On September 15 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Sarah was the focus of a special “In Conversations With” program. An extensive onstage interview spanning her career was followed by a period of questioning from the audience. Almost none of the content was new to Sarah fans. Below, we’ve outlined the topics Sarah addressed, and included the few quotes that might be of fan interest. We have a complete transcript of the interview posted here.
-Sarah’s role in Take This Waltz
-Reaction to people being surprised when she takes a dramatic role
-About Masters of Sex
-People’s silly reaction when she took Wreck-It Ralph role
-I Smile Back summary and origin
Amy Koppleman, who wrote the book, was driving on the West Side Highway and heard me on Howard Stern talking about my experience with depression, because I was promoting my book, and she connected with it. And, as she says, and here’s her voice [a childlike voice:] I felt like her heart could understand my heart. That’s exactly how she sounds. She’s a brilliant Harvard educated genius with the voice of Edith Bunker.
It didn’t occur to me that the movie would get made. Most movies don’t get made! And so it was very easy for me to go, ‘Sure, yeah, I’ll– Thanks, I’ll be in that. You can attach me to that.’ And then a couple years later, I got an e-mail saying, ‘We’re making the movie.’ And I remember I ‘replied all’ and wrote, ‘YAY!’ And then I was standing in my bathroom and I just kind of found myself suddenly in a ball on my bathmat of my bathroom going, ‘What have I done?’ And then I was terrified and trembling and shaking and in a full panic attack, thinking, ‘I can’t do this.’ And then I had this kind of epiphany that ‘This is the state that Laney exists in. And I know I can do it because I’m doing it right now.’
-Explaining what her JASH channel is
I said to Michael, ‘How can I be forty-four and I talk like this? Impossible!’ And then I remember asking him, ‘Are we going to grow old together?’ and he went, ‘We are old together.’
-Proud of The Sarah Silverman Program
-About comedians who criticize college audiences
She says what she said in the Vanity Fair TIFF interview which took place before September 15.
-Recalling her time on Mr. Show
That girl, Tracy Katsky the smoking hippy girl, who said, ‘You can move into my roommates room,’ was one of the early producers of the live show of Mr. Show. She was the kid who got everything together for their live shows. I knew Bob and David through comedy. David Cross was a Boston comic. Bob I had met briefly. But I really got to know them through her. And we were also roommates with Mary Lynn Rajskub, who lived on our living room floor. We lived together for almost four years, the three of us, and she was on Mr. Show. And we were kind of a group of comedians– Let’s see, Jay Johnston and Paul F. Tompkins were a comedy team, and they wrote for the show. Scott Aukerman and B.J. Porter were a comedy team and they wrote for the show, and I knew Scott Aukerman from Comedy Bang Bang. Brian Posehn wrote for the show and was on the show. Karen Kilgariff– We were a gang that all hung out– Jack Black– I remember when he was dating Kathy Griffin. And he started doing Tenacious D. with Kyle Gass. It was all kind of the same community. We’d hang out at this bar that was pretty much just open for us, where the bartender was married to a woman who ended up being one of the head writer of many comedy shows from then on. It was like a real time, that started what became ‘alternative comedy’– David and Bob and Janeane Garofalo, a lot of offshoot from The Ben Stiller Show. So getting to be a part of Mr. Show was a huge for me. It was so exciting, so fun, and it felt like we were part of a moment in time, and we were. I say we, but it was them, and I got to tag along.
-Feelings about The Howard Stern Show
SS: There’s so much humanity to Howard Stern Show. If you are only a casual listener, you might not get the sense of family it has. There are things that Howard might say I don’t agree with, but I love– you know his soul. As a superfan, to get to be someone who’s on the show is like crazy, and so exciting. To have loved him before everyone loved him, when it was a conceit that he’s the greatest interviewer and stuff is cool. And it’s also how I got this part in I Smile Back because Amy Koppelman was driving on the West Side Highway and heard me on the Howard Stern Show. So it’s been great luck for me. It is also– it’s very exciting when you get to see somebody change. And I think when you listen to Howard from the eighties and nineties and you listen to him now, you really see the difference. This is a man who has gone through enormous growth, and because of it has taken a lot of listeners who would otherwise not be as open minded and open to change and has probably been responsible for the growth of a lot of people who were angry, closed-minded people, like he was at the very beginning, and blossomed because of his ability to change through therapy and time and happiness. It’s neat to witness that and to know all these people– this family of people who have been together forever: Robin and Gary and Fred and the whole universe of Howard Stern. Who is my favorite wack-packer? Um. I love Wendy the Slow Adult, and I’m glad that they changed her name, because it didn’t go well with the times, it was upsetting. And I love– who’s the guy who says, ‘it is’ at the end of everything– Bigfoot, I like. And I have a weird fascination with Tan Mom. He gives the same attention in an interview to someone like Barbara Walters or Paul McCartney as he does to Tan Mom, the woman only famous for heinously tanning her six year old daughter. And I’ve actually found a way to love her in an odd way. And I like that he calls her husband, ‘Tan Dad.’
[15 minutes more of Q&A not yet transcribed]