Sarah had a guest role (as herself) on tonight’s episode (S1:Ep6) of the Pete Holmes TV series, Crashing (Sundays, 10:30, HBO). Here’s how AV Club recapped the episode (spoilers included, of course, so if you haven’t seen the episode yet, delay reading this).
Crashing is really firing on all cylinders lately. The first couple episodes were enjoyable enough, but starting with “Yard Sale,” Pete has had an excellent arc of growth. He has been kicked out of the nest by his mother figures—Jess by ending their marriage and his actual mother by telling him to get more real with his comedy.
Basically homeless now, Pete is apparently the luckiest comedian in the whole world, as he calls up Artie Lange and gets invited on Artie’s podcast, where he meets Sarah Silverman and ends up getting an invite to crash on her couch.
Silverman then becomes his new mom figure, though apparently that’s kind of how she rolls. Holmes told me in an interview prior to the Crashing premiere that Silverman is definitely not exaggerated for comedic effect. She is apparently very nurturing, always concerned about your “plan” and things like health insurance—which is so cute and kind of how I always imagined Sarah Silverman might actually be.
But she takes in Pete, adding him to her stable of other down-on-their-luck comedians, and manages to find him the best career move he could possibly find at this point in his life: Warm-up comedian.
I don’t know how much experience you have with warm-up comedians, dear readers, but I have encountered several different ones and this is the 100 percent perfect job for Pete right now.
Being a warm-up comedian is a tough job. It may seem easy—birthdays! dance-offs!—and sure, just about anybody who can get up in front of a crowd can do it. But it takes a special kind of person to do it well. There’s nothing worse and more condescending than a warm-up comedian who obviously hates his job and treats the audience members accordingly. It’s like, we’re just trying to enjoy a show here. We don’t need your disdain, warm-up comedian.
Also, a good one finds ways to connect with the audience past the cliched things like “who has a birthday today?”
Pete is so sincere, just in general. He’s such a sweet guy, the kind of guy who can do warm-ups for Rachael Ray and genuinely want the audience to be having a great time at the taping. His brand of clean, observational humor is perfect for this situation, as evidenced by when he grabs the mic after “scary uncle guy” bails and immediately puts everyone at ease.
Now, that doesn’t make his mom any less right—Pete could dig a little deeper into his emotions and real-life experiences to make his stand-up routine richer and more personal. But that’s not a process that happens over night and in the meantime, he needs to earn money somehow and stop being a homeless couch-crasher.
Warm-up comedian suits him to a tee and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy for him when he, Silverman and the two other houseguests were celebrating his win.
- “If you love dry-humping, you’ll be happy to know that it’s very big in the Christian community. Well into your late 20s.” Oh, dry-humping. Tee hee.
- “I’m not gonna fuck you! I’m excited you have that much moxie, maybe you can get your shit together after all. Jesus Christ.”
Silverman is the best. It’s also hilarious that Pete immediately thought she wanted to have sex with him, because it’s not an assumption in that dude-bro, “every girl wants to get with me” kind of way.
- “Death creeps in through the gums.”
I shall now pretend Sarah Silverman and Sam Seaborn have a secret tooth care appreciation club. “Your teeth are the best friends you got. You take care of them, they’ll take care of you.”
- Pete smoking pot for the first time was pretty great. “What do I do?”
- I hope the warm-up comedian gig isn’t a one-off success for Pete. I certainly don’t expect it to be is job for the rest of the season and into the next, but it’d be nice to see him do it for a while as a means to support himself and concentrate on his stand-up. It would seem a little too sitcom-y if he immediately loses his job and is back to square one.