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cover: Silverman, Sarah: Jesus is Magic

Silverman, Sarah: Jesus is Magic

Director(s): Liam Lynch

Theatrical Release: 2005

Cast: Sarah Silverman, Brian Posehn, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Silverman

Genre(s): Comedy, stand-up comedy, Dean's List

Countries: USA

Location in store: Documentary > Stand-Up Comedy

(1 / 1)
Ant Rating
Running Time: 72m.

Comedian Sarah Silverman cheerfully ignores any and all taboos in this performance film based on her hit off-Broadway show. Combining stand-up material with comedy sketches and musical numbers, Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic is dominated by Silverman's typically edgy monologues, including bits on racism, September 11, family dysfunction, drug abuse, rape, the Holocaust and plenty of other unlikely sources of comedy guaranteed to make viewers squirm while they laugh. Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic had its American premier at the 2005 South by Southwest Film Festival. -- Mark Deming (

Sarah Silverman is a comedienne who doesn't just court controversy, she positively wallows in it. Memorably putting in a brief yet discomforting and highly memorable appearance in THE ARISTOCRATS, Silverman offers viewers the chance to witness her stand-up act with JESUS IS MAGIC. The show itself was taped in 2004, and is interjected with off-set skits, songs, and general goofing around from Silverman and her friends in the comedy world. As soon as Silverman takes to the stage, sacred cows come tumbling down, and continue to do so throughout the set. Race, sex, class, 9/11, rape, the Holocaust--no topic is considered untouchable for the seemingly fearless Silverman. Amazingly, she also manages to come across as likeable and even prone to bouts of insecurity ("I just want you to think I'm thin," she pleads at one point), which undoubtedly makes some of the stronger material much easier to swallow.

Director Liam Lynch, who has worked with Tenacious D, and made a memorable foray into the music industry with his song "United States of Whatever," keeps the visual trickery to a minimum, simply shooting Silverman with a basic crew and including a few swooping shots over the heads of the audience. The skits peppered throughout bring cult TV shows such as KIDS IN THE HALL and MR. SHOW to mind (Bob Odenkirk from the latter makes a brief appearance), and nicely break up the stand-up routine. Silverman never explains her humor or feels the need to put in a disclaimer to make everything seem okay, which is a device that not only makes some of the laughter a guilt-edged pleasure, it also forces the audience to think about many of the issues she is tackling, making Silverman's act enjoyable, unique, and deliciously funny. (