just take some have a little grace for me. It’s they’re not doing anything wrong. I have a problem, and that’s very rare. I can usually just get myself out of the situation, or if you know, also being the boss helps, like when we do a show, Amy puts on the call sheet, no gum on set. And that really helps, because I can’t tell you how many sound people with their boom mics are chomping gum, and they should be able to, but they take pity on me, and they spit out their gum, then they can chew it later. By the way, I chew gum all the time, but I don’t chomp it. And also, I’m I’m me, although my own chewing can really get to me too. Rory and I have these gun gun range headphones that my dad got me because he has it too, he had it so like, if one of us is, like, wrapping up the food and it’s a lot of rappers the other one and we’re watching TV the other we’re gonna just put those gun range headphones on and you can still kind of hear the TV, and you just don’t hear the rappers, and it’s very helpful. All right, dad, dad, wherever you are in time and space. I know you’re out there. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. And I wrote that this is the part of the podcast. When I say, send me your questions. Go to speak that speak Sarah. Silverman podcast and subscribe, rate and review wherever you listen to podcasts, give it a little give us a little click, because somehow that helps us. And there’s more of the Sarah Silverman podcast with Lemonada, premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content, like one from a caller who’s afraid of acting like a fangirl when she sees celebs. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts. Thank you for listening to the Sarah Silverman podcast. We are a production of Lemonada media, Kathryn Barnes and Kryssy Pease produce our show. Our mix is by James Sparber. Additional Lemonada support from Steve Nelson, Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Our theme was composed by Ben Folds and you can find me at @SarahKateSilverman on Instagram. Follow the Sarah Silverman podcast wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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