Skip to comments.Interview: Sandra Bernhard (Ultra barf alert)
Posted on 01/09/2012 11:24:59 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
At 56 years of age, Sandra Bernhard hasnt become any less outspoken. If anything, shes become more so. Two years ago, the comedian and singer made headlines after allegedly suggesting that if Sarah Palin were to visit New York City, she may find herself getting gang-raped by some of my big black brothers. This is particularly true in her one-woman shows, the latest of which, I Love Being Me, Dont You?, a mix of comedy, music, and dance, shell be performing at the Painted Bride starting today through Saturday. She spoke with The A.V. Club about politics, Playboy, and feminism.
The A.V. Club: Are you disappointed by how things have turned since 08?
Sandra Bernhard: I think people in this country are incredibly selfish, spoiled, self-indulgent, short-sighted. And that goes to the right and the left. I think that Obama has done a lot of great things. He got two major liberal women on the Supreme Court, which is a miracle. [If John McCain and Sarah Palin won] Roe v. Wade wouldve been overturned by now. Theres all kinds of things that couldve happened had it gone the other direction. I dont think Obama is the most accessible person. Hes not Bill Clinton. Hes not fun. Hes not frothy. Hes not so geared towards keeping Americans happy in that sort of McDonalds, big-meal way that weve all gotten used to in the past 50 years. But I think hes a smart guy, and I think hes doing the best he can.
AVC: In 2008, you were criticized for remarks you made regarding Sarah Palin, that if she came to Manhattan, she would be gang-raped by some of my big black brothers.
SB: Oh, Jesus Christ, thats not what I said. Its such bullsh*t.
AVC: Can you clarify what you said?
SB: I was commenting on all these extreme, Tea Party, right-wing people coming into New York and trying to strut their stuff. It was the same thing I talked about with Laura Bush and the twins, when theyd come in to see theater and go see Oscar De La Renta. You cant have it both ways. Either youre with us, or youre against usand youre against us, so stay the f**k out of here. That was the gist of what I was saying then, and it was the gist of what I was saying about Sarah Palin. It wasnt like, Youre going to come into New York, and black men are going to rape you. I do stand-up. Its stream-of-consciousness. So I would never try to defend or explain what I do.
AVC: What do you think of Palin today?
SB: Shes a total narcissist, and shes gotten way too much attention and power from her little sick base. In the meantime, Karl Rove and his band of misanthropes are trying to, like, pull the rug out from underneath her. Let them fight with each other and snipe with each other. Theyre all so disgusting.
AVC: She describes herself as a feminist.
SB: That is the biggest joke on the face of the earth. She always exploits what seems to be the right thing for her, whether its feminism or grizzly bears. Shes a crackpot. She doesnt know what the hell shes talking about.
AVC: Youve described yourself as a post-feminist.
SB: What Ive always said is I am a product of all the hard work of the feminist movement. I was young and just hitting preadolescence when Roe v. Wade [was decided], and Ms. magazine, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and all those people were fighting for our rights. I was very into it, and very influenced by it. So everything that I am is a result of that, my inner strength and resolve and ability to go through a lot of hard situations in the business Im in and the world were living in.
AVC: Some female comics use sex and their sexuality to get aheadlike Sarah Silverman talking about her vagina.
SB: It seems to be endemic to that particular generation of women comedians. Its not my style. I dont really relate to it. It doesnt make me laugh. But, you know, every 10 years a new generation comes along and kind of reflects whats going on. I think shes very reflective of the Internet generation and the off-handed comments that are constantly going on. I dont like the Internet. I dont like being smug and cynical and not communicating with people in a one-on-one human way. I dont find it necessarily to my standards of performing or my standards of relating to people in general, but she speaks to certain people. Im certainly not gonna trash her for it.
AVC: But you posed for Playboy in 1992.
AVC: Youve called it the highlight of your career.
SB: Its all obviously laced with irony. I did it at a time when it was about celebrating my strengths as a woman, and also they allowed me to write the accompanying piece. It was all very, very tasteful, and tongue-in-cheek at the same time. I dont know if you can compare the two things.
AVC: How has being a female comic changed in the 30 years since you startedbeing a woman working in comedy and being out?
SB: I wasnt out 30 years ago. Ive never traded on that in my career. Its never been about me being out. Its always been about walking that fine line of sexuality. That was always my point of viewsexuality is fluid, and ephemeral. It can go back and forth. As it has for me on many occasions. Being a woman has been a much stronger identification than anything in my career. There is my womanhood. There is my sexuality, but not in a declarative manner. Theres being Jewish. Theres being part of different evolutions in our culture. Its styles that have influenced me from early 60s television to cabaret to burlesque to rock n roll. Everything has informed my work. Its hardly one thing.
AVC: What do you think of the Botox and fillers trends?
SB: It depends on how far you go with it. I get some Botox and filler, but I do it in very, very small doses and very judiciously. I dont look any different than I did 10 years ago, but its not because of that. You cant really turn back the hands of time, but I think if youre tasteful about the way you take care of yourself, theres nothing wrong with it.
AVC: What do you think of Madonnas face these days?
SB: Its kind of hard to tell because its always so blown-out and Photoshopped. I dont know what is underneath all of it.
AVC: You come across as pretty fearless.
SB: We all have our moments in the day and in life where we feel vulnerable. Of course, I feel strong and fearless. I worked hard at perfecting who I am as a performer and an artist and a public figure. And were doing an interview, so Im very to the point. Im not going to waste your time, and Im not going to sit here, and be all like, [affects whiney tone], I dont know. You dont want to hear it, and it doesnt make for a good interview.
She’s uglier on the inside than the outside.
My comment is that she engaged in a Michael Richards-level racist tirade, but she was given a free pass by the “community” because her racist statements were in service of a sick joke directed at someone they don’t like.
When she made the Rape comment I e-mailed Reese Hopkins when he was WRKO and told him that she was going to be the keynote speaker at an event for Rosie’s Place. The most notable Women’s Shelter in Boston. One phone call and she was cancelled before the end of the show.
Calling her a pig is an insult to swine.
As we used to say - “If I had a face like that I’d shave my butt and walk backwards.”
I hesitated to click on this thread for fear of finding a picture of the snag. All I want is the comments...
There are SOME things I think even Laz wouldn't consider hitting...
No, it would not.
Another brain-dead liberal who thinks conservatives "are out to get me."
Is that her face or did her neck throw up?
A perfect example of how profoundly stupid these people are is she says that if Mccain-Palin has won then Roe-Wade would have been overturned by now. This woman is too stupid to understand that we had 20 out of 28 years of republic presidents from 1980-2008 and Roe-Wade never came close to being overturned. This woman is obviously lower than filth and her trying to explain away the Sarah Palin rape comment was laughable and disgraceful.