Sarah Silverman: ‘Liberal Douchiness’ Let Me Get Away With Offensive Jokes

Comedian Sarah Silverman has long been known for making outrageous, offensive jokes in the name of comedy ― even wearing blackface.

Now she admits that being known as a liberal has allowed her to get away with it without suffering much of a career backlash.

Silverman made the admission while appearing on “SmartLess,” a podcast hosted by Jason BatemanSean Hayes and Will Arnett, adding that the free rein she has received represents a form of “liberal douchiness.”

After Hayes asked Silverman why she thinks she has been able to make a career pushing taboos, she explained that her fans see the higher purpose behind her humor.

“I think it’s the intention behind it,” Silverman said, before reflecting on her earlier, darker humor. “I always said the opposite of what I thought, and that was the joke, kind of, but hopefully the truth transcends that I don’t really feel this way.”

That’s not to say there hasn’t been any backlash. Last year, Silverman said she had been dropped from a film after the filmmakers saw a 2007 episode of her Comedy Central series where she wore blackface.

The comedian said, “I’m not that person anymore,” and added, “I understand that it’s never OK.”

Still, Silverman said that being known as a liberal had allowed her freedom to push boundaries that other more conservative comedians might not get.

“That comedy I did, it was like, ‘Oh, it’s OK because you know I don’t mean it,’” she said. “But then it also is kind of like, ‘We’re liberal, so we can say anything. We can say the words that are unsayable. You know I don’t mean it, so I can say it.’”

She added: “There is kind of a liberal douchiness about it in retrospect. It’s a weird balance.”

You can hear the complete interview below. Silverman’s comments about her comedy career begin around the 4:30 mark.