The Rockettes aren’t the only entertainment staple in Manhattan during the final week of the year. Sandra Bernhard has delivered a one-woman show at Joe’s Pub during Christmas week for the last seven years, and she’s doing it again Dec. 26-31.
The witty and sardonic humorist admits she’s still suffering from the post-election blues. Bernhard, 61, leans left, though she leaves the heavy lifting when it comes to political comedy to specialists while sticking to her pop culture forte. Getting us to laugh again will be a big job, but if anyone can do it, it’s her.
Dec. 26-31, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.Joe’s Pub,425 Lafayette St.$60-$200, publictheater.org
“I’m happy to be a diversion,” she tells us. “I can entertain people with a nod and a wink. I think that’s what people need right now.”
We chatted with the downtown resident about what she’s hearing on the streets of New York and her new show, “Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast.”
You are one of Hillary Clinton’s “nasty women.” What went through your mind when it was evident that Trump would be the president?
It was terrible, absolutely terrible. It was the first time my daughter could vote. We were absolutely devastated. I’m still depressed about it, but now we have to be clear-minded and strong and do what can in the private sector and think about other things.
What are some of the topics that will be bandied about during your Joe’s Pub run?
I’ll talk about everything, like I always do. There’s AARP, the real possibility that you are about to enter the unsexiest time of your life. I’ll talk about running into people on the streets of New York, like Amnesty International. “Do you have 60 seconds for human rights?” I say, “I’m already involved in covert activities to undermine the very core of your organization.” Sometimes, I include the little asides: “Overheard on 10th Avenue, a blonde in yoga gear on headphones, ‘Yeah, that’s because she’s a dumb bleep.’”
Your Sirius radio show, “Sandyland,” has revealed another side of your humor.
It has. A lot of my fans didn’t know I had this side, which is conversational and emotional. I cracked the code of my limitless emotional state. Things are coming around. Why peak at 30? Everything is unfolding for me now.
Few people have nailed it by 25.
Those are the exceptions. You have so much more to give after you’re 25. I’m doing what I always wanted to do. I’m doing it 40 years later.
You were also born in the wrong era — you would’ve taken off if you had been part of the screwball comedy era.
But I’m fine with where I’m at. How much money do you need? How many accolades and fame does one need? If I had all of the money and fame in the world and wasn’t inspired, I would trade it for what I have now, which is the ability to write and be creative. I want to have fun and create and make people laugh and think.
That reminds me of a passage from your book “Confessions of a Pretty Lady,” about being a child in Arizona and how you acted out as a character when your mother served you lunch.
Exactly. I did that then and I keep on doing it. I keep making things happen. I’m lovin’ it.
Speaking of “I’m lovin’ it,” there was a time when McDonalds had a new jingle every few weeks. It’s been “I”m Lovin’ It” for about a decade. What’s up with that?
(Laughs) I know. People and companies get stuck but I don’t get stuck. I create. I also see how angry and miserable people are. Why aren’t you happy? I’m happy.
You’ve said that New York makes you happy. What do you love about your adopted city?
There is so much to love, even though it’s not like it was when I first started coming here. First off, there are so many creative people, and the food is great. I just wish it was a little looser like it was 10 or 15 years ago.
But things have changed. The money came in and forced so many people out, but it’s still a good place. I’m thinking about heading out west on a more regular basis, but I’ll always spend time in New York. I love to walk here and check out the beautiful smaller buildings and some of the neighborhoods. I stay away from Midtown since it’s crazy, and I don’t need crazy.