After more than 40 years in the entertainment business, Sandra Bernhard has done it all. Standup. Singing. Acting. Writing. Directing. Producing. She’s toured the country and traveled the world. But no matter where her career takes her, she will also be an iconic New Yorker. 

Bernhard’s holiday shows at the popular theater venue, Joe’s Pub, have become an annual tradition for New Yorkers, who return every year to see her cover musical legends like Tina Turner and Joni Mitchell — and, of course, her signature witty and sassy comedic bits that she sprinkles throughout her act.

“My shows evolve only in the sense that, as a performer and a person, you keep changing, and that infuses your work,” she told W Magazine in 2023. “But I think I’ve had my point of view, my style, and my take on the world from the beginning.”

For certain generations Bernhard might be most known for playing Nancy Bartlett, one of TV’s first openly queer characters, on the hit ‘90s sitcom, Roseanne. She also appeared in other series like Will & Grace, The L Word, 2 Broke Girls, and Difficult People, just to name a few listed on her lengthy IMDB credits page.

In recent years she joined the Ryan Murphy-verse, playing a nurse on Pose, and also appearing in multiple seasons of American Horror Story. Bernhard was most recently in the CBS sitcom, So Help Me Todd, opposite Marcia Gay Harden. Next, she can be seen in the highly-anticipated movie, Babes, starring Ilana Glazer and Michelle Buteau.

If having Bernhard on your screens wasn’t enough, she can also be in your ears, with her longrunning daily SiriusXM show, Sandyland, which she has been hosting for the past eight years.

On her radio show she talks about everything from Hollywood to the latest political news, nothing is off the table, as she gives her hot takes on the latest current events.

Bernhard lives in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, with her partner of 25 years, Sara Switzer, a writer and producer. While the out comedian might be a New Yorker, in 2023 she took a mini tour of Texas with her live show, Sandyland Presents: Stand With Texas, which she used to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ and reproductive rights.

“I love Texas, I love the culture, the food, the music, the people. So, when I see a government that is crushing their spirit, of course, I want to step up,” Bernhard said in her Texas tour announcement.

“Sandyland is my little world where everyone is welcomed and included, so I thought, why not come to Texas and give some love to my LGBTQ+ community? Why not fight for the abortion and health care rights of my sisters? Why not lend my voice to the educators who want to give students the vastest experience they can in the classroom.”

When asked about his friendship with Bernhard, Real Housewives executive producer and Watch What Happens Live! Host, Andy Cohen, told The New York Times: “She has her own rhythm, she has her own language — I think she’s something of a poet. Adding that as a cultural figure, he doesn’t think “she gets enough credit.”

From partying with Madonna back in the ‘90s, and performing her classic one-woman show, Without You I’m Nothing, to still selling out shows to this day, Bernhard might be an iconic New Yorker, but she is working to spread her Sandyland message of love and acceptance across America.

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