Sarah Silverman and Whitney Cummings Had a Wonderful, In-Depth Conversation About Comedy

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Honestly, I was like, such a serious kid. I wasn’t one of those kids who stole Richard Pryor records. I wasn’t a comedy-nerd kid. I had no concept of stand-up. Actually, the only inkling of stand-up I had was I read one of Paul Reiser’s books, when I was like 12. I found it at a yard sale and I carried it around with me for six years. But to me, I was obsessed with justice, and I think a lot of comedians have that common denominator. I loved the elephant in the room. I loved the truth. I didn’t really know that I was kind of doing stand-up at the time, or what now has evolved into stand-up, but as a kid, I would like, beg my parents to like just tell me Santa Claus is not real. I was so obsessed with getting to the truth, ‘cause as a kid, we’re lied to so much. My parents were constantly telling me, “It’s fine, everything’s fine,” but I knew nothing was fine. That’s kind of what we do as comedians: We try to get to the truth. And so I knew that kernel was there, but I didn’t do stand-up until I was like 21. I think I was annoying someone with what now I would call a bit, and they were like, “You should do stand-up.” People kept suggesting that I do it as their way to get me to stop yelling at them about things that annoy me. And it just resonated. I was like, Oh, yeah, I’m a stand-up. Before I ever did stand-up, I was like, Oh, yeah, that’s what I’m going to do for a living.