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Sarah Silverman: Fat jokes about women are offensive

By John D. Sutter, CNN
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What offends Sarah Silverman?
  • CNN interviews comedian Sarah Silverman
  • Silverman: Fat jokes about women are "an ugly thing"
  • Silverman: It's "appalling" for people to marry today, since gays can't wed
  • The comedian gives a controversial performance at the TED Conference

(CNN) -- It doesn't seem like comedian Sarah Silverman would be offended by much.

The star of the "Sarah Silverman Program" on Comedy Central is known for her overtly sexual, crass and off-the-wall humor.

But when asked by CNN if anything offends her, Silverman said one category of jokes does strike her as offensive and unfair.

"I don't really care for like fat jokes about women, specifically," she said.

"Because I feel that we live in a society where fat men deserve love, and fat women do not deserve love -- at least in white America. And so I feel like that's an ugly thing, and it doesn't make me laugh."

In the wide-ranging interview, Silverman also said she finds it hypocritical for people to get married today, since gay people can't legally wed in most states.

To do so, she said, is comparable to joining a country club in the 1960s that would bar Jewish and black people.

"Not only would I not get married until everyone else can, I kind of am starting to get appalled by anybody who would get married in this day and age," she said.

"Anyone who considers themselves for equal rights -- to get married right now, seems very odd to me."

WATCH HLN's Joy Behar talk to Silverman about her history of dating other comics Video

The comments came after Silverman finished a short but controversial comedy routine at the cerebral TED Conference in Long Beach, California, last week.

TED stands for "technology, entertainment and design," and is pronounced like the common first name. The nonprofit group posts free lectures from world thinkers online and says it's dedicated to "ideas worth spreading."

In front of an audience of Nobel laureates, mathematicians, artists, scientists and inventors, Silverman did not hold back on her edgy brand of comedy.

After talking about the merits of adoption and the problem of overpopulation, Silverman joked on stage that she wants to adopt a "retarded" child with a terminal disease.

That would earn her sympathy points, she said. But, because the child would die soon, she said she wouldn't have to be stuck with the burden for too long.

She also made jokes on stage about the origins of life -- several of which included references to her father's genitals.

Some conference attendees cheered and laughed at her performance, which stood in stark contrast to other TED lectures, which focused on topics like fractals, poverty and AIDS vaccines.

WATCH Silverman discuss her experience with teenage depression with HLN's Joy Behar Video

But not everyone responded well to her act -- including TED's leader.

Chris Anderson, the "curator" of the TED Conference, posted on his Twitter feed that he thought Silverman's performance was "god-awful." That post has since been removed.

In the CNN interview, Silverman said she thought she had been well received.

She later fired back at Anderson on her Twitter account, however, dropping a reference to another big-name lecturer at the TED Conference.

"Kudos to @TEDChris [Chris Anderson] for making TED an unsafe haven for all! You're a barnacle of mediocrity on Bill Gates' a--hole," she wrote.

In a follow-up blog, Anderson tried to smooth over some relations.

He wrote that he thought TED had an understanding with Silverman that she would remove some of the "extreme" material from her act.

And he maintained that some portions of her comedy still were offensive.

"Call me stuffy, but I still think humor about terminally-ill 'retarded' kids is an acquired taste," he wrote. "And not a taste I personally want to acquire."

CNN's Jarrett Bellini contributed to this report.