Sarah Silverman Works Miracles on HBO

'Someday I'll drop dead, but I'll always be a standup,' says the veteran comic, whose latest HBO special premieres tomorrow

Sarah Silverman
Janet Van Ham
Sarah Silverman
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Sarah Silverman returns to HBO tomorrow night with her latest stand-up special, We Are Miracles. In it, the veteran comic touches on a variety of hot button topics including pornography, raising children and body issues. At this point, you probably know her game: subtly political and often politically incorrect, with a delivery that suggests she's mostly innocent. And Miracles, filmed live in Los Angeles in front of just 39 people, is way more of just that. Rolling Stone spoke to Silverman about hand-job jokes and why stand-up will always be her bread and butter.

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We Are Miracles covers a lot of ground, but you start by discussing your phone porn habits. Is phone porn one of the more riskier ways of consuming porn?
Um, why?

What if you accidentally post what you're doing to social media?
Uh. . . you'd have to accidentally go through several steps to do that. [Laughs]

A lot of people are consuming porn on their phones, particularly soldiers. Did you know that?
No! It's on their phones?

Yeah. It's the easiest way to get it into countries that frown upon these things.
Oh, so it's like videos they have?

I guess. Or it's stuff they've previously searched and saved.
Oh. Well I'm sure there's porn over there. It's just not for the people – it's for the entitled people that feel that rules don't apply to them. We have a lot of them in this country.

Entitlement porn.
Yeah. [Laughs] There are a lot of people who are outwardly against abortion rights, but a lot of them have paid extra for some secret mistress and daughter abortions.

You also discuss how increasingly paranoid women have become over their bodies. Do you find yourself living in that state of mind?
I dip into that, but I catch myself being negative about my body. I say "I'm strong and my body works," and that's that. Listen, it's not totally in womens' heads. We live in a society where women are either too thin or too fat or too wrinkly or too Botoxed. It's just this constant encouragement to crawl under a rock unless you are 19 and in perfect shape, and eventually women are gonna have to call bullshit, because they're just. . . they're not living quality lives. I say in the special, "You didn't see Mother Theresa complaining about her size. She had other things to do." Women have to take responsibility for that. Especially when they have kids. Kids see you treating yourself like shit and torturing yourself over a fucking wrinkle. It's really stupid, and it's not something you're gonna be on your deathbed glad you were spending time on.

Speaking of kids, do you have baby fever?
I do in that I'm crazy for babies. My friends make fun of me because we'll be talking in a restaurant, and they'll notice that I'm completely not listening because I'm staring at a baby at another table. But I still don't feel ready.

No?
I know I'm beyond baby-making age, but I just don't feel ready. I want to have a baby when I . . . when it's all I want, when that's what I want to do with my life. I'll always want to do standup, but I need to be free right now. I figure I'll adopt when I'm, like, young grandma age. Young, strong, capable grandma age.

Would you be the cool mom?
No, I'd just want to give my child the love and security and unconditional support that makes them independent and free thinkers. I don't know. 

That's good.
Pulled that one out of my ass, ya know?

But it came from a good place. How long do you think you can do this? Do you envision a 60-year-old Sarah still making hand-job jokes?
If you look at Joan Rivers, she just turned 80 and she's the funniest she's ever been. She's so hardcore, it's unbelievable what she gets away with. It's a whole new level of comedy. And she's a total inspiration in that way. I want to be and look my age and continue to grow and be powerful and have something to say. Someday I'll just drop dead, but I'll always be a standup. I love it, and it's also my bread and butter. I'm no dummy – that's the only thing in my life I have any kind of control over, is that I can do standup and I can go on the road and I can support myself. I don't make money making videos for the Internet. That's just a pure love of the game. And I don't make money in movies; I have no power in that genre. So stand-up is the only thing in my life that I have actual control over. I keep a very low overhead, so it doesn't take too much. I own my apartment and I've had my Saab for 10 years. I'm not wanting for much. My shit's paid for and I'm free.

It's good to not have to rely on cat food commercials.
Yeah. Not that I'm against commercials. I'd love to get a fucking sweet hair commercial. I have really good hair, what the fuck?

The hair is pretty good – I've noticed that. 
And people like Amy Poehler and Julie Louis-Dreyfus, whenever they do commercials, they're funny.

You're set to be in a new HBO show called People in New Jersey. Is this happening?
I have no idea. It will either get picked up or it won't, and I have no idea if I'll be living in New York or L.A. come January or February. 

Would you ever pitch another show of your own?
Yes, if there was something I was excited about. But I don't think I'm meant for network television.