Sandra Bernhard Talks Crap About GaGa, Sarah, Kabbalah & Americans

Illustration for article titled Sandra Bernhard Talks Crap About GaGa, Sarah, Kabbalah & Americans

It's been twenty years since Sandra Bernhard's one-woman show, Without You I'm Nothing, debuted. In an interview with WWD, the 53-year-old talks about the revival of the show… And lays a smackdown on idiots and fools.


Bernhard admits that there will be new stuff in the show: "There have been a lot of changes in the last 20 years. I have a 10-year-old daughter. So I talk about being a mother. Technology. Whatever's in the moment." Of Sarah Silerman, Bernhard says, "She's fine. She suits her generation. But I want to see something else."

When it comes to Kabbalah, Bernhard swears she's not as into it as she once was: "I went in 1995 before there was any hoopla and I got the best out of it. Then the wheels started to fall off. I'm not nearly as involved with that place as I was. Unfortunately, money corrupts everything, even spirituality. And it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of glamour and fame." And as for the Kabbalah water? "When they started selling it, it seemed very gimmicky to me as I'm sure it did to most people."

And as for the state of young artists today, Bernhard is not very optimistic:

Now, nobody goes on Letterman and becomes an overnight sensation. You can do your thing on the Internet, you can do a reality show, but those things aren't really reflective of somebody's talents. I mean, look at Kathy Griffin. She was bumming around for a long time doing comedy but she was willing to go there and make a complete fool of herself. And that's the appetite of the American public. They want their performers totally stripped down and vulnerable so they can go 'look at that idiot.' I can't say these are great times for young artists. There's no longevity. Lady GaGa? I just don't see any of the stuff lasting for very long.

The reporter points out that Madonna and Cyndi Lauper both went to Lady GaGa's recent show, and Bernhard replies, "They don't want to fall behind. They go, 'Uh oh, I better do this,' or, 'Uh oh, I better do that' so that they can stay relevant. I enjoy listening to music where I don't have to see the person. If I have to see the person to enjoy it, I'm not that interested."

Stand Back: Sandra Bernhard Speaks Her Mind [WWD]

[Image by Marcus Dawes via WWD]


I remember Peter Buck (guitarist of REM) saying, when MTV was first really big in the early 80s "I've never seen a music video that made me like a song, but I've seen plenty that made me hate one."

It stuck with me cuz I think it's true. Having a visual element is fine as a side dish, but your connection to the music (or comedy, or whatever) has to go beyond the image if it's going to be anything more than pop culture flotsam and jetsam.