Critique and illustration by: Chris Talbot-Heindl
Brian Lowry’s critique of Sarah Silverman’s comedic style boils down to one incompetent, misogynistic take-away: Lowry believes that a woman should not have an edge to her. In his own opening words, “There’s something simultaneously fascinating and maddening about Sarah Silverman – graced with genuine talent and a well-defined comedic persona on one hand, and a commitment to pushing past the edge in a way that blunts her appeal on the other.” He then further explains her gifts, including in it her looks.
It seems to be Lowry’s opinion that a beautiful woman cannot use vulgarity to drive home a point or for as a comedic tool as it makes her appear “determined to prove she can be as dirty and distasteful as the boys.”
Well, Lowry, I think you should leave critiquing comedy to “the girls.” You are obviously seeking to distinguish yourself in part by proving that you can be just as misogynistic as any common Neanderthal.
You also don’t seem to know much about comedy. “Sarah Silverman has frittered around the edges of breakout success.” Umm…I do believe that she is the most famous female modern comic. She’s had numerous specials, tours, theater runs, and a series on Comedy Central. I don’t know too many comics who can say that, male or female.
Silverman uses what is known in the literary world as “hyperbole,” being that you write for Variety, I’m sure you’ve never heard of it. She also uses the vulgarity in her performances as a tool to show the ludicrousness of the societal standards she pokes fun at. Silverman isn’t being like “the boys” when she pulls out the raunchiness; she’s using explicit language to comically present a woman’s perspective.
She uses full-frontal language about sex, race, sexual orientation, and politics in such a masterful way as to make anyone who disagrees with her feel completely incompetent.
If the problem is that you don’t think comedy should be “dirty or distasteful” then maybe you shouldn’t watch it; because comedy should push to the level of discomfort to get a point across.
I think what is more likely is that you don’t want to see someone with a vagina using that kind of language. To which I say: if you weren’t an antiquated, straight, white, dinosaur, maybe you could learn to enjoy the beautiful, lewd, risqué, rude, and genius creature that is Silverman. But, alas, you are, so maybe you should stick to comedians who keep it G-Rated, who happen to have a [as my smarty friend, John Becker would say, “get ready to clutch those pearls…”] penis – you know, Tim Allen, or something.
I think your article should be retitled, “Brian Lowry’s Bad Career Move: Dribbling His Male Chauvinism on Variety.” Oops, you got a little on your shirt.