Journal article

Public conscience of ‘the chosen people’: Sarah Silverman in the Wake of Lenny Bruce

Debra Aarons, Marc Mierowsky

Comedy Studies | Informa UK Limited | Published : 2017


We locate the comedian Sarah Silverman's career trajectory within the rich tradition of Jewish public intellectuals in America, particularly those who have used comedy as their vehicle. We show that Silverman is in many ways the most current inheritor of the mantle of Lenny Bruce, not only in the sharpness of her observations and the unerring pitch of her comedy but also because of her perfect timing in the political zeitgeist. We argue that Silverman's stand-up comedy is not simply a form of social criticism, which is the purpose of all satire–but that like Lenny Bruce's–it takes on the function of political activism. Silverman, however, unlike Bruce, manages to use the comedic voice of a l..

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University of Melbourne Researchers