News

How a Sarah Silverman skit played a role in Menlo Park's ban on payday lenders

 

Comedian Sarah Silverman showed surprise when the mayor of Menlo Park, Catherine Carlton, called in to say thank you during a radio interview on Friday, Oct. 9, on KQED-FM.

In August 2014, Mayor Carlton said, Ms. Silverman performed a skit on John Oliver's HBO show, "Last Week Tonight," that humorously denounced payday lenders, known for charging interest rates of more than 400 percent.

In the skit, Ms. Silverman said, "If you're thinking about getting a payday loan, just simply pick up the phone, then put it down again and do literally anything else."

Ms. Silverman's skit, part of John Oliver's segment on payday lenders, premiered within days of the Menlo Park City Council's own discussion and ultimate decision to ban payday lenders from Menlo Park on Aug. 26, 2014.

"That's amazing!" Ms. Silverman responded.

"What you do is really funny, and it's entertaining ... but I wanted to also thank you and let you know that you are actually making an impact in the world as well," Mayor Carlton said.

Ms. Silverman pointed out that while she usually performs her own material, in this case the skit was written by John Oliver's writers.

In August 2014, the City Council made the city's moratorium on payday and auto title loan businesses a permanent ban.

The city's moratorium on payday and auto title lenders was enacted in 2012, after Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) approached the city about taking preemptive action before these lenders came to Menlo Park.

The ban was supported by such organizations as CLSEPA, Jobtrain, Nuestra Casa, California Reinvestment Coalition, Project Read, Ravenswood Family Health Center, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Youth Leadership Institute, Asian Law Alliance, Housing and Economic Rights Activists and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.

Comments

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Ice cream shop opens at Stanford Shopping Center
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 5,889 views

The Last Straw
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 2,591 views

Couples: Do you Really Agree or are you Afraid of not Agreeing?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,142 views

Trying to enjoy the routines again
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 616 views

 

The Almanac Readers' Choice ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "The Almanac Readers' Choice" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 28th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 18th issue of The Almanac.

VOTE HERE