Comedian and SiriusXM host Sandra Bernhard chats with us about her upcoming show Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast at The Sorting Room, her thoughts on Donald Trump, and where she likes to eat in LA.
What can attendees expect at your new show? SANDRA BERNHARD: It’s everything that’s been going on in my life and globally, so it’s a mash up mixed in with some of my favorite songs with my band, the Sandyland Squad. It’s sort of a loose narrative of what’s been happening in my life leading up to the end of the year and all the things that have kind of kept us on our toes in 2016. I obviously touch on the election, fun stuff about my daughter going off to college, and people I’ve hung out with. I’m always excited to go back to LA—that was my home base for many years and I like the idea of doing a more intimate show.
Speaking of the election, what are your thoughts on it? SB: Well, I think the state of things is incredibly disturbing. Politics used to be a lively conversation between all the different parties, specifically the two main parties, and I think ultimately people had the best interests of the American public at heart. Donald Trump is a total narcissist. I don’t think it has anything to do with truly caring about motivating the conversation and helping the American public and helping the world. What else do you get into politics for? You want to make things better for people. The Republicans, at heart, want to try to do something to make it easier to be a working-class person, and this man has absolutely no interest in any of it. It’s a real reflection of social media, pop culture, and instant fame. He’s sort of the perfect figurehead for where we’re at as a culture.
Switching gears a little, what is your creative process? SB: It’s an accumulation of material throughout the year. Now that I’m doing my daily show on SiriusXM radio, Sandyland, I’m always kind of in that mode, so it’s really helpful every day to be thinking about what I want to talk about in my show. Some of those ideas I elaborate on in my live shows and then I just write pieces about things that pop up. When you’re constantly in that writer’s mode, you’re always jotting things down and it evolves from there, and it happens in a number of different ways. Sometimes I’ll just be walking around and I’ll jot something down that I see, or a person—it’s a very wide birth of inspiration for me.
Now that you’re going into the second season of your radio show, what has been the most eye-opening experience? SB: I think one of the main things is just being on my toes every day and being plugged into that creative process, which is just coming in and accessing the simplest things that I may have been doing from cleaning my apartment to going out to dinner. Everything gets thrown into the pot and becomes a big stew. Also, when people come in and we have conversations, to be a good listener is really the key to having a great conversation with somebody in a talk format. If you’re just thinking about the next thing you’re going to ask them, you miss opportunities to be spontaneous, so I really try to be in the moment and listen to where they’re coming from.
When you’re in Los Angeles, do you have any favorite spots to eat? SB: I always go to Real Food Daily. That’s one of my spots for vegan. The one place I always go is Shu in Beverly Glen. It’s the best Japanese food in the world, hands down.
What fashion items do you always take with you when traveling? SB: It depends on the weather, but I kind of live in v-neck t-shirts and jeans from Uniqlo because they’re the jeans that fit me the best. That’s sort of my uniform. I love camouflage. I have this cute camouflage jacket I just got from Free People so I’ll probably wear that a lot when I’m in LA. In terms of what I’m wearing on stage, I’m not sure yet. I’m looking for something special for LA. I’ve worn a lot of clothing from Marc Bouwer—he always dresses me for my New York shows—and Marc Jacobs.
SANDRA MONICA BLVD: Coast to Coast comes to The Sorting Room at The Wallis on December 8-10. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-746-4000