To those who lament the fact that the recent vacancies left by late night talk show hosts weren’t filled by women, Sarah Silverman has news for you: she knows of at least four women who were offered those coveted jobs (the ones that perhaps Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert left—we’re speculating here) and turned them down. Why? Because they’re too busy. Running all of comedy.
 
Silverman was in Toronto this week to promote her
TIFF film I Smile Back with an onstage conversation at the Glenn Gould theatre. For approximately 90 minutes she discussed one of the most relevant issues in comedy today: Sarah Silverman. We learned so much. 
 
Of course, the comedian doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Other Silverman-related topics came up too, like selfie culture (she’s against it), politically correct millennials (she’s for them), and women in comedy (she is one).
 
Here are the highlights:
 
On women in comedy: “Women run comedy. I always get that question ‘Is it hard being in such a boys club?’ The only remnant left of the boys club is that question. Comedy is run by women. It’s all Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings and Chelsea Peretti and Tig Notaro… it’s a very different world.”
 
On today’s kids and their darn political correctness: Silverman says that while she learned early on not to defend her comedy, she believes that students tend to be on the right side of history. “It doesn’t take much to change with the times,” she said, adding that rolling your eyes at kids for being too PC just means you’re old.
 
On not getting a single sketch to air on Saturday Night Live: “It’s an unbelievable bootcamp… I’m guessing I was terrible. It’s not a negative thing to look back at your younger self as naive. To feel that your most vital self is now is ideal.”
 
On how to get on a hit show like Masters of Sex: “
Fuck the star.
 
On I Smile Back writer Amy Koppelman: “She’s a brilliant, Harvard-educated genius with the voice of Edith Bunker.”
 
On what it takes to get started in comedy: “Just do it. Get your 10,000 hours in. Do comedy anywhere you can. You better love it or you’re not cut out for it. Life is long… unless you die early.”
 
On her worst bomb ever: It was at a prom show—private shows for high school grads that often take place at 2 or 3am filled with the “worst, drunkest, terrible people at their worst selves.” She cried after someone in the audience performed a loud crash and burn whistle during a quiet moment in her set. The experience left her with “an unhealthy fear of drunk people.”
 
On getting older: “Am I excited about my skin being as loose as it’s ever been? No. I can feel my face falling off of my face! Such is life. I’m smarter, I’m braver, and I know the most I’ve ever known. And I’m definitely more confident in myself… right?”
 
And finally, on poop jokes: “I think poop jokes are universal. It’s almost like the sign language of comedy. There isn’t anyone who’s going to not laugh. I can spend years crafting the smartest joke but a poop joke will trump it any day… It’s not a well I go to but it’s what I laugh at. The thing that makes me die laughing is anybody’s story of shitting their pants.”