With her latest TV venture, Sarah Silverman is doing her part to make America great again by actually talking to real Americans. Hulu announced that it's picked up Silverman's new series I Love You, America, which will reportedly have her exploring the “current political/emotional landscape of the country" by having real conversations with people who, yes, love America. The 10-episode half-hour talk show produced by Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and Funny or Die focuses on Silverman as she attempts to “connect with people who may not agree with her personal opinions through honesty, humor, genuine interest in others, and not taking herself too seriously.” Following the lead of other comedians like Samantha Bee and John Oliver, Silverman is finding a way to mix politics and humor in hopes of finding some truth in this crazy, mixed up political climate.
Throughout her career, the comedian has always been outspoken about her beliefs, unafraid to share her opinions whether you want to hear them or not. Silverman's ability to keep pushing further is what has endeared her to so many but has also cast her as a Hollywood liberal to those others who aren't quite down with her cause. But, if there's one thing she knows, it's that a good joke is the greatest equalizer. That's why she's always framed her political views in humor, specifically humor that makes you feel a little uncomfortable, but also makes the point that we need to treat each other and our opinions with respect.
It's why it's worth looking back at her most political moments, both in her stand-up and in her real life. They'll give us a taste what we're in store for with I Love You, America.
1. That Time She Scolded Her Fellow Bernie Sanders Supporters
"You're being ridiculous." Those were the choice words Silverman had for all those Bernie-or-busters at the Democratic National Convention. "They told us to stretch, so I thought I'd add that," she said as Al Franken looked on in surprise next to her. Silverman would later say her call to unity wasn't planned, but was instead a way to stall while they waited for Paul Simon. It was also her pitch that doing what's right for everyone is the best thing we can do for the nation.
2. That Time She Encouraged You To Get Your Florida Grandparents To The Polls
Specifically, so they'll vote for Barack Obama in 2008. It was all for the "Great Schlep," which encouraged Jews from all over the country to get their tuckuses down to Florida, a crucial swing state, to help convince their bubbes to cast a vote for the first African-American president.
3. That Time She Broke Down Why Nationalism Is Bad
When Silverman sat down with The New Yorker in 2016, she talked about a boyfriend who loved America enough to put up an American flag in front of his house. "I love America, too. I love America," she said. "But not above all things." She even called her sister to ask why she had such a problem with this, and her sister gave her the answer she needed: "Because Jews have a innate fear of nationalism." Silverman joked that that "makes a lot of sense," and that, while nationalism scares her, it does combine her favorite things in comedy: "arrogant ignorance."
4. She Defends Free Speech, Even For Those Who Would Like Her To Shut Up
When she appeared on Real Time With Bill Maher in 2014, Silverman recalled a story of taking women in Texas to get abortions and seeing the Westboro Baptist Church protesting outside. She decided that instead of getting mad, she would try to relate to them with what they had in common: free speech. She was there exercising her right to help people get legal abortions, and they were there able to protest against it. This may not have won them over, but she was able to find some common ground with a "doody joke." Her point was about putting a human face to this political debate. Seeing a real person made it easier for this anti-abortion protestor to understand where others were coming from.
That's what Silverman wants to do with I Love You, America; she wants to find some common ground. Maybe with a little help from a "doody joke."