Profile of Sarah Silverman and Review of “The Bedwetter”

Last Wednesday, as part of Jewish American Heritage Month, the Library of Congress honored Joan Rivers, the late Gilda Radner and other female Jewish comedians through the showing and discussion of “Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women,” a documentary film produced by the Jewish Women’s Archive.

One wonders what these women would think of Sarah Silverman, an entertaining, outspoken and often controversial link in the chain of funny female Jewish voices.

Probably best known for her Emmy award-winning,”I’m F—ing Matt Damon” on then boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel‘s show in 2008, Silverman has never been one to shy away from bawdy material, just because she is female.

It may not be a surprise then to learn that her recently published collection of memoirs, “The Bedwetter,” subtitled “Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee,” is at times funny, heartwarming, illuminating, and downright raunchy.

Born and raised in Bedford, New Hampshire, Silverman recounts her bouts with bedwetting, depression, and always feeling different, as she writes, “In New Hampshire, I’d always felt like a goat living among sheep; until I got to New York it had never occurred to me that there could be a place filled with other goats.”

As for working, “Blue,” Silverman credits her father with teaching her “cursing as a second language,” leading to her first memory of an inappropriate comment leading to a laugh when she was three, telling grandma offering baked goods, to “shove ’em up your ass!”

She spent her early twenties in Manhattan with other comedians, like Louis C.K., and attributes that period of her life to the edginess of her material. “Life at that time was all about who would push it the farthest, who could be the most uncivilized just for a laugh.”

With a history of pushing the limits, She has definitely had her share of controversial moments, including shots at Paris Hilton and Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards and 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, respectively.

Despite growing up in a non-observant household, Silverman has become a beloved “Jewish” comedian.  While her Jewishness is something she has been happier to utilize in her comedy than to actively embrace, she recognizes that as an outspoken public figure, she has “been deemed ‘good for the Jews.'”

Silverman may have helped her popularity with her 2008 election video, “The Great Schlep,” urging grandchildren to visit their grandparents in Florida and convince them to vote Obama. While the video is certainly entertaining, it is also considered by many, including the New York Times, as influential in helping President Barack Obama win Florida and the election.

So if you liked her already, you’ll find plenty to laugh about in “The Bedwetter.” If not, Silverman would probably tell you to go f— yourself…

Peace, Love and Laughs
The Chosen

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