Loud And Proud Facts About Sarah Silverman

December 3, 2019 | Mehroo S.

Loud And Proud Facts About Sarah Silverman

Sarah Kate Silverman is a lady who wears many hats. A stand-up comedian, an actor, a voice actor, a writer, a producer, a singer...and probably about 10 other things we missed. Clearly, not short on creativity this one. Best known for her unrestrained and (for the most part) crude sense of humor, there is more to Silverman than just inappropriate jokes and pointed comments. She is an intelligent individual, a feminist through and through, a liberal trying to understand the conservative mindset, a political and human rights activist, and much more. Read on to discover 45 facts about this controversial comic.

Sarah Silverman Facts

1. NYU (Not Your Usual) Student

Silverman knew what she wanted from a young age, and it was not a college education. She dropped out of NYU when she realized she was spending more time on the New York comedy circuit than she was in class.

Sarah Silverman factsWikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore

2. Short-lived Stint at SNL

Silverman’s first big break was when Lorne Michaels hired her as a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live for the 1993-94 season. Unfortunately, she was fired after 18 weeks. During that time, she acted in some skits as a supporting actor, but none of her sketches were aired and only one made it past dress rehearsal. Her jokes were considered “non-conformist.”

A former SNL writer said he could see she wouldn’t last because “she’s got her own voice, she’s very much Sarah Silverman the whole time.”

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

3. Fired by Fax

Michaels fired Silverman from SNL via fax. As if being let go wasn’t a big enough blow for the ego already...they had to do it with a freaking fax machine.

Sarah Silverman facts Wikimedia Commons

4. It’s in the Genes

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and that seems true enough for Silverman. She was born to Beth Ann and Donald Silverman in 1970. Her mother was the campaign photographer for George McGovern, and later also started a theater company: The New Thalian Players. Her father ran a clothing store and also worked as a social worker. No surprise then that Silverman has strong political opinions and her comedy addresses controversial social issues such as sexism, racism, and religion.

Sarah Silverman factsWikipedia

George McGovern

5. Daddy’s Girl

Silverman’s parents divorced when she was six, and eventually both remarried, but they were both committed to being there for their kids. Her father moved into a house on the same street in Manchester, New Hampshire, and was always around to take Silverman swimming and out for walks. He supported her when she decided to drop out of college and devote time to comedy, and he still gets into online fights with trolls who put her down.

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

6. Dear Mom

Silverman’s mother passed away in 2015 at the age of 73. She posted an emotional message on Instagram, paying tribute to her mother's spirit, courage, and to the fact that she taught her daughters to never let the fear of a broken heart stop them from giving themselves up to the experience of love. Silverman posted another tribute on her mother's death anniversary, celebrating her true "warrior" of a mom who achieved so much despite being born at a time when “girls were seen and not heard.”

Sarah Silverman factsPexels

7. The Silverman Bunch

The youngest of five siblings, Silverman has three older sisters: Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman, writer Jodyne Speyer, and actor Laura Silverman. She also had a brother—Jeffrey Michael—but unfortunately, he passed away when he was only three months old.

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

8. Let Them Eat Veggies

Silverman had a traumatic experience when she was a little kid that resulted in her swearing off meat completely. Her father took her to a farm to get a turkey for Thanksgiving. She did not expect this to mean that the farmer would slit the bird’s throat in front of them. He did. The incident made her become a vegetarian when she was just ten.

Christmas Industry factsPixabay

9. Fat Jokes Aren’t Funny

Although there isn’t much that is off-limits for Silverman in her act, she is firmly against joking about fat women. She feels fat men have it easier, as people think they are worthy of love while fat women are not. “I feel that’s an ugly thing, and it doesn’t make me laugh.”

Sarah Silverman factsWikipedia

10. I Got it From My Dad

By the age of three, Silverman had learned all sorts of swear words from her father. She would repeat them in front of other grown-ups and while they would be shocked, they would also find it funny. She “became addicted to that feeling.”

Sarah Silverman factsFlickr, Gage Skidmore

11. Battles with Depression

Silverman has struggled with depression throughout much of her life. She experienced it first at the age of 13 and it completely changed her. Silverman went from class clown to a complete hermit who missed school for several months. She described it to her stepdad as a feeling of “being desperately homesick,” but knowing she was home.

