Leads of the [em]Times[/em], Vol. 1: Sarah Silverman’s Imaginary Enemies

Lead-writing rule: It’s good to open with conflict, right up top. Thus Edward Wyatt on Sarah Silverman:

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 30 — Those who know Sarah Silverman only from her much discussed star turn in the 2005 comedy film “The Aristocrats” and from her one-woman concert movie, “Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic,” might bristle at the notion that another overnight wonder has been granted that holy grail of comedy, the self-titled sitcom.

Witness the might of “might”:

* IF there are people who only know Sarah Silverman from two movies, and

* IF those people, on watching The Aristocrats, concluded that this woman who appeared onscreen telling a joke, in the middle of a movie that consisted of dozens of veteran professional comedians telling a joke, was not a veteran professional comedian, and

* IF those people were then to hear that Silverman had landed a self-titled sitcom, and

* IF they were tired of the television industry’s constant practice of building name-branded sitcoms around unknown and unproven comedians

then…what? They “might bristle.” Unless Edward Wyatt of the New York Times–having executed the classic Straw Man Lead, aka the Flying Pig–is there to placate them:

But “The Sarah Silverman Program,” a six-installment Comedy Central series that has its premiere on Thursday night at 10:30 (9:30 Central time), is far from the work of an overnight success.

At ease, bristly people, wherever you might be! Edward Wyatt is here to tell you that Sarah Silverman is actually a hard-working comedy veteran. And, um, also (with less fanfare) that her “holy grail” sitcom consists of a six-show run on cable–which puts her in a bit of a a different league from Bob Newhart.