Dear Comedy Central and parent company MTV Networks,

The internet is buzzing today about how you’re slashing the budget for the not-even-officially-renewed-yet third season of The Sarah Silverman Program, to the point where you’re basically trying to cancel it. This is a big mistake. Big. Huge. The second season of The Sarah Silverman Program was one of the top 10 best TV shows of 2008, hands down, and it got tons of publicity and praise. I don’t know a single person who watched it who wasn’t astonished by how good it was, and how such an initially weird show managed to find its stride.

I’ve psychoanalyzed you, Comedy Central, and here are some Hard Truths you need to hear, Dr. Phil-style, to make you understand why dumping The Sarah Silverman Program would be a huge mistake.

1. You Don’t Know What You Have:

No offense, but The Sarah Silverman Program is too good for you, Comedy Central. It’s more of an HBO-quality comedy. (Ouch! But true.) It’s now the best thing you have going in prime time, South Park very much included.


2. You Can’t Do Better:

Do you know how hard it is to develop a new show? To listen to all the pitches, hire all the people, match it with the audience of an existing show for a lead-in, make a pilot, focus-group that pilot, greenlight it, publicize it, promote it, ETC ETC ETC. Of course you do. Now do you really want to go through all that with another show, only to see it fail like most of your shows do (often because you pull this exact same shit, but still)? The Sarah Silverman Program isn’t just a known quantity with very high ratings among 18-35 year old males, it’s a show that is getting better (and more publicity) with every episode. You really can’t afford to LOSE this show.

3. You’re Never Going To Find Another Chappelle:

On May 4, 2005, you got your heart broken into a thousand little pieces by dude named Dave Chappelle. We all understand what that must have been like to go through, and I’m not trying to diminish your pain. That totally sucked. But, deep down, you have to realize that Chappelle’s Show was both culturally and demographically unique. It was groundbreaking, brilliant, and it expanded your audience beyond your wildest imagination. And ever since then, you’ve been trying to recapture that same success in ways that have become increasingly obvious and, I’m sorry, desperate (Chocolate News?). You know how George W. Bush got us into a crazy war in Iraq to avenge his father, and how totally insane that was? Well, your development choices haven’t had the same consequences, obviously, but there is a little bit of that same kind of craziness in the mix. You’re holding potential new shows to the ridiculous standard Chappelle (and, to be fair, South Park) created, and not seeing them for who they are as complicated, individual shows. Chappelle was that first love, that first heroin dose or whatever and you’ve been chasing that dragon ever since. Just move on. Forget about Chappelle (a show which you almost didn’t even greenlight), and focus on allowing the best prime time show you have to continue to exponentially grow to its full potential. What I think you’ll find is a much deeper, more mature kind of love with a show that is probably not going to suddenly disappear and go crazy on you. And let’s face it: Jeff Dunham may give you huge ratings, but Sarah Silverman gives you some much-needed respect. Did I mention she’s too good for you as it is?

Just stop being a baby and throw some of that Blue Collar Comedy money you’re so secretly ashamed of at it. Or don’t. Whatever. If you dump her, she’ll end up with HBO anyway and won’t that be embarrassing!

(Tough) Love,

Lindsay Robertson

To see what I’m talking about, watch The Sarah Silverman Program, which started being totally genius in its second season, so start there.

Comments (52)
  1. All of the above is fuckin’ A right!

  2. Cancel this and give Jon Glaser his own show. pwned.

    • Hanni  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 +2

      Jon Glaser has his own show on Adult Swim, It’s called Delocated. But I agree, he desreves a better outlet.

    • dave  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 +2

      Check out some Delocated episodes on adultswim.com. It’s a great show!

      And Comedy Central outlet is a better outlet than adult swim? No way man! I’d rather watch shows like Tim and Eric, Superjail, Xavier and Look Around You than Mad TV and Mind of Mencia.

  3. I thought the first season was pretty genius as well.

  4. Chadams  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 +3

    It’s sad that they think they can rely on TDS and Colbert to sate the thinking man/woman’s contigency. They make so much :-( money off of Dane Cook, Blue Collar and Jeff Dunham on top of the fact that they’re definitely way too used to developing shows that they doom all of them (mainly because they’re mostly bad) a life of 1 season or less.

  5. cc: Jimmy Kimmel

  6. TC  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 +7

    Demetri Martin’s show is the best thing on Comedy Central right now.

  7. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  8. The SS Show SUCKS. Let it DIE.

  9. ..steve..  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 +1

    Lindsay, the ratings for Season 2B were DREADFUL as were the DVD sales for Season 2 Volume 1. It doesn’t matter how genius a show is when nobody’s watching it or buying it in other media. Frankly, Sarah and team are lucky they’re even being considered for renewal after such lackluster performance.

