Liam Lynch’s ‘Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic’ (2005)

16Mar07

A comedy special trying to disguise itself as a film, Jesus Is Magic showcases the unique humor of comedienne Sarah Silverman, former SNL writer/performer.

“Nazis are A-holes. And I’ll be the first to say it because I’m edgy.”

“The best time to have a baby is when you’re a black teenager.”

“I don’t care if you think I’m racist. I just want you to think I’m thin.”

“Please let them find semen in my dead grandmother’s vagina!”

“Guess what, Martin Luther King? I had a fuckin’ dream too.”

The majority of the film is Silverman doing live stand-up and these segments of the film really work. The film is framed by a weak story that Silverman feels intimidated by friends’ recent success so she lies that she has written a show that will be performed that evening. She then decides to write a show and perform it herself. The stand-up is interrupted by music video-like segments featuring comedic songs that Silverman co-wrote with director Liam Lynch (of “My United States of Whatever” fame). The songs are fine and Silverman has the musical chops to perform them, but they don’t have the same bite as the stand-up. The most successful musical bits are a punk-rock coda to a song about old people dying soon, a televangelist bit during a song about porn, and her encore performance of “Amazing Grace” in which her vagina and ass harmonize with her.

Silverman has been part of several projects over the years, including the short-lived Greg the Bunny, but for her comedy to really work she needs to play herself — or rather the ignorant, well-intentioned asshole version of herself. I’m eager for new episodes of her new TV show, because they’re effing hilarious.

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