Turns out you can sleep your way to the top in showbiz — or at least get there by pretending that you have. Comedian Sarah Silverman recently found herself a YouTube phenom with ”I’m F—ing Matt Damon,” a giddily hilarious viral video that premiered on longtime boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night ABC show on Jan. 31. The four-minute clip features Silverman and the Bourne Ultimatum star — the butt of a long-running joke on Jimmy Kimmel Live! — engaging in a mock-coital duet (”In the tub, in the car/Up against the minibar…”).
In the absence of new Saturday Night Live episodes, it’s great to see someone carry the digital-short torch. And the prank seems to have ended the backlash against Silverman, who just months ago was widely derided for comments about Britney Spears and her offspring at the MTV Video Music Awards. It didn’t help that Spears had given an underwhelming performance just moments before.
But here’s the thing — race, class, sex, and religion are the linchpins of Silverman’s humor. And her Kewpie-voiced, no-boundaries routine (most recently on display in her eponymous Comedy Central series) has always polarized. When she’s on, as in the Matt Damon skit, few can match her ferocious funniness. When she’s not? The tut-tutting grows louder, and the love/hate/love cycle that the public seems to have initiated with Silverman starts up all over again.
Case in point: A striking number of commenters on EW’s PopWatch blog admitted to loving the Damon clip?but still disliking Silverman. It’s an odd distinction to make, and one that perhaps a male comedian would not be held to. Still, Silverman may yet laugh last; after all, the bottom line in showbiz is that you’re only as good (or as bad) as your latest work. And right now, Sarah Silverman is as good as it f—ing gets.