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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.82%
Worth A Look41.82%
Average: 16.36%
Pretty Bad: 1.82%
Total Crap: 18.18%

6 reviews, 19 user ratings

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Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Chris Parry

"When God gives you AIDS… make lemonaids!"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2005 SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST FILM FESTIVAL: In a year that looks like it’ll be remembered as the time when the comedians took back the right to say whatever nasty words they wanna, surely no film will emerge that is as raw, unapologetic, and designed to offend as Sarah Silverman’s new concert film, Jesus Is Magic. Considered infamous for having uttered the word ‘chink’ on network TV, Silverman could have done what every other comedian immersed in controversy does when the hit fits the shan – make excuses and apologies. But Silverman is cut from different cloth to most, and so her film goes the other way entirely, diving vagina-first into obscenity, ethnic jokes, and basically anything that could possibly cause a Sean Hannity or Pat Robertson to have a stroke. God bless her.

You’ve all seen the live concert film formula before and, at least technically, Jesus Is Magic doesn’t break much with the usual HBO tradition. There’s a couple of set pieces bookending about seventy minutes of stand-up, filmed over two nights to make it all appear decidedly slick. Where this film varies from the others you might have seen before is that it’s as raw as an Osaka buffet.

Much like its SXSW Silverman-featuring stablemate, The Aristocrats, Jesus Is Magic is designed to freak out the weak. The jokes run the gamut of everything from exhuming a dead grandmother to check if she was raped, to how the nazis are complete assholes, “but they’re cute when they’re little.” There’s incest jokes, rape jokes, black jokes, midget jokes, Jew jokes, Catholic jokes, and yes, there’s even a healthy dose of ‘chink jokes’. Sounds disgusting? Well, it is. But there’s a method to Silverman’s badness.

She’ll call herself a racist and make no bones about it, but while she’s doing so, she’s making the biggest jokes at her own expense. Like any great comedian, she realizes that the punchline isn’t the point, but rather how you get there. The hidden meaning behind each low blow tells a much more important story than the sting of a line like, “the best time to get pregnant is when you’re a black teenager,” or a routine like this: “I dated a guy who was half-black, but he dumped me because I’m such a loser… Wow, I shouldn’t say things like that, I’m such a pessimist… he was actually half-white.” Sure, you could point a gnarled finger at Silverman and say she shouldn’t say such things about ethnic groups, but you’d be missing the point that she cares more about freedom of speech than she does restricting nasty speech. If a Jew makes an Asian joke, then a Jew joke, then a black joke, then another Jew joke, is it racism or just a hefty helping of sharing around the ridicule? Should Silverman not work blue and instead make observations about parking in New York City, or should she say “fuck you and your rules about what I can and can not say… I had sex with your grandma, and she took it in the pooper.”

Personally, I go with the latter, and if overheard conversations after the show are anything to go by, the audience reaction to this flick could elevate Silverman’s public profile to that of a modern day Richard Pryor. I won’t tell you that Jesus is Magic doesn’t have its slow moments, or even some gags that hit the floor with a thud, and some of the musical interludes are a little yawnworthy, but the guts of this flick hits you hard and often, right in the swingers. Silverman’s comedic timing is impeccable, her acting ability only adds to her hilarity, and it doesn’t hurt that she’s hawt.

Even if the only place Jesus Is Magic ever shows up is on HBO, it’s worth your time to check the flick out. But if someone in a position of power actually grows a set of testicles and opts to show this film in theaters, and chooses to deal with the ensuing flack that will come from the nervous ninnies and security moms by standing tall and saying “fuck you if you can’t take a joke,” I hereby command you to reward that brave organization with your ten dollars. Silverman is putting it all on the line to fight for her right to be a female Andrew Dice Clay if she so chooses. The least we can do is go to the middle rail for her in return.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/13/05 20:26:46
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. For more in the 2005 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2005 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/10/13 Matthew Thompson Dalldorf Sarah is clever and funny. What's everyone's problem? 4 stars
4/27/12 Jesus Thanks for the good word, but Sarah, you are smug and unfunny. Now apologize. 1 stars
1/01/11 Josie Cotton is a goddess The stand-up is great, but the skits get in the way. Still well worth watching 4 stars
8/11/09 qblgirl the best comedy is well researched and at times meaningful...hers is just sad 2 stars
7/04/09 Moon cow Silverman is hot 5 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White hard sitting thru stupid stuff 1 stars
7/26/07 Wayne Reses I was drinking milk and it was coming out of my nose 5 stars
3/24/07 chris. should have just been her standup, and longer! i'm a guy and not "crushing on" her, fuckwad 4 stars
2/21/07 johnnyfog I wanna fuck her. But she's just too offensive to be funny. 3 stars
9/15/06 josie the catty puss Boys laugh at SS b/c they're crushing on her. "Brassy & sassy"? Maybe. Funny? Nope! 1 stars
7/12/06 Indrid Cold I'm afraid I have now been added to the legion of guys who are in love with Sarah. 4 stars
6/20/06 Monday Morning I was ready to love it, but it was very underwhealming. Song segments are awful. 3 stars
1/20/06 Ole Man Bourbon Amusing. SS has a very weird self-image apparently. 4 stars
11/30/05 joey squids best holocost jokes i ever heard.... 5 stars
11/29/05 Rich B. Laughed so effing hard.. but i'm jewish.. 5 stars
11/18/05 Jabber Ugly, unfunny cunt. 1 stars
10/12/05 Wayne Reses awesome - and I'm 100 percent jewish 5 stars
3/24/05 Donald fabulous. Couldn't stop laughing 5 stars
3/14/05 pooper Sometimes hysterical, but also a little slow in parts. 3 stars
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  11-Nov-2005 (NR)
  DVD: 06-Jun-2006



Directed by
  Liam Lynch

Written by
  Sarah Silverman

  Sarah Silverman

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