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Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic (2005)

Sarah Silverman is one of the potentially great up-and-coming American comedians, already exhibiting her talent for intentional, perfectly-timed stupidity and subversively offensive humor in everything from minor parts in School of Rock and The Aristocrats to the underrated "Greg the Bunny" series during its brief incarnation on Fox (go figure). By employing racist, sexist and other prejudice-laden staples of comedy from across the spectrum with a no-nonsense matter-of-fact attitude (“…the best time to have a baby is when you’re a black teenager…”), she undercuts the inherent (and misguided) social anxieties and, extensively, makes the joke just as much on the audience as the stereotyped subject matter. Her first starring film is part stand-up, part variety sketch show, alternating between the two for the duration of a live performance. Sarah’s crassness is often hit-or-miss, with some of the ultimate punch lines not being quite worth their build up, but the overall spectacle is entertaining enough to carry it through the rougher patches. If only the same could be said of the various backstage skits edited into the proceedings, most of which start out flat and go nowhere, although some of the musical interludes (among them, a tween dressed Sarah jubilantly singing her song “You’re Gonna Die Soon” to a crowd of senior citizens) are gut-bustingly shocking enough in their own right to make up for twice as many failed efforts. Sarah’s talent is still developing, but if Jesus is Magic indicates anything, it’s that we have only better things to see from this gorgeous and incisive voice.