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|2014||We Are Miracles|
|2006||Jesus Is Magic|
|2005||The Aristocrats (Original Soundtrack)|
|2018||Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity|
|2017||Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust|
|2013||Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles|
|2009||Funny People Live
Features both real and fictional comics from the movie "Funny People"
|2007||The Comedians of Comedy: Live at the Troubadour
Special features multiple performers
|2006||Comic Relief 2006
Benefit show that features multiple comics.
|2005||Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic|
Weekly late night stand-up showcase on NBC
|2010||The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee|
Silverman was born in Bedford, New Hampshire to Jewish parents of Russian and Polish descent, Donald and Beth Ann Silverman. In a few interviews and in standup routines, she has invented false but comical descriptions of her ethnic/racial heritage, speaking of having “Chinese,” “Italian,” “Armenian,” “Mexican,” or even “black” American, in addition to Jewish, ancestry. She has three sisters: Susan Silverman-Abramowitz, a rabbi and author of Jewish Family & Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values for Today’s Parents and Children; actress Laura Silverman (who plays one of her friends in the film version of Jesus is Magic and also co-stars as herself in Sarah’s sitcom); and screenwriter Jody Speyer.
She received national exposure after earning a role on the 1993-94 season of Saturday Night Live. She was a writer and featured player at this time, but was fired after one season because she had written only one sketch that survived through to dress rehearsal and none which made it to air. Bob Odenkirk, a former SNL writer who knew her from her stand-up act in Los Angeles, commented on why she was fired: “I could see how it wouldn’t work at SNL because she’s got her own voice, she’s very much Sarah Silverman all the time. She can play a character but she doesn’t disappear into the character—she makes the character her.” Silverman states that she was fired by SNL in an undignified manner (via fax) and this upset her greatly.
This situation was parodied when she appeared in The Larry Sanders Show episode The New Writer, in which she appears as the new writer on Larry’s staff and her jokes are not used because of the “chauvinism”, disregard for female comedians and possible bias of the male head comedy writer, who favors the jokes of his male co-writers.
She then moved on to the HBO sketch comedy show Mr. Show with Bob and David, where she was a featured performer. Silverman made guest appearances on such programs as the 1997 Seinfeld episode “The Money,” the two-part time-travel episode “Future’s End” of Star Trek: Voyager and as a series regular on the TV show Greg the Bunny (2002), playing serious characters, as well as the voice of character “Hadassah Guberman” on the salacious puppet television comedy Crank Yankers. She has also had small parts in films such as There’s Something About Mary, Say It Isn’t So, School of Rock, The Way of the Gun, Overnight Delivery, Screwed, Heartbreakers, Evolution and Rent, again playing serious roles. On November 11, 2005, her stand-up comedy act (one-woman show) was released as a feature film, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic. As part of the publicity campaign surrounding the film, Silverman made several high profile appearances, including online in Slate, as the cover subject of Heeb magazine, and performing on the Comedy Central roasts of Pamela Anderson and Hugh Hefner.
On Jimmy Kimmel Live, she has parodied sketches from Chappelle’s Show, as a point of view of what would happen if she played Rick James, Tyrone, or the Pilot Boy Productions-like logo called Pilot Girl Productions. This segment is based on a popular rumor that Silverman is a planned replacement for Dave Chappelle after the apparent demise of his popular television show Chappelle’s Show.
Sarah recently made the cover of London’s March 12, 2006 Sunday Observer magazine with an article titled “If women aren’t funny, how come the world’s hottest, most controversial comedian is female?”
In 2006, she placed #50 in the annual Maxim magazine Hot 100 List.
Silverman in Jesus Is Magic.
On November 11, 2005, Silverman’s concert movie, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic was released in eight theatres. Based on her popular one-woman show of the same name, it was directed by Liam Lynch and distributed by Roadside Attractions. Receiving positive reviews, it made just under $125,000 on its opening weekend, and had the highest per-screen average on only 7 screens. Its performance led to an expanded release in as many as 57 theatres, resulting in a box office take of more than $1.3 million. The movie released on DVD on June 6, 2006, with an official soundtrack released on the same day. The soundtrack featured songs in the movie, some of her standup from the movie, and some previously unreleased songs.
