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‘With-it’ audiences keep Sarah Silverman coming back to Chicago

Sarah Silverman's new comedy special is now available on Netflix. | Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Photo

When Sarah Silverman thinks about Our Town, the comedian and actress said recently, “I think of three things. [President Barack] Obama, the Cubbies and Chicago audiences — who have always been so great to me.”

“The audience is everything for a comic,” noted Silverman, who was in New York talking up her new special on Netflix, “Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust.”

“As for Chicago audiences, I love how they are so free, so with-it and so in-the-moment with me when I perform there. Maybe it’s because of the comedy roots in Chicago, thanks to Second City and all that, but I think some of my best shows have always happened in your town.”

As for “A Speck of Dust,” which is streaming starting Tuesday, Silverman said she is “very happy with how it turned out. It can never be exactly like a live show, because the audience is aware of the cameras and is not quite as loose as when they’re at a show that’s not being filmed. But that’s OK, because any comedy special you watch — no matter who the comedian is — is changed in that way.”

Some of the special is devoted to the huge influence Silverman’s mother had on her life. “Not only were we so close, but she deeply influenced my political beliefs and how important it is to be an advocate for the things you believe in,” added Silverman.

The entertainer frequently sports one or more of the buttons for various causes her mother wore over the years. On this particular day, Silverman points to one proclaiming, “Keep Your Laws Off My Body!”

“That’s from 1973,” she said with a very wry tone, “and just think about it. It couldn’t be more appropriate today.”