    • Yes it actually DOES matter how genius a show is. By your logic, Seinfeld would have been cancelled in its first season, same with Cheers. If the show is great, it’s up to the advertising department to get the word out.

  10. Amen, Demetri martins show is the funniest show to grace comedy central lackluster screen since Chappelle. South park has started to go downhill, but its still the funniest thing besides Important things.

  11. brynn  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 0

    ugh, am i the only one who thinks her show is dreadful? i agree comedy central doesn’t have much going for it, but ugggh.

  12. Name  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 -1

    The show has some funny parts from what I’ve seen of it, which was like two episodes, but definitely not one of the top ten or “genius”. Plus I can’t stand Sarah Silverman.
    So basically right now you are just like one of those sad crazed middle-aged women signing an online petition to prevent the airing of the Bachelor finale. Just like that.
    But hey, I’ll probably react the same way when they cancel Demetri Martin’s show after one season, which is something I’ve predicted since before it even aired.
    Comedy Central sucks.

  13. action bastard  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 +3

    more demetri martin, please!

  14. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  15. duuurr blackface and jew jokes are definitely comedy of the highest caliber and are definitely above everything else on Comedy Central.

    Get over yourselves, it’s not very good. Important Things is better.

    • And after reading the article fully, they’re bitching about only having 850,000 dollars per episode?

      I’m pretty fucking sure I can cobble together a 30-minute TV show on 50,000 dollars, much less 850k.

  16. Hey, at least she’s been given more than one season. Stella didn’t get that luxury despite it being, you know, fucking awesome. At least it’s not as big a slap in the face as Mencia getting two more seasons over David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Michael Ian Black.

  17. justin  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 +2

    Thank you, Teh_Nightman. That is precisely what I was thinking. Stella could have been fucking amazing (not that it wasn’t fantastic) if they had given it at least one more season to perfect itself. There are at least three episodes of that show that are just too good for television.

    Sarah Silverman? Occasionally funny, but nowhere near Stella.

  18. The Sarah Silverman show is truly horrible. I don’t really dislike Silverman or any of the other actors on the show (In fact Brian Posehn and Jay Johnston are awesome no matter what) but that doesn’t change that it isn’t funny. Sarah Silverman’s shtick seems to be that she’s cute and the things she says are horrible and it just doesn’t work for me.

    In response to #2: If CC had any hand in renewing Futurama it would make up for every horrible show they made after Chappelle left.

  19. Josh  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 +1

    Sarah Silverman is very good, and I’d probably agree with your points, though I do love South Park, but must admit it’s not quite as good as it used to be. But I still enjoy both very much.

    And Demitri Martin is so unbelievably overrated. I think he has some funny jokes, but how is he the biggest thing in stand-up when Patton Oswalt, Michael Ian Black and Jim Gaffigan are out there. His jokes are only funny some of the time, and it’s so hard to watch or listen to him for more than a couple minutes, because his style becomes annoyingly repetative.

  20. eddie  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 0

    “totally genius”… c’mon meng. you really stretching it. main reason you left out: NOBODY CARES. Sarah Silverman has to be one of the least likable comedians out there. I’m also questioning this “budget” issue. Clearly they must be loving Dimitri Martin, that show is cheaper to produce than a standup routine. but think of Upright Citizens Brigade and how cheaply produced and truly genius material came out of that. Suck it up Silverman.

  21. Evan  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2009 +1

    blah blah blah yawn yawn yawn. Her show was mediocre at best. Brian Posehn should get his own show, methinks.

  22. Glen  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 -4

    I LOVED Dimitry Martin the first time I saw him, when he was called Zach Galifianakis. pwned, luzers

  23. I’ll enter into a respectful agree-to-disagree with anyone who has seen and does not like the episode (Dec 4, 2008) where Sarah makes up her own slang. That’s the line.

  24. I agree with the commenters who are hating on Ms. Silverman. I hate her with every ounce of my being. She is absolutely terrible and unfunny.
    I like Demitri Martin, and his show has been steadily gaining in quality. The most recent episode was hilarious. And anyone that employs Jon Benjamin (Coach McGuirk from Home Movies) deserves to keep drawing a paycheck.
    Martin – 1, Silverman – 0

  25. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  26. karl  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 -1

    Man, I thought videogum readers were hip…apparently not. Sarah Silverman is awesome and she needs another season to run over Osama and create a slang word for it, but she’s too good to ever repeat herself. Her ideas are always fresh and the supporting cast is brilliant. I’ll co-sign everything Lindsay said.

    I also enjoy Demitri Martin’s show too, but Comedy Central can and should have both.

    • Yeah, this was not a diss on Demetri’s show. Not sure why that became a thing.

      • talkingstove  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 +1

        Because you said The Sarah Silverman show is ” now the best thing you have going in prime time”, so it is an indirect diss. I don’t hate the SS show, but prefer Demetri’s and think the SS show is a little weak to start a campaign to save it.

