Sarah Silverman Discovers Dangers Of Deadspin’s Comments Section


Yesterday, Sarah Silverman participated in a chat in Deadspin’s comments section. The chat was the culmination of “Deadspin Comedy Week,” a series of pieces designed to generate buzz for Silverman’s new book, “The Bedwetter.”

Although Deadspin is a sports blog, they appeared to be fully behind Silverman’s new book. There were excerpts, guest posts by other comedians, and banner ads prominently displaying her visage.

But the highlight of the campaign was going to be a chat at the end of the week. Silverman, the notoriously abrasive comedian, was going to go head to head with Deadspin’s commenters, notoriously abrasive in their own right. Much like Silverman’s show, the chat had the potential to be racist, homophobic, and very entertaining.

It didn’t turn out that way.

Silverman, who had clearly not been given any lesson how to use Gawker’s somewhat complicated comments section, had trouble replying to the commenter’s questions. Sensing a disaster, even in the chat’s first few minutes, Deadspin editor AJ Daulerio tweeted, “Worst chat ever? Worst chat ever.”

It didn’t get much better from there. Silverman, in addition to having trouble using the comment section’s features, seemed uninterested in the chat itself. As this became apparent, the Deadspin commenters turned on her, criticizing her past movie roles and bringing up her relationship with Jimmy Kimmel. Those were some of the milder shots.

Meanwhile, Silverman either ignored the more malicious comments or didn’t see them. Either way, Daulerio’s frustration over her perceived indifference grew. At one point he commented, “She’s dumb. She won’t see this question. Sorry. I hate her.”

A short time later, Silverman left, apparently unaware that the chat had gone sour. Following the chat, Daulerio made a follow-up post summarizing it. It opened with this:

From dealing with her handlers or her publicist or assistant or handbag holder or whatever other title given to the people hired to manage Sarah Silverman’s Literary Life, this live chat, dear loathsome readers, sucked.

“I trusted her people too much,” Daulerio told us when we spoke to him last night. “They said they’d sit her down and show her how to use the comments. That obviously didn’t happen.”

In addition, Silverman’s perceived disinterest in the chat angered Daulerio. According to him, the “Comedy Week” had been discussed for months. Silverman’s editor David Hirshey also happened to be a Deadspin contributor, and he facilitated the partnership (Daulerio was quick to point out that Hirshey wasn’t part of the contingent responsible for prepping Sarah on the ways of Gawker commenting).

The payoff was supposed to be the chat between Silverman and Deadspin’s commenters. Silverman would receive some buzz for her book, and Deadspin would have something entertaining to throw on its site.

Only the first part happened.

Daulerio conceded that Silverman was probably in the midst of a “whirlwind publicity tour,” (her book was released yesterday).

“Still,” he said. “We put a lot of work in getting this to happen, but it ended up being completely disorganized. It also made her look bad.”

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