Sarah Silverman's New Sales Pitch? Hilarious Blasphemy

Now That Obama's Been Elected, Comedian Turns Her Wit to Ending World Hunger

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Sarah Silverman's best joke is about the Holocaust. (Punchline: "Because 60 million would have been unforgivable.") Her second-best joke involves licking jelly from a famous-name appendage. ("Oh, my God. I've turned into my mother!") So let's just say Mother Teresa she's not.

But that doesn't mean she doesn't want to help.

Title: Sell the Vatican
Author: Sarah Silverman
stars
Whatever it is she's selling, we're definitely buying. (Ed. note: NSFW, and also not safe if you offend easily.)
A year ago, she wanted to help Barack Obama win Florida, a place heavily populated with elderly Jews who had been targeted with a whisper campaign about Obama's supposedly anti-Israel inclinations. So she produced a video called "The Great Schlep" for a lefty political action committee called the Jewish Council for Education & Research, asking Jews to visit Zadie and Bubbie in Florida to persuade them to be unafraid of Obama even though he is a young black male with a name like a suicide bomber.

The video was funny and transgressive -- a big hooked nose as the icon for Jewry, racial stereotypes about blacks -- in the typical Silverman way. It was also a viral hit. Oh, and Obama took Florida.

So, having helped elect a black president, Silverman is now video-tilting at an even more formidable windmill with a stupid and totally delicious idea.

This time around, there is no client. If this thing's an ad at all, it's for her and Hungry Man director Wayne McClammy, who squeeze eight minutes of funny into a three-minute bag. But whatever it is they're selling, we're definitely buying.

"You know, lately I've noticed a lot of really sad, really long commercials on TV with, like, grossy-sick emaciated people from all over the world, and it turns out they look that way because they don't have food. And I know what you're thinking, 'If you don't like it, Silverman, TiVo past it.' I DID. You still see them -- especially 'cause I have, like, a 48-inch plasma, high-def TV, so, like every devastating image is in, like, brilliant, crisp, vivid, like, it, like they're in my apartment, you know.

"So, 'How do I get these people out of my apartment?' basically. And I think I figured it out, you know. All I have to do is end world hunger. And then I'm like, 'OK, how are you gonna end world hunger?' And then it hit me: Sell the Vatican, feed the world."

The premise is irresistible partly because it's so logical, and partly because it's absurd. Nobody is going to sell the Vatican (which is probably under water on its mortgage anyway, thanks to a lot of non-Catholic bankers who know a thing or two about wretched excess, as the anti-Semitic mouth-breathers have been quick to point out in YouTube comments). But the premise of wealth distribution is certainly a conversation starter at a moment in history when religious conflict, economic extremism, globalism, climate change and aging populations force us to confront our core values again and again.

Sarah Silverman is not the first to raise the question of whether the church is anachronistic and perverse. What's kind of new is bargaining with the Pope over his $500 billion crib.

"Take a big chunk of that money, build a gorgeous condominium for you and all of your friends to live in. All the amenities: swimming pool, tennis court, water slide. And with the money left over, feed the whole fucking world!"

Anybody can have a harebrained, blasphemous idea. But (mocking) God is in the details, like Silverman's unbelievably profane and disrespectful deal-closer: "If you sell the Vatican, and you use that money and you use it to feed every single person on the planet, you will get c-ra-zy pussy. All the pussy."

It's horrible. It's rude. It's hilarious. Furthermore, she's on to something.

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