Sarah Silverman Talks Venturing Into the Political Divide for ‘I Love You, America’ Season 2
These are politically turbulent times but Sarah Silverman is ready to try and make sense of it all. The great comedian’s weekly Hulu series, “I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman” returns for a second season in which she sits down with people from both sides of the spectrum. Infused with Silverman’s wit and lively humor, the series has a talk show meets stand up format, but focused on the social and cultural issues dominating discourse in the country.
Going on nearly two years of Donald Trump in office, Silverman this season tackles some of the most incendiary topics around. Gun rights, abortion, racism, are all issues Silverman takes head on, always with a grin. The inaugural season in 2017 featured guests such as feminist author Roxane Gay, former neo-Nazi Christian Picciolini and a stay inside a Doomsday bunker. For this second outing, Silverman kicks things off with a visit to a Pro-Life group and a sit down with Super Bowl champions and social activists Doug Baldwin and Malcolm Jenkins. It’s a funny but insightful half hour in which Silverman finds herself attempting to rationalize conservative stances regarding abortion, and even partaking in lying down with the group amid chalk lines symbolizing the “murder” of infants. Later in the season Silverman will have other notable guests such as Bernie Sanders.
Silverman spoke with Entertainment Voice about the new season of “I Love You, America.”
“We did pre-tape some of the guests, but most of the guests are live,” said Silverman. “We shoot Wednesdays. We post it Thursday, or it airs? I don’t know, does that sound better?” Silverman was quite impressed by the guests she sat down with for this season. “Malcolm Jenkins and Doug Baldwin were amazing. I interviewed Bernie Sanders. You know, I’m a Bernie guy. This interview is not just interesting, he’s also very loose. It was very personal. He’s never very guarded, because he doesn’t lie, so he doesn’t have to worry about what he’s saying. I thought he was phenomenal. It was really special.”
Silverman also sat down with New Jersey senator Cory Brooker, who has been grabbing headlines as of late, and had a comfortable but frank experience. “We’re friendly and I was able to call him on things, to address the fact that not all of your fellow Democrats love you and why is that and let’s figure this out. I love him, I think he’s amazing, but too amazing for some people. It’s like Jimmy Fallon where some people think he’s a fraud but no, that’s him, he’s just beyond a doll. He’s the real deal. We mounted cameras in his car and he drove and it was just us. It was cool and it was just us, driving through Newark.” Discovering Newark, New Jersey with Brooker was a particularly memorable experience for Silverman. “Seeing Newark through his eyes is so beautiful and touching.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Silverman also sits down with right-wing, conservative groups and figures. In the season premiere she has a unique time with a Pro-Life group. “I spent a day with an anti-choice or pro-life group called ‘Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust,’ and uh, that was very interesting. We left not changing anyone’s minds obviously. Besides the fact that to compare the extermination of a people to a woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy is, like, bananas, it’s also the syntax, like he [the guest] wants an ‘abortion holocaust,’ and that would be the end of abortion…but anyway, not to shit on them, we had a very nice time.”
“No matter how different the people are, whether it’s a Republican family of frackers, ranchers, people in the oil business in Wyoming, in my opinion they need to see things a certain way in order to accept what they do in their lives. But I like people, I’m a people person,” said Silverman. Now immersed socio-comedic commentary, Silverman still would never get into actual politics. “It doesn’t sound that fun.” Her own independence of spirit was formed early as a teen, when her father made her switch high schools and go to a prep school. “I learned critical thinking there, and it was the greatest gift you could ever have.”
When it comes to the challenges of mounting a production like “I Love You, America,” Silverman said, “it’s really all consuming, which I enjoy because it keeps me from thinking about my own personal life. I really love being completely consumed by it. It will be six months from beginning to end, from starting to write to shooting stuff for the last episode. It’s all I think about. Until I take my puff before bed and watch a ‘Law & Order’ to fall asleep my mind is completely thinking about this show. I love it. It’s more than just a show to me, it’s like a science project with really dumb jokes, which is my favorite combination.”
For Silverman peace of mind does indeed come in the form of “Law & Order” binging. “It’s like comfort food. Some people like late night TV but comedy can be stressful for me because it’s my business. To me falling asleep to the gentle sounds of very familiar, softcore murder is just the ticket.”
“I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman” season two premieres Sept. 6 on Hulu with new episodes airing every Thursday.