Sandra Bernhard is best known for her five-season stint on "Roseanne" as Nancy Bartlett, but her heart is in live performance. Her cabaret-style stage shows are a blend of comedy, music and pop culture commentary. They draw crowds of devoted fans, but Bernhard told KPCC that a recent foray into satellite radio has expanded her reach.
All kinds of people have started to listen to me, surprising people. People have called in from South Carolina, from Arkansas — you know, around the country, and that always takes me by surprise.
Bernhard's SiriusXM show "Sandyland" is a live show on Andy Cohen's channel Radio Andy. She takes calls from listeners, interviews guests like Debbie Harry and Lena Dunham and delivers plenty of on-air commentary in her signature style.
The Frame's John Horn spoke with Bernhard about hosting live radio, as well as her new stage show "Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast," which is set to debut in Los Angeles at The Wallis Annenberg Center for The Performing Arts on Dec. 8-10.
On her diverse radio audience:
They're not always necessarily a hundred percent on my super, uber-liberal wavelength. And yet, they're people who want the best for themselves, for the world, for their families. And I think that the great thing about being a performer, being an entertainer, is being inquisitive... I think there are certain people who have the ability to kind of reach across unexpected lines and get to know people.
On playing a bisexual woman on "Roseanne":
It was never done with some big heavy political point of view. It was just done because it was fun and nobody had ever done it before. She was a kooky character and she kind of fit in with all of the characters on "Roseanne." I think it just established me as [a] fun, television personality actress person. I think the impact of playing that role came later. I mean, nobody was patting themselves on the back thinking they were breaking any ground. They just thought, Oh, this is a really fun way of approaching a character.
Why you should see her one-woman show:
They'll never see anybody like me. I mean there's so few people that combine and synthesize comedy, and music, and rock and roll. It's a big mixed bag of fun and crazy. I try to get people to look at themselves, and I look at myself, and we all are the better for it.
Sandra Bernhard's newest show, "Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast," is at the Wallis in Beverly Hills Dec. 8-10. To get more stories and interviews like this subscribe to The Frame podcast on iTunes.