For her new show at Joe’s Pub, the latest in her New Year’s tradition of guiding her fans into the future, Sandra Bernhard has turned “Sandyland” into “Sandemonium,” registering our current political times. As she told me in a recent phone conversation, her new Sandy show, from December 26 through 31, is a nod to craziness, and with the wisdom and sanity of someone who’s been here before, plus a touch of her signature sass and snark, her plan is to teach us how to escape despair and still have fun. “This too shall pass,” she consoles. “Trump’s not going to be president forever. We had Nixon. We had Attila the Hun, and humans lived through that.
Can you really tell us how to live through the political impasse?
Yes, I’ll tell you what you can do everyday. I believe in the powers of meditation and happiness.
As spokeswoman for our cultural times, what are your thoughts about the testimonies of sexual harassment?
It’s no surprise we live in a misogynistic society. Our culture wasn’t always patriarchal. Women had power but men stole it from us. One good thing: having a predator as president has lifted up these topics. People are not going to stand by.
Aren’t you upset by some of the men, like Al Franken, for example
People who are intelligent and care expect people to say no to the exploitation of what men have done for millennia. Al Franken is just unfortunate.
Maybe laughs can get us through: Are there any young comediennes you’ve got your eye on?
I don’t follow stand up that much but I do like comedic actresses like Katherine Hahn. And Tina Fey’s new show based on her movie Mean Girls, I’m sure it’s great and I’ll see it.
Aside from your show at Joe’s Pub, are you paying attention to the awards season?
I just saw I, Tonya, a great film, and Lady Bird is excellent. I am especially rooting for friends like Laurie Metcalf who won the Tony last year for A Doll’s House, Part 2, and, it looks like she will be nominated for Best Supporting Actress. I will see her next week for the filming of Roseanne. I was just asked to reprise the role of Nancy. Only special people are coming back for the anniversary show.
What are you bringing to Joe’s Pub this year?
Year after year I craft a new one-woman show for Joe’s Pub with my musicians, the Sandyland Squad Band. I’ve been collaborating with Mitch Kaplan since 1985. I have new songs too, going through the record racks, putting music together without being obvious.
I do not disappoint!
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central