Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust – Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)

54.49% (6)

Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust title card

Sarah Silverman is the type of comedian who definitely isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Yes, she is/was popular enough to have her own show. However, she isn’t the type of comedian who gets their own movies. Which is fine since she is at her best in supporting roles, see A Million Ways To Die In The West. However, even with that movie in existence, it can be easy to forget, thanks to Masters of Sex and similar roles, she is a filthy comedian. But whether she is filthy and funny, filthy and shocking, or just filthy the way a kid is in middle school in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust, well, more on that below.

Summary

It seems like it has been awhile since Sarah Silverman had a comedy special. However, in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust, she reminds you who she is. She makes it known that while capable of being a dramatic actress, or in some people’s opinion trying to be, she is a comedian at heart. She makes people laugh at funny things. Such as asking if religious people would let god cum in their mouth. Maybe telling a story about how her sister thought she was about to be raped. But, truth is, being her sister was so drunk, she didn’t realize while she was puking she pulled her own panties down. Then defecated in them.

I could go on but I’d give it all away and honestly, it is one thing to read the often disgusting things Silverman says versus hearing them. Especially with her voice which sounds like an elementary school teacher. But, as fans of hers long know, while she may have a voice made for animation, hence Wreck It Ralph, she has the thoughts of a young tween who finds sex and bodily fluids far too amusing.

Highlights

If You Love Sarah, You’ll Love This Special

Sarah in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust talking about being punched in the face.
Sarah in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust talking about being punched in the face.

I won’t say I’m a Sarah Silverman fan. If only because I would not outright and directly pay to see her. If Netflix told me I’d have to pay $3.99 to see this special, I would skip it. However, being that it comes with the package, I watched and mostly enjoyed myself. If only because Sarah takes you back to middle school with her comedy.

Like most female comics who get big, [note]The only exception, offhand, I can think of being Ellen Degeneres – Who will have a special coming out on Netflix[/note] Sarah’s focus is mostly to shock you by grossing you out. I mean, yeah, she does talk about politics and feminism a little bit, but she isn’t that kind of comic. Her real focus is telling you about this camp her dad went to. One which was an escape from the kind of abusive life he had growing up. And if you think that story ended on a touching note, apparently you don’t know Sarah Silverman.

That story ends with her dad becoming a counselor of said camp and trying to figure out, for his campers, what would L/H mean on their form? Of which, he thought it would means loose or hard. As in their bowel movements. So he would check their poop after every defecation. This, in Sarah’s mind, probably drove many to therapy and led them to being told they were likely suppressing memories of being molested.

Sarah Silverman in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust
Sarah Silverman in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust

Criticism

No Cohesive Story

Unlike many comedians, Silverman isn’t so much a storyteller as the type who just tells jokes. Which isn’t to say, to get to her punchline, there isn’t some kind of build. However, there isn’t a real theme to this comedy special. It is basically like a slew of thoughts and musings that were written on notecards and she didn’t bother to think of transitions. She just gets the laugh, pauses, and then moves onto the next joke.

Is That Canned Laughter I Hear?

Sarah in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust reassuring herself
Sarah in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust reassuring herself

Considering how much juvenile humor I enjoy from the likes of Seth Rogen, I’m unsure why Sarah Silverman’s cum, poo, and piss humor didn’t have me gasping for air. But even the stuff not dealing with bodily fluids, like her fascination with squirrels, just didn’t feel like a gut punch. But what made things odd is that the laughter sounded consistent after some of her jokes. Like someone was replaying it over and over. Then, to make things just a bit odder, unlike in the illustrious Leather Special, you don’t get but one or two shots of the audience. Making you truly wonder if the laughter was authentic or not.

On The Fence

Put a Pin In It

Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust
The line you will hear many times in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust

Sarah Silverman doesn’t do transitions and, on top of that, arguably her comedy has multiple tangents. For example, she’ll start many a story then, when triggered by a word or phrase, will jump into something else. So while, if you’ve seen any comedy documentary, you know it was likely planned, if you haven’t, you’d think she was winging it. And while often when she puts a pin on a story, it leads to something funny, it makes the stop and go of her special worse. Sort of like being in a car with someone who has no idea how to drive a stick shift.

Audience Participation

Sarah thanking an audience member's participation in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust
Sarah thanking an audience member’s participation in Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust

There aren’t any hecklers in the special. However, Sarah seems to rely on her audience more than many comedians do for some of her jokes. One gentleman, in particular, seems to be like her go to guy for approval. He makes a noise or gesture, she mentions it. In fact, he becomes such a part of the special that she notes that they have to get a shot of him. Hell, she even comes up with a signal since she knows she is probably referring to him a bit too much.

Explaining Jokes

Being that Sarah is the rare veteran female comic, you have to give her props. Problem is, at times, she decides to break down how to tell jokes and explains one or two she told. Which, in some ways, is kind of cool if you are into comedy. However, it also adds to the reasons why someone may not enjoy this. For, in essence, once you explain most jokes, or if you have to, they are not funny. Plus, with her sort of sputtering style of driving this special to the finish line, her explaining jokes adds another speed bump.

Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)

Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust
Not for me, but I’m sure others may say so.

Admittedly, I didn’t laugh much. I was tickled by her humor, but rarely to the point of making an actual laughing noise. At most, that I laughed 3 times. Yet, I wouldn’t say this was a horrible performance. It is just, as much as Sarah Silverman is like many a comic today, and can sometimes seem interchangeable, she really isn’t. Sarah’s style, to me, isn’t heavily focused on storytelling. Sarah is a class clown type of comedian. She hits you with a joke, pauses, then hits you with another random musing or story. All of which don’t seem the least bit connected, but does leave you with that odd smile. That sort of “What in the hell is wrong with this person?” kind of smile.

Hence the mixed label. For while this special, like most of the ones that have come from Netflix, thus far, doesn’t give the vibe of longevity, it is decent enough for one sitting. However, I can’t imagine this being the special which makes people on the fence like her or those who hate her change their minds. If you weren’t already a fan, I’d say stay away for this would reinforce your beliefs.

How Would You Rate This?

Negative Mixed Positive

3 COMMENTS

  1. Has to be canned laughter, especially during the edits. People were laughing throughout the jokes as she’s telling them. Not as bad as leather special though, I think I laughed twice

  2. I just turned on the special. 1 minute in and I’m googling to see if it’s a laugh track. It has to be. Instantly turned me off.

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