The comedian discusses her religion, Zoloft, and a plan for an unusual softball league.
Slate: So, what did you pilfer in the film?
Silverman: You know what's his? Lemon-AIDS. ["When someone gives you AIDS, make lemon-AIDS."]
Slate: You've been open about your own depression. Are you still on Zoloft?
Silverman: Yes. Yeah! I never went off it. I really lucked out because I see people always trying a million different antidepressants. Whatever chemical imbalance I have, Zoloft fit perfectly because I take a half-pill every night before I go to bed. I don't feel like I don't have highs or lows, but what's missing is that complete downward spiral into despair about nothing.
Slate: When did you feel that despair so acutely that you went on Zoloft?
Silverman: I went through it from 13 to 16. Then, when I was 22, it hit again really hard. So when I was 23 or 24, my mom and her sister, who's a psychologist, talked to me about it.
Slate: You're never tempted to go off it?
Silverman: I'm very good. I go to this psychiatrist every six months, like you're supposed to, to make sure you're on the right track. I've mentioned to him, like "I feel great, I feel so stable. After all these years, I wonder what it would be like to be free of it, this medicine." And he's like, "Why? If someone has diabetes, they don't say, OK, let's see what it's like to not take insulin."
Slate: What do you think of humor that makes fun of depression or psychopharmacology?
Silverman: I haven't heard anything. It must be out there! It seems like an easy target. Maybe I should—good idea. I just don't know how to talk about it because it works for me. I have a friend who wants to start a softball league, where the people on Zoloft will play the people on Paxil, and Wellbutrin will play Effexor. Or there should be a team of people not on antidepressants but you believe should totally be on antidepressants.
Slate: Why do you think people find what you say in your act somehow more offensive than what Chris Rock says?
Pamela Paul is a contributor to Time and the author of Pornified: How Pornography is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships and Our Families and The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony.
Photograph of Sarah Silverman by Paul Fenton/Zuma Press.