Sarah Silverman wants to help bridge the cultural divide in war-torn America with “aggressively dumb” humor and excursions into the heart of the country in her new Hulu series “I Love You, America.”
Silverman said the focus of the show, set to premiere Oct. 12, would be her effort to connect with everyday people who are what she called “un-like-minded.” The goal is to demonstrate that despite deep political, cultural and even ethnic differences, people have more in common than not at heart.
“A mission statement for the show could be exposing the fact that we’re actually the same,” Silverman said Thursday during Hulu’s portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills. “Comedy at its best can get people’s porcupine needles to go down. Until that can happen, none of us are open to change.”
Silverman doesn’t intend to talk politics on the show, nor does she intend to make fun of the people she meets. The show will be a mix of in-studio segments and field pieces. One segment planned is for Silverman to have dinner with a family in Slidell, La., who have never met a Jew.
“All I can do is try to be open and brave and go into the situation,” she said, adding she is “not looking to make them look like a–holes.”
Director Adam McKay and longtime Silverman collaborator Amy Zvi are exec producing “I Love You, America” with Gavin Purcell (“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”).
Silverman joked that pitching the show was the easy part. Executing is the hard part. Silverman said she gave a ver specific instruction to her writing staff on the first day.
“This isn’t a show to be written with furrowed brow,” she said. “What I realized is that it doesn’t have to be ‘look at this deep moment we did.’ What is really imporant that it’s funny, that it’s silly and it’s aggressively dumb.”
Silverman and McKay, an Oscar nominee for 2015’s “The Big Short,” are closely associated with progressive politics. McKay lamented the use of “Hollywood elite” as a slam by politicians seeking to sow divisions among voters by slamming causes and issues championed by industry insiders. Silverman said flatly that “Hollywood elite” was a code word for Jew.
McKay said he hopes the country can “get back to a grounded place where we’re not looking at right versus left but corruption versus honesty,” he said. “If you want to pickpocket somebody, what’s best way to do it? Create a fake fight so everybody rubbernecks,” he said.