Sarah Silverman factsWikimedia Commons

12. Pill Power

Silverman’s therapist had her taking 16 Xanax a day at one point. She felt like “a zombie, walking through life.” Thankfully she found a new therapist who took her off the pills gradually, and she started feeling much more like herself. The depression returned when she was doing SNL, and a new therapist helped her by prescribing a pill that blocks panic attacks. She eventually weaned herself off that too, but keeps some pills with her in case of emergency.

Depression factsShutterstock

13. The Truth About Depression

Silverman got offered the role of Laney Brooks, a depressed suburban mother and housewife who engages in substance abuse and adultery, in the 2015 film I Smile Back. She was very apprehensive about it because she knew it would take her to a “very dark place.” However, she is glad she did it, even though the 20 days she spent shooting were very uncomfortable.

Sarah Silverman factsI Smile Back (2015), Egoli Tossell Film

14. I Get Knocked Down, but I Get Up Again…

Being fired from SNL seriously impacted Silverman’s confidence—which is completely understandable. However, the blow didn't break her. It hurt her for about a year, but it made her stronger and more motivated in the long run.

Sarah Silverman factsShutterstock

15. Kimmel Show

What could make a more fun couple than two comics together? Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Silverman dated Jimmy Kimmel for over five years, from 2002 until 2008. The two are still good friends and Silverman has appeared on Kimmel’s show several times after their breakup. Recently, when he asked her about her love life, she quipped that she was waiting for his “tryst” with his wife to be over.

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

16. Sheen Over

Silverman’s latest long-term relationship was with Welsh actor Michael Sheen. They began dating in 2014 but split up amicably after four years together. Silverman cited distance as a reason for their decision to go their separate ways. Sheen had moved back to Britain, and she was very much in the US. Shortly after their breakup, she did mention that she still loved him “to pieces.”

Sheen expanded on the breakup and said international politics were the biggest reason. The fact that both wanted to be more involved in their country’s political environment led him to Britain and rooted her more firmly in America. Unfortunately, they came to the realization that the timing was just not right for a successful relationship.

It seems that today's political climate is even more divisive than we thought!

Sarah Silverman factsShutterstock

17. The Darker Side of SNL

SNL and Silverman weren’t meant to be, but that doesn’t mean she couldn’t use her experience to get a few laughs! Silverman parodied her time at SNL in an episode of The Larry Sanders Show: She appeared as a new staff writer on the show whose jokes do not get featured because of male chauvinism—and the portrayal was frustratingly close to her real-life experience.

In an interview, she admitted to that many of the men at SNL “talked down” to her, while also remarking how things were completely different since Tina Fey had become the show's head writer.

Sarah Silverman factsWikimedia Commons

18. Screen Time

No one can stop a woman determined to go places. Silverman made her network stand-up comedy debut on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1997, but before that she had starred in HBO's cult classic comedy series Mr. Show and played the lead role in an independent film, Who’s the Caboose?

Sarah Silverman factsLate Show with David Letterman, CBS

19. Something to Talk About

There aren't many things that Silverman considers too sacred to joke about. In 2005, she released a concert film called Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic. A 72-minute film consisting of clips taken from Silverman’s stand-up routines, it was peppered with comic sketches, flashbacks, and even some original songs. No topic was out of bounds, as Silverman joked about things like religion, racism, sexism, 9/11, and homelessness in her typical politically incorrect style.

It received a mixed response from critics. While some called her humor “dangerous and liberating” there were others who felt she was “not so much smashing taboos so much as she is desperately searching for them.”

Sarah Silverman factsSarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (2005), Roadside Attractions

20. Tweeting Taboos

It isn’t very difficult to start a Twitter war; certainly not for someone like Silverman who isn’t politically correct at the best of times. She riled up the “twitterati” around Christmas in 2015 when she tweeted that Jesus was gender fluid. There was immediate backlash following this statement. She chose not to respond to the hate messages, but did post a note saying that for her it was “funny, beautiful and true in that He is all of us.”

Chelsea Handler factsPixabay

21. In Her Blood

In an interview she gave to the New York Times once, Silverman claimed, “I have no religion. But culturally I can’t escape it, I’m very Jewish.”

Ali MacGraw FactsMax Pixel

22. Sister Act

Silverman starred in a television sitcom with her sister Laura in 2007. The Sarah Silverman Program ran for three seasons. Silverman played an over the top, fictionalized version of herself who depends on her sister for everything. The show also featured their friends and several comedians from Mr. Show.

