All-night prom at Disneyland, 1961.
By Ralph Crane.

All-night prom at Disneyland, 1961.

By Ralph Crane.

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“At some point, I figured that it would be more effective and far funnier to embrace the ugliest, most terrifying things in the world—the Holocaust, racism, rape, et cetera. But for the sake of comedy, and the comedian’s personal sanity, this requires a certain emotional distance. It’s akin to being a shrink or a social worker. you might think that the most sensitive, empathetic person would make the best social worker, but that person would end up being soup on the floor. It really takes someone strong—someone, dare I say, with a big fat wall up—to work in a pool of heartbreak all day and not want to fucking kill yourself. But adopting a persona at once ignorant and arrogant allowed me to say what I didn’t mean, even preach the opposite of what I believed. For me, it was a funny way to be sincere. And like the jokes in a roast, the hope is that the genuine sentiment—maybe even a goodness underneath the joke (however brutal) transcends.”
- Sarah Kate Silverman

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