Magic vs. Miracles

Sarah Silverman a la “We Are Miracles”In my post about Cho-Dependent, I stated that Sarah Silverman’s Jesus is Magic set such a high standard for stand-up shows, that even Big S herself might never match it… and sadly her new hour-long HBO special, We Are Miracles, did little to disprove my pessimistic pronouncement.

It would be ridiculous to suggest that Silverman had “mellowed” with age and experience, because she’s still just as sweary and smutty as ever, but she has dropped the arrogantly oblivious persona she adopted in her earlier work, to put her message across in a more straight-forward and heartfelt manner. I can understand why, as an artist, she’d want to break from a character she found constrictive or old-hat, but it does mean that her jokes have lost that extra dimension of comic irony and envelope-pushing absurdity that made Magic such a spine-tingling and brain-melting experience. Don’t get me wrong, she’s still a very funny comedian… it’s just that she used to be more than very funny… she used to be TRANSCENDENT! A while ago I saw a documentary about ageing rock-stars, which noted much the same effect… a softening of the tongue, and dulling of the white-hot creativity they had in their earlier, angrier, experimental years… which is why artists who die young are venerated in ways that those who out-live them seldom are. So it goes, I guess. Sigh…

On a cheerier note, Big S has been doing a lot of press to promote the show, and her interview with Vulture included this inspiring declaration: “Women run comedy. I mean, it’s Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and Chelsea Handler… Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. Women have had to be undeniable in order to come to light, and they have, so there’s a real force now. It’s an undeniable force.” Right on!


About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action.
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