Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

5 Things We Learned From Learned Sarah Silverman’s Lenny Interview

Two of our favorite funny ladies with a serious side, Lena Dunham and Sarah Silverman, opened up today in an interview through Lenny, Dunham’s website and newsletter for women that debuted at the end of September.

Silverman and Dunham first met in Dunham’s pre-“Girls” era, when she was tasked with interviewing Silverman for Paper magazine. They’ve been friends since. “Whenever I see Sarah,” Dunham writes in her introduction to the interview, “I make a beeline for her, because being in her presence is a special sanctuary.”

The interview, although staged around the late October release of Silverman’s new film “I Smile Back,” glances around between subjects. Read on for some of our favorite excerpts.

Sarah Silverman loves Snickers.

“What snack can return you to sanity?” Dunham asked.

“Snickers. Straight up,” Silverman responded.

She loves to think about perception.

The book she’s re-read the most, Silverman said, is “‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Berger. It’s a book about art, but it’s about everything. It’s about seeing through the prism of our own experience and everything that that means. Or at least that’s what it’s about to me — ohmygodijustblewmymind.”

She knows she can’t control her art.

“What was the worst choice you made after turning 21?” Dunham asked.

“Defending a joke. I had to learn that I can’t control how what I put out there is perceived. What you see through the prism of your own experience is your truth. That’s what art is. (Oh shit, I learned that in Ways of Seeing, y’all!”

She has a creative favorite swearword.

“Penisnose.”

She has rituals for remembering those she loves.

“If I see it’s 11:11, I remember all the people in my life that have passed and make sure I really remember them with specifics so I never forget. Like with my step-dad, John O’Hara, I say, “I love you, John,” and I remember a moment of many warm side-hugs, then him pulling apart and looking at me with a sly smile and saying, ‘I don’t care what they say, I like you.’”

You can read Dunham’s full interview with Silverman , and find information for “I Smile Back” here.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.