Onstage, Sandra Bernhard is the quirky comic who became famous “kidnapping” Jerry Lewis in 1983’s The King of Comedy. Offstage, she’s a straight-laced mom raising a 12-year-old daughter, Cicely. Together they enjoy “smart and funny” TV shows like The Simpsons and The Golden Girls.
Definitely not Glee. “I think its trashy,” says Bernhard, who performs Friday and Saturday at Prelude by Barton G. in Miami. “They jump all over the place. One minute you should be singing in the glee club and the next thing you’re threatening some other girl and sleeping with somebody’s boyfriend.” “I shouldn’t say that,” Bernhard adds, “because I should be on that show.”
Bernhard, a staple of the late’80s, early ’90s South Beach social scene when she dated Madonna pal Ingrid Casares, says her new nightclub act is a “conglomeration” of shows she’s done in New York City the past two years. “I describe myself as an entertainer,” says Bernhard, 55. “Like Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli, I take the best of all the genres and mix them up the way all the best performers did — but with postmodern, rock-and-roll, cabaret edge. I put them all through my own special blender.”
Her audience: “hip, gay people, straight people.” “The common thread is sophistication and intelligence,” she says. “We all think alike politically.”