STUDIO: Black Gold Films
MSRP: $26.99
• Behind-the-scenes featurette
• Feature commentary w/ Liam Lynch and Sarah Silverman
• Silverman’s segment from The Aristocrats
• "Give the Jew Girl Toys" music video

The Pitch

the Jew girl adoration!"

The Humans

Silverman, with Bob Odenkirk, Laura Silverman, and Brian Posehn in cameos.

The Nutshell

It’s a
bit disingenuous to bill Jesus is Magic as a
"movie," because it’s not a narrative film. It’s mostly concert
footage, with a few interstitial segments, a bit of a frame sketch, and some
musical numbers. This makes my job easier, because there’s not really a plot
for me to summarize. The nutshell’s nutshell: Sarah Silverman stands on a stage
and is funny.

The Package

The king
of the bonuses on this disc is the commentary shared between director Liam
Lynch and Ms. Silverman. They share a lively dialogue that, from time-to-time,
turns into a mutual admiration society. Most of the trivia come out during the
more director-intensive segments — the framing sequences and the
interstitials. The concert footage commentary is more sparse, with Lynch
occasionally chiming in to say how much he appreciates this joke or that. What
makes the whole thing worthwhile is that Silverman drops her stage persona and
comments on her own idiosyncrasies with a casual honestly that is completely

The disc
also features a "making-of" featurette, a bonus music video for the
song "Give the Jew Girl Toys," and Silverman’s much-talked-about
segment in The Aristocrats (which I reviewed right here.)

I guess this has lost some of its impact since
Rev. Profane-the-Unbelievers’ video hit the ‘net.

The Lowdown

The frame
story that surrounds Jesus is Magic is a tossed-off deal
about Silverman bragging to her friends that she has a show coming up that
night, when in fact she has written nothing, reserved no theater space, or
found a star. This gives her and director Lynch the chance to film a short
music video sequence which segues neatly into some previously-filmed concert
footage, which then dominates the rest of the film. From time-to-time, little
sketches are thrown in to expand upon brief jokes in Silverman’s routine — such
as an extended fight with her manager over the type of bottled water in her
dressing room — but it’s the stage act that demands your attention and summons
the real laughs.

is a notable talent when it comes to jokes with long buildup. The awkward
delivery of her stage persona stretches the set-up of any given joke well
beyond the one-laugh-per-few-seconds maxim, and tricks the audience into a kind
of affection for her. She acts like the kind of girl that geeks might fervently
pursue, because she’s attainable:
pretty, smart, nervous, and unassuming. Once in awhile, you’ll even catch her
blushing when she talks about her boyfriend (or, possibly, that’s a result of
the heat of the spotlights.)

It’s when
she hits the punch line that things turn upside-down. All expectations that are
formed during the buildup are tossed aside with a racist, callous, cruel, or
just plain wrong conclusion. She
draws the audience in with her gee-whiz attitude, and then catches them with a
"fuck off" as big as her grin. It’s a glorious comedic
bait-and-switch, which continues to be funny thanks to a breadth of subjects and
a consistent talent for blindsiding the audience.

Two part harmony, Perditax? Pshaw. Sarah’s got you half-again over.

One of my
favorite segments has Silverman trying her darndest to assure the audience that
she’s not vain, but there’s this one jewel that she just thinks is so
beautiful. It happens to come from deboned Ethiopian babies, which she totally
does not support — though the jewel is just so stunning — because they treat
the deboning unions so terribly in

To keep
things from getting repetitive, she continues to ramp up the raunchiness as the
show goes on. The pacing works well, accelerating towards a wonderfully
juvenile encore which does everything it can to turn its asinine mentality
backwards on all the racist, classist, sexist humor that preceded it.

Jesus is Magic kinda
stutters during anything that isn’t footage of Silverman’s routine, and I’m
guessing that’s because her persona shifts around during those segments. She
can pull off the different mutations of her role, but the best character of all
is the one she’s carved out in comedy clubs and on stages around the nation.

If you’re
easily offended, please pick up this movie and then write nasty letters to me.
You could fucking use it.

8 out of 10