Sarah Silverman factsThe Sarah Silverman Program. (2007–2010), Comedy Central

23. Silverman Stands Out

The Sarah Silverman Program received favorable reviews and Silverman was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She did not win, though she was hard to miss at the award ceremony because of the fake mustache (and deadpan expression) she was seen sporting while the nominations were read out.

A smart move…not many remember all the nominees at an award show, but no one can forget Silverman and her mustache.

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

24. Dis-Harmony

Silverman created The Sarah Silverman Program along with her friend Dan Harmon, who later went on to create Community and Rick and MortyHowever, Harmon was so difficult to work with that Silverman actually had to fire him after just six episodes!

Sarah Silverman facts Wikimedia Commons

25. The “Bern” Factor

Silverman was a huge Bernie Sanders supporter in 2015: “He says what he means and he means what he says and he’s not for sale.”

Sarah Silverman factsFlickr, Gage Skidmore

26. Though Hillary Would Also do

Although she fully endorsed Sanders for the Democratic Presidential Candidacy, she did not agree with the “Bernie or Bust” logic and asked his supporters to show support for Hillary Clinton, because it would be ridiculous to do otherwise. Of course, she received much criticism from Bernie Bros for this opinion.

Sarah Silverman factsShutterstock

27. Comedy Queens

Silverman is a staunch supporter of all fellow female comics and finds it unbelievable that journalists would focus on their looks instead of their work. She is also frustrated when she feels a female comic isn’t given the status she should be given because of her crudeness, or “inappropriate” humor.

Sarah Silverman factsWikimedia Commons

Comedian Aida Rodriguez

28. Kathy Griffin Fan

A huge fan of Kathy Griffin’s work, Silverman feels it is a shame that Griffin’s brilliance is often overlooked because she is a “loudmouth.” She has called Griffin's voice “singular” and unique. Griffin has also stood up for Silverman when she has been criticized, in print or otherwise,

Sarah Silverman factsShutterstock

29. Wreck-it Sarah!

Although her brand of humor is anything but wholesome or child-friendly, Silverman has also been a part of the hugely successful Disney films Wreck-It Ralph! and its sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet. Both films did exceedingly well at the box office.

Sarah Silverman factsWreck-It Ralph, Walt Disney Pictures

30. Princess Vanellope

Ralph Breaks the Internet confirmed that Sarah Silverman joined an extremely exclusive club. That's right, the famously off-color, no-holds-barred comedian became a Disney princess with the role of Vanellope von Schweetz. Shortly before the film's release, at Disney's D23 Expo, Silverman was joined on stage by Kristen Bell, Mandy Moore, Anika Noni Rose, and six other actresses who have played Disney princesses themselves.

Silverman herself was shocked to find the whole experience extremely moving; to see Vanellope, a Jewish, "sweatshirt-wearing girl with an attainable waist," join such a remarkable group.

Sarah Silverman factsRalph Breaks the Internet (2018), Walt Disney Pictures

31. A “Very” Original Song

Silverman appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when they were still dating in 2008 to show him a clip of her duet with Matt Damon. The song was “I am ****ing Matt Damon” and it became an “instant Youtube sensation.” She went on to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Kimmel responded a month later with his own original song, “I’m ****ing Ben Affleck”.

The couple split up soon after, though it is fairly certain that neither Damon nor Affleck had anything to do with the breakup...or did they? No, probably not.

Sarah Silverman factsJimmy Kimmel Live! (2003– ), ABC

32. Teetotalling like a Boss

Silverman is no fan of alcohol. “I don’t have a palate for it, so it makes me nauseous before I get any of the fun stuff.” She isn’t comfortable around drunk people either and finds them “grabby” and “terrifying.”

Wine factsPixabay

33. Pot Enthusiast

Although she doesn’t drink alcohol, Silverman is a huge fan of pot and is a big supporter of having it legalized.

Sarah Silverman factsShutterstock

34. A Comedic Maturing

You live and you learn, and that is certainly a mantra that Silverman believes in. She has come a long way from when she made jokes about Paris Hilton on the eve of her jail sentence. Silverman regrets them now and “cringes” at jokes made over a decade ago about racism or homosexuality. As she says, “Comedy is not evergreen!” She would never make the same jokes today because she is “less ignorant” now and has “change[d] with new information.”

She wouldn’t delete her online history though, because “you have to learn from history, in macro ways and in micro ways, from your own history.”

