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Here’s What It’s Like at a Live Taping of the Daily Show with Host Sarah Silverman

by Emily Lauletta

Ever since Trevor Noah stepped down as host of The Daily Show, the program’s been helmed by a rotating assortment of funny people. Comedian Sarah Silverman is the 4th, and based on The Daily Show’s current line-up, final female guest host. With hosts such as Silverman, Chelsea Handler, Wanda Sykes, and Leslie Jones, The Daily Show has been giving us a good dose of intersectional feminist content. 

Therefore, when The Daily Show invited me to a live taping of Sarah Silverman’s debut show on Monday, February 13th, I knew it was my duty as a rising feminist journalist to fly across the country and get an answer to the question many of us have been asking for years: What are the snacks like backstage? The answer is they’re pretty good. (I only had access to the tier 2 VIP snacks, the best snacks were reserved for the staff). 

After spending some time in a VIP lounge, we were ushered into the room where the magic happens, and after sitting through the funny-but-not-Sarah Silverman warm-up comedian, and a surprisingly hilarious pre-taped video by The Daily Show Correspondents on how to be a good audience member, it was time for the real show to begin. 

As one would expect, Sarah Silverman completely charmed the audience. From her bit on the first female mad scientist, to her iconic guest (and friend of BUST) Lizz Winstead, Sarah Silverman turned The Daily Show into her own little feminist utopia. 

Donning her iconic black suit, Silverman started off the show by stating “Now some of you might not know who I am so let me introduce myself in the most Daily Show-y way possible, using a right-wing talking head pundit montage.” And that she did, showing clips of right-wing leaders calling her a plethora of colorful names spanning from a “complete buffoon and aggressively unfunny” to a “witch,” and a “god-hating whore.” But hey, what feminist hasn’t been called a god-hating whore before, am I right? I take it as a compliment.

Silverman then moved onto Headlines, the first segment of The Daily Show. As we all know by now, Rihanna announced her pregnancy during her Super Bowl halftime performance, surrounded by her dancers all decked out in white. According to Silverman, “That’s right, Rihanna revealed she was pregnant by bringing along all of the sperm that didn’t make it… and of course the one that did.” Next, she discussed the recent news that more and more states are considering the legalization of child labor in industries such as mining and meat-packing. Silverman joked, “I’m sure this will surprise you but the lawmakers sponsoring these bills call themselves pro-life. Of course they are, if women aren’t forced to have babies, who’s gonna pack this goddamn meat.”

While Silverman was still backstage, we were shown a pre-recorded segment of Silverman’s newest character, Dr. Insidia, the worlds’ first female mad-scientist, and it was hysterical. The video was produced to honor the international day of women and girls’ in science. Silverman wanted us to remember Dr. Insidia’s important work such as putting Genghis Khan’s brain inside of a chimp, and making the state of Kentucky disappear for three years. Silverman later asked us in the studio audience how the video package turned out, and when we responded with thunderous applause, Silverman responded to us with “I’m fishing,” proving how skilled she is in keeping an audience engaged. 

Silverman’s debut episode ended with an interview with Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show and founder of Abortion Access Front (or Abortion AF as she sometimes refers to it). As would be expected, Winstead was an incredible guest, bringing an informative but also humorous take to the current issues surrounding reproductive rights in the country. At times, the audience seemed more excited for Winstead than the host herself, and we get it, we also love Lizz! Though it might seem strange to some, Winstead explained that founding Abortion Access Front was in some ways a natural evolution from The Daily Show, as the organization is committed to continuing the struggle for reproductive rights with humor. On the recent Dobbs decision and the questions that arose on the state of abortion rights all over the country, Winstead responded “I wanted to give people an answer to that question.” Continuing on about her work with AAF, “It’s important to ask the people that live in the places and center the people who are most harmed all the time and they’ll give you the answers to help you be a better activist and make the world better.”

Silverman also had a successful night two, taking down Nikki Haley’s corny announcement that she’s running for President in 2024. Haley joked “I don’t put up with bullies, and when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels.” To which Silverman responded, “Um 1997 called it wants that joke back.” Silverman also made an amazing jab towards the US Army’s recent announcement on their low recruitment numbers, “If we don’t have a strong military, the balloons win!”

Be sure to tune in to Silverman’s last two shows on February 15th and 16th at 11 PM ET on Comedy Central!

Top photo: Courtesy of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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