Folks, trust me on this one, today will probably be the one time I'm ever going to be quoted in the "STYLE" section of the Sunday New York Times.
A well-respected reporter asked me to comment on comic/writer Sarah Silverman's sense of smartest-adolescent-in-the-room appeal might need to change given that, with Silverman turning forty soon, she'll be heading towards the estrogen horizon.
It was Thursday morning when the reporter's email showed up in my in-box. I was grading finals and working at home, awake since dawn and on my 56th cup of coffee, and I responded to Judith Newman's enormously polite email within nanoseconds.
"YOU WANT ME TO TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT SILVERMAN GOT OVER TWO MILLION DOLLARS TO WRITE HER BOOK?" I yelled into the phone.
Ms. Newman, a woman with an impressive sense of humor and even greater sense of perspective, talked me down from the ledge and explained that she wanted to discuss the ways in which female comics deal with their sexual attractiveness, their feminine identities, and about the gender-specific nature of construction of the "comic persona" overall.
I stopped talking about money and we started talking about how undeniably adorable Silverman is (not that I'm bitter) and how her childlike, tomboyish charm permits her a kind of shock-quality that successul female comics have always used--if not quite in the same way as Silverman. After all, nobody could have made the "I'm *******Matt Damon" video. And I think she's going to get better as she gets older.