Sarah Silverman Teases Hulu Variety Show 'I Love You, America'

"It will be funny and silly and aggressively dumb," said Silverman of her new Hulu series.
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Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman is opening up about her new Hulu variety show I Love You, America, which is still very much taking shape.

At the Television Critics Association's summer press tour on Thursday, she told a room full of reporters that she's aiming to bring people together with the 10-episode series. "We pitched it, saying, 'With this show, I’m hoping to connect with un-likeminded people.' And networks went crazy because they haven’t heard anything like that before," the comic said of the weekly show, which will tape on Tuesdays and air on Thursdays.

But don't call Silverman the latest entrant in the late-night landscape. She clarified onstage that the show isn't intended to be overtly political, though it will inevitably delve into the topic more than occasionally. "It’s funny when I read about what the show is. People are going to be wildly disappointed. It’s not like we deal with politics and politicians," she explained. "The way in which it is political is that everything is political right now just by virtue of it being made in this period of time."

And don't anticipate I Love You, America to be ultra-serious, either. "What I realized is that it doesn’t have to be, 'Look at this deep moment we did where we connected with these people and it’s really smart and it’s moving and look at it.' I feel like the reaction to that if I were the audience would be, 'Fuck you,'" said Silverman. "But what is really important is that it will be funny and silly and aggressively dumb, which is my favorite kind of comedy. And anything smart that’s in there will be served in a big, fat, bread-y sandwich of super, super dumb, because that’s how I like my comedy."
Silverman was joined on the panel by executive producers Adam McKay and Gavin Purcell, the latter of whom is also serving as the showrunner. The pair shed some light on the series' format, noting that it will be part field pieces and studio pieces, with a monologue at the top of the show. I Love You, America will also have a focus group consisting of 12 people from various walks of life that will play an integral part throughout the series. The idea is to place them in the position of where a house band would traditionally be, where Silverman can refer to them and even dedicate segments to them.
"The thesis of the show is that everybody wants to be loved. And if I were to say a mission statement for the show in terms of the field pieces, it’s exposing the fact that we are actually the same," added Silverman. "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."

McKay, for his part, spoke up when a reporter asked about the idea of being part of the "Hollywood elite," pushing back on the notion. "It’s funny that my agent was also Donald Trump’s agent, and then Ronald Regan was a movie actor. In Hollywood, we’re the elites until we’re not. It tends to go that way," he said. "I think one of the things about this show is that we want to get back to a grounded place, where we’re looking at not right versus left, but we’re looking at corruption versus honesty. We’re looking at the good of the whole versus the good of the few."

The director-producer went on about the current political environment, taking indirect jabs at the Trump administration. "What’s happened in this country versus the right and the left, it’s the greatest scam you could ever pull because if you wanted to pickpocket someone, what’s the best way to do it? Create a fake fight so everyone turns their head and rubbernecks, and then take their wallet," he said. "I always get very annoyed when people tell me I’m a liberal. I’m like, really? I just don’t want corruption. I just don’t want the banks to rip us all off. I don’t want to be lied in a war. How is that liberal? That’s just common sense."

McKay summed it up: "With this show, we could potentially return to this 'two feet on the ground' of just human experience."

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