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

35. A Bedwetting Past

Silverman has an interesting take on why she thinks women become comics. “It’s a survival skill, it’s a defense mechanism, it’s a way to survive childhood.” It is certainly how she has been forthcoming about her bedwetting past—by joking and laughing about it. Failure at comedy didn’t daunt her as much because she “peed every night in [her] cot in front of [her] peers” at sleepaway camp as a teenager.

When you put it that way, that does sound worse than doing badly on stage.

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

36. A Different Kind of Memoir

Not just content to talk about it in her stand-up, Silverman has also penned a memoir titled, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee. The book has a 3.5-star rating on Goodreads and received generally favorable reviews.

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

37. MTV Awards

Silverman hosted the MTV Movie Awards in June 2007 and appeared in the MTV Video Awards in September 2007. Apparently, MTV just couldn't get enough of her that year.

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

38. Adolf Silverman?

In true Silverman fashion, she made an appearance on Conan O’ Brien’s show in 2016...dressed as Adolf Hitler.

Sarah Silverman factsConan O’ Brien’s show, TBC

39. Not Just a Funny Girl

One wouldn’t think it while watching her comedy, but Silverman has a subtle and serious side. Critics lauded her for her dramatic portrayals of a recovering alcoholic in Take this Waltz, a substance-abusing suburban mother in I Smile Back, and Billie Jean King’s outspoken manager in Battle of the Sexes.

Sarah Silverman factsI Smile Back (2015), Egoli Tossell Film

40. Kids Not Wanted?

Not everyone is fond of kids. In several interviews, Silverman has mentioned that she does not want any because she is afraid of passing her depression onto them. However, she doesn’t know if she still feels that way because a part of her is “baby crazy.” She likes to think she would “therapy through it” instead of being horrified and paranoid about what might be wrong with them.

Sarah Silverman factsShutterstock

41. Marriage

Silverman maintained she would never get married until it was acceptable for same-sex couples to do so. However, she also tweeted that she would never consider marriage because “why would I want the govt involved in my love life? Ew. It’s barbaric.” She loves going to weddings and seeing her friends embrace the institution of marriage, but she compares it to being a vegetarian and being okay when others want to eat meat.

Sarah Silverman factsShutterstock

42. No Fan of Jerry Lewis

After making disparaging comments about women in comedy, Jerry Lewis came under fire from a lot of quarters. He later tried to retract his comments and claimed women “could be funny, as long as they weren’t crude.” Naturally, Silverman had none of that. Loud and proud of her uninhibited sense of humor, she tweeted, “caring what Jerry Lewis thinks about women comics is like caring that grandpa doesn’t like all the loud music today.”

Jerry Lewis FactsGetty Images

44. Honor Roll

Silverman has received several Primetime Emmy Award nominations in her career. Apart from winning one for her original song about Matt Damon, she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for Sarah Silverman: We are all Miracles in 2013. She also won a Seymour Cassel Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress for I Smile Back in 2015. Apart from this, she shares a BTVA Feature Film Voice Acting award and a BTVA People’s Choice Voice Acting Award with several others for Wreck-it Ralph. She also won the Best Actress Webby Award in 2009 and earned a Star on the Walk of Fame in 2018.

You get it—she's done alright for herself.

Sarah Silverman factsGetty Images

45. Almost Sued

Considering Silverman’s record of offending people, it’s a wonder that she only came close to being sued once. Radio host Joe Franklin considered filing a defamation suit against her for using his name in The Aristocrats—a documentary made in 2005, based on an off-color joke by the same name. Silverman adapted the joke to make it sound autobiographical and...let's just say, her tale wasn't exactly family-friendly.

She referenced Franklin in the shocking bit, and the fact that he nearly sued her says everything necessary about just how dirty the joke was.

Sarah Silverman factsWikimedia Commons

46. Close Call

In 2016, Silverman came down with a sudden, dangerous illness that left her clinging to life. After a routine visit to the doctor for a sore throat, Silverman quickly found herself in the ICU, restrained and drugged, for five excruciating days. It turns out, she had a bacterial infection called Epiglottitis, and it can be extremely dangerous. Silverman later took to social media to inform her fans of what had occurred.

In the post, she thanked her doctors, family, friends, and Sheen for helping her get through the ordeal, and admitted: "I am insanely lucky to be alive."

Sarah Silverman facts Wikimedia Commons

Sources1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35

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