I score the loading-zone space directly in front of the theater (a thousand chocolate frosted thank yous to the ignorant masses who know not the secret rules of L.A. loading zones). I saunter to the end of the already dense line and take my place among the slackers and the seniors (easily a 50-50 mix) for the opening night of Sarah Silverman’s Jesus Is Magic at the Nuart, an event that in and of itself is worthy of queuing up for. This line, however, winds considerably longer than it might otherwise, because Sarah Silverman herself, scribe and star of the flick, will be here following the screening for a much-anticipated question-and-answer session.My mother approaches wearing a blonde chinchilla on her head and comments on my
“You should keep it short,” the yenta nudges.I explain to her that my predilection for dyke fashion is sometimes misconstrued when garnished with dyke hair. Mom addresses a four-eyed 20-something thumbing through a copy of Burroughs’ Junky.“Does her hair look dyke-y?”Luckily, the line starts to move before our young friend with the usual twinkling 20s romantic notions of heroin addiction can answer.Mom and I save a row of five seats for the three of us (her friend Eleanor is en route and we need the other seats for our handbags, sold-out crowd be damned). We take turns using the toilet, which leads me to once again wonder aghast and aloud why this current trend in pissing all over the seats. Is the hole too small? Is the concept too complicated? Ladies of the world, I implore you, SIT THE FUCK DOWN.Some guy named Brody introduces the film, which proves entertaining and funny, though seemingly more so to my consumptive neighbor who laughs loudly and heartily between coughing fits and convulsions. The real treat of the evening comes after the credits roll and the lights come up. Bouncing down the aisle in faded jeans and a baseball jersey is the little ray of comic sunshine herself, perfect teeth twinkling, ponytail swinging.Silverman thanks us all for coming and leaps right into the insightful and illuminating Q&A. Was the fur real?No.Was the bong hit real?Yes.What does your boyfriend think of your movie?He likes it.Who is your favorite comedian?Steve Martin.How long did it take to shoot?Five days.Where did you shoot?Places. Do you remember me?Yes.
And then came the questions that probed the unknowable mysteries that keep
us awake at night, that keep us wondering and wandering and searching — the real
meat of it all:
If you were found murdered, which cultural group would be to blame?The Chinks?How did you teach your asshole to sing?Silverman just laughs. What brand of jelly do you smear on your boyfriend’s penis?Someone in the audience yells out “Schmuckers” (get it?).
With her hand raised but ultimately unacknowledged by the insouciant Silverman,
my mother steps out into the street and instead asks Eleanor the question she’d
been dying to ask:
“Do you think her mother knows this is what she wore to her own Q&A?”
Illustration by Dani Katz