Sarah Silverman can’t get into too many specifics about her new Hulu series “I Love You, America.” But she will say that she does talk to people who don’t necessarily agree with her. Intentionally.
“All these brilliant shows that, to me, are like appointment television, for me, they’re great,” the 46-year-old comedian and actress told a recent gathering of journalists in Beverly Hills, Calif., “but they really … connect with more like-minded people, and that’s great. They’re brilliant. They’re funny. But I’m hoping to, with this show, connect with un-like-minded people, and networks really went crazy because they haven’t heard anything like that before, and then we sat down and said, ‘OK. Let’s make this show,’ and I went, ‘F…, That’s hard.’ ”
“But what is really important is just that it’s funny,” she continues, “that it’s silly, that it’s aggressively dumb, which is my favorite kind of comedy, and anything smart that’s in there will be served in a big, fat, bready sandwich of super, super dumb, because that’s how I like my comedy. And I don’t like to be told what to think.”
The series, which begins streaming Thursday, Oct. 12, shows Silverman in field pieces and in the studio, talking to people from all walks of life about the issues confronting them today. There will also be a focus group for further discussion and a monologue from Silverman.
One segment planned for the series, which comes from producers Adam McKay, Gavin Purcell, Will Ferrell and Funny or Die, shows Silverman having dinner with a Louisiana family who has never met someone who is Jewish, as she is.
“I can’t help but have preconceived notions. They can’t help but have preconceived notions,” Silverman says. “All I can do is just try to be open and brave and go into the situation. And same for them. And there is no other way to prepare for it but to just, kind of, be open and see what happens.”
The point, says Silverman, is not to advance a political agenda or show that people who don’t agree with her are fools. It’s to set politics to the side, eliminate the fiery rhetoric and demonstrate that we all have more in common than we think.
“I think maybe if I were to say a mission statement of the show in terms of these field pieces is exposing the fact that we are actually the same. We are all the same,” she says. “We may be listening to two different sets of lies right now. We may be getting our facts from very different places in a time where truth has no currency and facts don’t change minds.
“But I think comedy at its best can get people’s porcupine needles to go down,” she continues. “And until that can happen, none of us are open to change.”