Last Friday night, the much-anticipated comedian Sarah Silverman came to perform in Strong Auditorium. The buzz around campus was that of excitement, as Silverman’s reputation is side-splittingly hilarious, with her dry sarcasm and uninhibited humor. Sadly for Friday’s attendees, though, the performance was cut short when Silverman exited off stage and hit play for the audience to watch 75 minutes of her DVD “Jesus is Magic.”
The misunderstanding was neither Silverman’s fault nor that of Campus Activities Board – it was merely a miscommunication with Silverman’s booking and talent agencies.
“Sarah was visibly upset about the whole thing,” Assistant Director of Student Activities Programs Melissia Schmidt said. “She called her manager in Los Angeles trying to figure out what to do.”
Silverman was booed when she returned to the stage after showing around 25 minutes of her movie. She explained to the crowd that she was under the impression that she was to do 15 minutes of stand-up, show her movie, and answer questions. Unfortunately, the crowd was expecting no such thing.
The crowd demanded stand-up at this point, so Silverman improvised with a question and answer period in which she succeeded in making the audience laugh a few times, in spite of their feelings for her at that point.
Freshman Nick Reynolds attended the performance and was quick to comment on the discomfort of the situation. “Even for a performer of her caliber, the tension was noticeably thick in the room, and her distaste with the situation was trumped only by the annoyance of the students who all started quickly firing ‘angry audience’ questions at her for an hour,” Reynolds said.
Best known for her work in stand-up comedy, Silverman has come to establish a name for herself in Hollywood through roles in “School of Rock,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “Frasier,” “School for Scoundrels” and more. She has made a number of cameos in many films and TV shows and is the first in line to contribute to any of Comedy Central’s roasts.
What little stand-up the crowd saw on Friday night was nevertheless an excellent delivery of her usual humor. She described to us just how similar old Jewish women are to young African American men, she gave an appropriate amount of insight into her sex life with boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel, and described showers with her mother at a young age when her mom would get a clean rinsing from the shower head. Instead Silverman simply got the “second tier” water from her mother’s “bushy vagina”.
“I gave her kudos for trying to recover and putting herself out there and doing the best she could under such circumstances,” Schmidt said. “We all made the best of a really awkward situation and I hope people are somewhat satisfied and understand.”