Silverman’s own sitcom, The Sarah Silverman Program debuted on Comedy Central on February 1, 2007. It is similar to the popular Curb Your Enthusiasm in that it follows a fictional version of the actress.
The show proved to be a ratings success, scoring the highest premiere ratings that a Comedy Central show has had in three years with 1.8 million viewers and the highest 18-49 rating of the night on cable.
Silverman caused a brief controversy after using the ethnic slur “chink” in an interview on the July 11, 2001 episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. In the interview, Silverman explained that a friend had advised her on how to avoid jury duty by writing a racial slur on the selection form, “something really inappropriate, like, ‘I hate chinks’.” However, Silverman said that she ultimately decided that she did not want to be thought of as a racist and instead wrote, “I love chinks. And who doesn’t?” Even though Silverman claimed to be satirizing the racist thought process, Guy Aoki, co-founder and head of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) objected to her use of the slur, saying that NBC’s airing of it was inexcusable. NBC and O’Brien issued an apology, but Silverman did not, later appearing on Politically Incorrect on July 26, and August 22, 2001. During the former episode, Asian actress Kelly Hu stated that she understood the point of the joke, and did not object to it, and Silverman questioned Aoki’s sincerity, accusing him of exploiting the opportunity for publicity. During the latter episode, Aoki appeared with Silverman, and stated that he did not accept Silverman’s explanation, saying that it was not successful satire, that she should have subsituted “chink” with “Chinese person”, and that comedians should consult with groups such as his before performing such material. Silverman stated in an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air that she was asked to repeat the joke on Politically Incorrect, among other places, but she eventually felt compelled to drop the joke from her act because she felt it was becoming stale.
Silverman has since turned the complaint into grist for her stand-up act, saying that the experience helped teach her the important lesson that racism is bad: “And I mean bad, like in that black way.” Her stand-up act is similarly charged with outrageously ironic racist statements, delivered in a convincingly serious manner:
“Everybody blames the Jews for killing Christ, and then the Jews try to pass it off on the Romans. I’m one of the few people who believe it was the blacks.”
“I was raped by a doctor, which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl.”
“Everyone knows that the best time to get pregnant is when you’re a black teenager.”
Another classic snapshot of Silverman is what Paul Provenza called a “disconcerting and uncomfortable” performance of the infamous joke called The Aristocrats in his documentary of the same name. In her version of the joke she accuses Joe Franklin of raping her, in a deadpan manner. On the DVD release of the film, Provenza joked that Silverman had planned a publicity stunt in which she filed rape charges against Franklin.
Silverman talked about having dated Dave Attell on one of her appearances on the Howard Stern radio show. Silverman was also romantically linked with Colin Quinn during her Saturday Night Live career, which is referred to humorously by both parties. According to NNDB.com, she also dated comedian Sam Seder. In her first appearance on the Stern show in June 2001, she said she was dating someone named Tom who wrote for SNL and Michael Moore.
Since 2002, Silverman has been in a relationship with Jimmy Kimmel, host of Jimmy Kimmel Live. It is a relationship she refers to in some of her comic material:
“I wear this Saint Christopher medal sometimes because–I’m Jewish, but my boyfriend is Catholic –it was cute the way he gave it to me. He said if it doesn’t burn through my skin it will protect me.”
“I’m not going to make fun of Jimmy anymore because he might withhold his tiny penis from me.”
Silverman is a fan of Jenny Lewis and appeared in one of Lewis’s music videos. She also is a fan of comedian Steve Martin and got a lot of inspiration from him growing up.
Silverman is very open about her lifelong battle with clinical depression, crediting her freedom from attacks of emotional despair to her use of prescription Zoloft. Silverman said she’s a teetotaller because she says alcohol nauseates her. She has, however, claimed that she smokes marijuana at least four days out of each week.
Silverman says she doesn’t want to get married until same-sex couples are able to.