Sandra Bernhard promises laughs at the Howard Theatre

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Entertainment,Robert Fulton

Imagine if social media had been around when Sandra Bernhard was starting to make a name for herself.

Who knows what may have been tweeted or posted or shared?

"If social media had been 20 years ago, it wouldn't have been a good thing for me," said the actress and comedian, speaking by phone from her home in New York.

Bernhard performs Saturday at the Howard Theatre.

If you go
Sandra Bernhard
» Where: Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW
» When: 8 p.m. Saturday
» Info: $35 in advance, $40 day of; 202-803-2899; thehowardtheatre.com

The outspoken performer, maybe best known for her role on the sitcom "Roseanne," has a long and varied career onstage and screen, but Bernhard's comedy could also be biting. Recently, a New York Times writer reviewing her show hypothesized that Bernard has mellowed.

"I don't think mellow is the right word," said Bernhard, 57, adding that she's older and the mother of a teenage daughter. "I think you just kind of shed different layers of yourself along the way. You're not as combative as you might have been in your 20s, your 30s, your 40s. I think in that way, I've definitely changed."

"I guess I don't have as much to prove as I did 20 years ago either," she added.

Bernhard's performance on Saturday at the Howard Theatre promises to include comedy, opinion and live music. Her singing chops are not to be ignored.

"So much of my work is informed by the mood I'm in," said Bernhard, who is appearing on next week's episode of the ABC program "The Neighbors." She also has a pair of television shows in the works. "What you can expect is a great show where there's very relevant material that's kind of about my life and the world."

"It's kind of drenched in irony," she added. "Even when it's sort of serious, it's still funny."

Bernhard stressed that much of what she does is improvised. She may write something down now and then, but what she puts out there on Saturday will reflect how she's feeling that day.

One of the places that Bernhard draws from is the personal. She said she does that more and more, while everyone with a computer, tablet or smartphone riffs online.

"It used to be more fun before the Internet," Bernhard lamented. "Before the Internet, not everything was talked to death. I always try to find something a little more personal or unexpected or maybe things that haven't been dissected culturally by a million other people. I really feel good about being able to draw from experience that I've had that nobody else gets to have."

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