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Sarah Silverman razor-sharp at Northeastern

Sarah Silverman performing at Matthews Arena.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Sarah Silverman performing at Matthews Arena.

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Comedian Sarah Silverman performed a stand-up set at Matthews Arena Thursday night clad in jean shorts and combat boots — and generally living up to her reputation of tackling uncomfortable topics like religion, insecurity, and assorted bodily functions (both human and canine). Silverman had some fun with the sign-language interpreter, frequently glancing over to see how she relayed the cruder material. Silverman particularly enjoyed the sign for female genitalia, suggesting that women repurpose it as a wave-like greeting. She closed with a pair of songs, one a study of mortality with the blunt refrain, “You’re going to die soon.” Fellow comedian Nick Swardson was also scheduled to perform, but came down with food poisoning. His absence was a recurring theme throughout the night: Silverman mimicked Swardson’s uneasy, deadpan style, while last-minute substitute Juston McKinney joked that the cancellation was no accident. “I feel so bad that I food-poisoned Nick Swardson,” he said.

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