Sarah Silverman/Lizz Winstead, The Pageant, June 6, 2016

When I heard the news that Sarah Silverman was actually coming to St. Louis, I knew right away I needed tickets: the sooner, the better. I received a pre-sale option and was online immediately. You see, I have had a platonic affair going on with Silverman for as long as I can possibly remember. From her stand-up to her television show, I am a huge fan. Her recent work in Masters of Sex and the 2015 movie I Smile Back have brought out a side of Silverman that I absolutely appreciate, seeing her in such different roles.

I had not paid attention if there was even an opening act. They are usually announced at the last minute anyway, but apparently this opener had been on the books without me knowing. As I sat waiting for Silverman to take the stage, I learned that the one and only Lizz Winstead would be opening! Lizz freaking Winstead, the co-creator of The Daily Show, for starters. Winstead is also an outspoken feminist, especially when it comes to a woman’s right to choose; I applaud her for taking such a stand.

While she did not talk as much about women’s rights as I anticipated, she brought her humor to the stage, delivering a powerhouse performance discussing politics, religion, and family. Some of her humor apparently upset one audience member, as she discussed how Trump would build a uterine wall, keeping those who have had an abortion out of the country. She made the audience squirm a great deal, but for me, I thought it was perfectL Winstead was on fire! She even got a Todd Akin “legitimate rape” jab in there, to the delight of some. Others did not care for it, but—they knew they were coming to see Silverman and Winstead. My questions would be, “What type of comedy were you anticipating?” or, better yet, “Do you have a clue about Silverman or Winstead’s comedy?”

What can you say about Silverman, and where do I start? I fell in love with her comedy many years ago. We first learned of Silverman when she was on Saturday Night Live from 1993 to 1994 (also as a writer). The big event that got me fully hooked was her special 2005, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic. She also had the Sarah Silverman Program from 2007 to 2010, and has won two Prime Time Emmys. Recently, Silverman was nominated for an Oscar in I Smile Back, and gained critical acclaim with her role onMasters of Sex.

Finally, the time arrived for the headliner to take the stage—to thunderous applause. In true Silverman fashion, she opened with a couple of Jewish jokes that, once again, made the crowd nervous. Silverman discussed her upbringing in the Judaism faith, sharing stories left and right. She killed it, and that nervous “should I laugh or not?” feeling left the room. If you have ever watched one of her comedy specials, you know she is not afraid to touch on any issue. There is nothing off limits to her, which I totally appreciate: It’s honest, raw comedy at its best.

Silverman delivered a tale of laser hair removal and a hilarious story about lunch with Kanye West. As the night ended, the subject matter came back to religion. She asked a question regarding religion—specifically, Christianity—in a manner only she can, asking individuals to step forward if they disagree. One man did and immediately I began to feel sorry for him—yet he kind of asked for it, trying to go up against Silverman. Silverman shredded this guy, as did the majority of audience members with their collective sighs and even boos, as this guy was extremely preachy. I am not sure why he even came to the show; he obviously had not seen Silverman: Jesus Is Magic.

You can catch Silverman on the big screen, as she currently stars in Popstar: Never Stop, Never Stopping.She’s also slated for the 2017 film Battle of the Sexes. If you get the chance to see her live, you must do it! I love seeing that her career has hit such a high point, and I think she will continue to climb. | Tracy Fort

Silverman is currently on tour; you can catch updates to her schedule by following her on Facebook or Twitter.

Check out Tracy on her internationally acclaimed radio program, The Tracy Fort Show, online at or via internet radio apps. In addition to live streams, you can listen to podcasts of previous shows. Follow The Tracy Fort Show on Twitter at @TracyFortShow.


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