      • TC  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 +2

        It became a THING because you said Silverman was the best thing Comedy Central had on in prime time (thus implying it’s better than Martin’s show), and people disagree with you.

  27. ej  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 +1

    The SS Show is very lame.

    How many times can you repeat the trick of putting on a sweet face and then doing something outrageous?

    She can be outrageous and offensive, but that doesn’t count in comedy. You have to be FUNNY, like South Park.

  28. This is about TSSP, not about other shows! Why so much hate for her? Maybe some of it is because you truly don’t like her humor, but I’m going to say I bet a bunch of the hate is because she’s a woman. Yeah, I said it. Men hate the funny women. Suck it chauvanist pigs!!!!!

    • sarah palin  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 +1

      I’m a woman who likes funny women. Problem is Sarah Silverman isn’t a funny Sarah, like me.
      Making sweeping generalizations like that isn’t good for the sisterhood, bro.

    • Really? You’re gonna cry sexism because people don’t like the same TV shows as you? Save the girl power for something that matters, sister.

      Also, you spelled chauvinist wrong.

    • Uh oh, crazy lady loose on the internet!

  29. Am I the only girl in the world who doesn’t like Sarah Silverman? I really tried hard to like her, but her baby-voiced dirty-mouthed schtick got old really fast.

    But besides that:
    Dear Comedy Central,
    Give Patton Oswalt a show.
    Love,
    Me.

  30. dave  |   Posted on Mar 3rd, 2009 +1

    An episode of this show costs 1.5 – 2 million dollars to produce… For what? I haven’t seen many episodes but mostly it seems to be a bunch of people sitting around and talking. The article says Mtv laid off 7% of its work force. That half million dollars an episode they will save can keep 7 or 8 people on Viacom’s staff for a year.

  31. Personally, I’ve never laughed at anything that came out of Sarah Silverman’s mouth that wasn’t written by David Cross or Bob Odenkirk.

  32. I feel like I have stepped through a mirror into a parallel universe in which my fellow Stereogum posters don’t know what the hell they are talking about. SS is a comedy genius. I wish she were my mother. On the other hand, Demetri Martin’s show is awful, and I say that as a big DM fan who was really looking forward to that show and sat through the first episode trying to find even one thing to laugh at and came up completely empty. So disappointing. In fact it made my mad, that show, because it was so unfunny. Physicists postulate that DM’s show contains anti-humor, a substance that no one can directly observe but the existence of which explains why some comedies make viewers so angry. (That was a lame joke and it was still funnier than anything on DM’s show.)

    • I would upvote you more than once, if I could.

      Demetri Martin is a hilarious stand-up comic, but his show is quite lackluster so far. Sarah Silverman, on the other hand, cracks me up with both her stand-up and her show. I can definitely understand how her angle can grate on some people’s nerves or become tiresome, but it has not yet done so with me.

      Everyone can complain about how the budget still sounds like “plenty,” but I do not work in the television industry and do not know the costs involved, so I’m going to keep my mouth closed.

    • Agree.

      SS is rough comedy, and sometimes it’s a bit startling, but some of her jokes are genius. Two of my favorites:

      1.) SS says, when life hands you aids, make lemonades.
      2.) (when she decided to be a lesbian), As a lesbian, I resent your laughter… and all laughter.

      I hope Lindsay is right and SS ends up on HBO.

  33. HN1  |   Posted on Mar 4th, 2009 +4

    No no, MarkyBob. You are 100 percent right. I love Demetri Martin’s live material (even the third time I saw it all) but his show is embarrassing. SS is consistently hilarious.

  34. phillycheese  |   Posted on Mar 5th, 2009 +1

    TSSP is hilarious. And she is hot. I thin DM is above average but disappointing. You people can not tell me that the abortion episode wasn’t awesome.Or the episode when she tried to run over Osama. I could go on but you get the idea. To each his own, I guess.

  35. Rob  |   Posted on Mar 7th, 2009 +2

    The Sarah Silverman Program is easily one of the best shows on TV.
    This show needs to be renewed – I’m a guy, and I watch it.
    My girlfriend watches it. My friends watch it.

    It is a very smart show, and it will catch on, if it’s given a chance.
    Plus, she’s attractive.

    Comedy Central, LISTEN TO THE PERSON WHO STARTED THIS COLUMN!

    Thank you.

  36. Nobody  |   Posted on Mar 9th, 2009 -3

    Sarah silverman isn’t funny AT ALL, I don’t understand the appeal, and I can laugh at a lot of weird and crazy stuff. I end up hating her character more than laughing at what she does.

    I’d rather see a show centered around the nerdy gay couple because their side-stories end up being funnier than Sarah being on trial for licking her dog’s ass

  37. sarah silvermen is the worst peiceof garbage there ever was i hope she burn in hell karma a bitch sarah

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.