In the past, I've hypothesized that Sarah Silverman and her show's writers have a list of hot-button or otherwise controversial issues that they consult for each episode. The first half of Season 2 last fall focused on abortion, sexual deviance, racism, but aside from the rape-tastic episode "The Mongolian Beef" two weeks ago, the second half of Season 2 has stayed relatively low-key. If you watch The Sarah Silverman Program, though, you know this won't last. And Thursday night, the "oh no she didn't" style made a semi-triumphant comeback with "Patriot Tact," which was built around the comic shenanigans of Sarah trying to memorialize 9/11.
Seven years may have passed, but for mainstream comedians, 9/11 still seems a little taboo. That's probably not the case for most fans of Silverman and her show; she's worked bits about 9/11 into her stand-up the past few years. I also suspect there's a fair amount of overlap between fans of the SSP and David Cross, who worked 9/11 into his stand-up on a tour just months after it happened. (Our rockstar siblings at The Onion published a cathartic, hysterical issue just two weeks after 9/11.) This is a long way of saying that 9/11 humor isn't as outrageous as it may seem, nor was having Steve and Brian dressed up as the Twin Towers in Sarah's stage show, Never Forget: A Look Back At 9/11. (But Brian's line to the man pretending to be an airplane–"I'm just a nice building! Why are so mean?"–was pretty awesome.)
Sarah's newfound obsession with 9/11 all stemmed from her running over a man (then men) she believed to be Osama bin Laden. That the world's most wanted men would be strolling down the street in Valley Village, in broad daylight, wearing conspicuous clothing, doesn't cross her mind. She just sees this guy (then another one, Fred Armisen), and runs his ass over.