Well, this is different. I’m not sure where to start. Right. OK. So today I saw this weirdo Sarah Silverman video with a unicorn, and it was a little funny but also overstayed its welcome, which, to be honest, pretty much sums up how I feel about her comedy generally. That’s also how I felt about the Sarah Silverman Program specifically. But! But!
There’s this one episode.
S must have had it on, and I was probably half-watching it. In the episode, one half of the gay couple realizes that all he wants is a baby, but no one will let a gay stoner couple adopt. So he sets out to build a child for them to raise together. (I am so annoyed, I can’t figure out how to embed the video from Comedy Central.)
As soon as I saw this, I knew exactly where it was going: it’s a retelling of a Czech folk tale called Otesánek. What?! Yes. Crazy but true. I know this because I’ve seen this wackadoo Jan Švankmajer film called Little Otik or Greedy Guts that used this folk tale as inspiration. Of course we all know what happens when humans challenge the gods for power. Hubris! Oh, yes.
So. There’s also this artist Rob Schrab who I’ve been aware of for ages dating back to his comic Scud the Disposable Assassin, of which S was a huge fan. Well, he worked on the Sarah Silverman Program, and wrote and directed this episode. I found what he calls an animatic version of the episode’s violent climax that he assembled to demonstrate his vision to the cast, crew, and network.
It’s hard to say why exactly this episode appealed to me so much; part of it is the folk tale, obviously, and the absurdity of it all, mixed in with what felt to me like real pathos. But the latter is subjective, so I imagine there are a lot of people out there (most people?) for whom this rates as a giant WTF. I loved the comments on the animatic video page that copped to being moved at the episode’s conclusion.