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SARAH SILVERMAN'S OFFENSIVE LINE.

Byline: David Kronke Television Critic

Sarah Silverman hasn't quite broken through to stardom because Hollywood hasn't been able to figure out how to exploit her considerable talents. But after watching her new Comedy Central series, ``The Sarah Silverman Program,'' it's easy to see why Hollywood might be squeamish about fully embracing her sensibility.

Silverman is not exactly focused when it comes to offending; she merely sets her shotgun on ``stun'' and lets the jokes spray scattershot across the comic spectrum. Many of the ideas are inspired, mean-spirited fun; others, well, not so much.

And anyway, at this point, clueless bad behavior isn't the freshest concept in comedy these days. ``Seinfeld'' introduced it; ``Curb Your Enthusiasm'' honed it, and ``It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'' has elevated it to a breezily cankerous art form. By contrast, Silverman's show is merely an agreeable contribution to the genre, not exactly its apotheosis.

Silverman stars as herself, or, at least, a vaguely slackerish, craven version. The notion of selflessness has never remotely entered her noggin; she'll say anything that courses through her brain, regardless of how much it might hurt another human being.

Her sister Laura (real-life sister Laura Silverman) bankrolls her irresponsibility but is kind of crankily selfish herself. Sarah's gay neighbors (Brian Posehn and Zack Galafianakis) are scarcely better behaved. Laura's sometime-boyfriend, a cop named Jay (Jay Johnston), by way of flirting, informs her, ``I believe the Holocaust was completely uncalled for.'' Laura blithely responds, ``Oh, don't worry about it.''

Frequently, Sarah will interrupt the proceedings, as sloppily plotted as they are, to sing a chirpy little ditty about poking out people's eyes, or a seemingly earnest ballad about saving the world.

Occasionally, a song garners her a booty call from God; often, they serve only to kill time, albeit amusingly.

Otherwise, Sarah is completely content to insult anyone who crosses her radar, as cluelessly as she's able.

Yes, sometimes the show seems to try a little too hard to be in poor taste. Which is not meant to be a condemnation of bad taste -- though, honestly, who wants to champion it? -- just a suggestion that Silverman's show's pursuit of it could be a little more bridled.

David Kronke, (818) 713-3638

david.kronke(at)dailynews.com

THE SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM - Three stars

What: The comic's scattershot approach to bad taste in all its glory.

Where: Comedy Central.

When: 10:30 tonight; also midnight Friday.

In a nutshell: Scabrously funny, but not quite hilarious.

CAPTION(S):

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Photo:

Sarah Silverman, with co-star Brian Posehn, seems to be selfishly clueless -- or is she? -- in the Comedy Central sitcom in which she plays a character named Sarah Silverman.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 1, 2007
Words:442
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