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Third Degree with Sandra Bernhard
The Editors | Photo: Kevin Thomas Garcia | May 15, 2014
The feminist fatale who worked with the legendary Richard Pryor, played a lesbian on Roseanne back before “coming out” was cool and starred in Madonna’s Truth or Dare doc, brings her hilarious stand-up act to Guild Hall on June 20 (158 Main St., East Hampton, guildhall.org). Here, Bernhard offers some words of wisdom.
What’s the biggest difference between Hamptons and NYC audiences?
The Hamptons audience is a New York audience on vacation. People still want to be entertained and challenged, but they also want to laugh at themselves a little, because the Hamptons makes people crazy and competitive and a bit out of control.
Favorite Hamptons spot?
I love Round Swamp Farm—especially when it’s quiet—with its cinnamon buns and prepared salads. I also love Halsey’s Green Thumb organic farm stand.
What five iconic figures would be at your dream dinner party?
Gloria Steinem, Joni Mitchell, John and Jackie Kennedy—they would be fabulous—and Audrey Hepburn. She seems like she’d be a great buffer between everybody.
Ever regretted anything you’ve said onstage?
I never regret anything I’ve said that’s made people laugh. It’s harder and harder now to be funny and not have consequences because of social media, so I definitely watch what I say more carefully than I did 10 years ago... but I don’t have any regrets.
People have said that today’s female comedians owe something to you. Thoughts?
Every generation owes a debt of gratitude to the generation before them. For me it was Lily Tomlin, and before that it was Carol Burnett. There are funny, interesting people who pass the baton on to other people who take it to the next level. That’s part of the natural evolution—of feminism, especially. It makes me happy to know that my work has opened doors for other people.
Worst job you ever had?
When I was starting my career, I worked as a manicurist in Beverly Hills, and it was a great job.
First celebrity crush?
Simon and Garfunkel. I really loved them. I know, strange...
What are you afraid of?
Falling, like tripping in the street—that’s always, like, a shocker! I can span out from there, but then this might turn into some sort of psychological conversation that you’re not prepared to handle, so I’ll just say falling.
What would you never be caught dead in?
Anything I can’t wear a bra with. At a certain point you want to keep things lifted.
TV guilty pleasure?
I love Love It or List It on HGTV. I also like Rehab Addict, with the little blonde who does the renovations—she’s a tough honey.
What's your favorite word?
Honey. In lieu of calling people by their name, I often call them 'Honey.'
What does no one know about Sandra Bernhard?
That I’m a fastidious housekeeper. I wash my own dishes—I never use my dishwasher. I do between five and 10 loads of laundry a week, and I fold them and put them away myself. It’s very meditative and helps me focus and keep my life organized.