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Emmy-winning comedian Sarah Silverman isn’t jaded by her previous Television Academy triumphs. “I always try to think of [being nominated] as just frosting on the cake, but [executive producer] Amy Zvi and I were a little bit teary and very happy,” Silverman of the Emmy-nominated I Love You, America told The Hollywood Reporter.
Silverman expressed admiration for her fellow nominees in the best variety sketch category, including Drunk History, Portlandia, Saturday Night Live, Amy Sedaris and Tracey Ullman, a competition that she referred to as “very strong and very female.’
Silverman went on to discuss one of her biggest influences, Fred Rogers — the children’s show icon who welcomed families into his home during the long-running PBS show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and how she tapped into the heart of his programming on the set of I Love You, America.
“I really think of it as Mr. Rogers for adults. And what are we, adults? We’re just children plus time.” The comedian continued, “We really need those lessons again, and I’m not saying I’m the one to bring them, but I do think that until we see ourselves in each other, real change isn’t going to happen on a social level.”
The debut season of I Love You, America often incorporated politically charged segments. Interviewees included a Jesuit priest and former Nazi, and while Silverman acknowledged that her opinions are often divisive, she says the real issue at hand is the current disparity between the liars and the lied-to.
“I think on the show, we’re not afraid to speak truth to power.” Silverman added, “I do feel a kinship even if our ideologies are very different,” in regard to the audience and guests. “I think we’re getting our news from such different sources that our truths are different.”
“I love people who can be changed. That’s the theme of the interview segment, it’s people who have been changed, which is everyone, but that’s kind of what we like to focus on,” she told THR.
Watch the video above to hear Silverman reveal why I Love You, America is her dream show, how she gets guests to open up and more.
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