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Sarah Silverman – MovieActors.com

silverman
Silverman in The Muppets.

About Sarah Silverman (1970 – )

Sarah Kate Silverman was born in Bedford, New Hampshire, to Beth Ann (née Halpin; 1941-2015), and Donald Silverman. She was raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. Beth had been George McGovern's personal campaign photographer and would found the theater company New Thalian Players, while Donald had training as a social worker and also ran the clothing store Crazy Sophie's Outlet. Silverman's parents divorced but later remarried. Silverman is the youngest of five siblings. Her sisters are Rabbi Susan Silverman, screenwriter Jodyne Silverman, and actress Laura Silverman; her brother Jeffrey Michael died when he was three months old. Born into a Jewish family, she considers herself secular and non-religious. She was in attendance when women lit menorahs at the Western Wall for the first time in December 2014.

The first time Silverman performed stand-up comedy was in Boston at age 17, she described her performance as "awful". After graduating from The Derryfield School in Manchester, she attended but did not graduate from New York University and performed standup comedy in Greenwich Village.

After beginning her stand-up comedy in 1992, Silverman was part of the 1993–94 season of Saturday Night Live (SNL) for 18 weeks as a writer and featured player. She was fired after one season where only one of the sketches she wrote survived to dress rehearsal and none aired, although she did appear on the show as a cast member in skits, usually in smaller supporting roles. Bob Odenkirk, a former SNL writer, explained, "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." She has stated that she was not ready for SNL when she got the job. She said that when she was fired it hurt her confidence for a year, but after that nothing could hurt her and that she attributes her time to SNL as being a key reason why she has been so tough in her career. Later, she was grateful that her SNL time was short because it didn't end up defining her. She parodied the situation when she appeared on The Larry Sanders Show episode "The New Writer" (1996), playing Sanders' new staff writer, whose jokes are not used because of the chauvinism and bias of the male chief comedy writer, who favors the jokes of his male co-writers. She appeared in three episodes of Larry Sanders during its final two seasons.

Silverman was a featured performer on the HBO sketch comedy show Mr. Show (1995–97) and played the leading role in the 1997 independent film Who's the Caboose?, involving a pair of New York comedians (Silverman and director Sam Seder) going to Los Angeles during pilot season to try to get a part in a television series; the film features numerous young stand-up comedians in supporting roles but never received a widespread theatrical release. Silverman and Seder later made a six-episode television series sequel entitled Pilot Season in which Silverman stars as the same character and Seder again directed. She also made TV program guest appearances, including on Star Trek: Voyager in the two-part-time travel episode "Future's End" (1996); Seinfeld in the episode "The Money" (1997); V.I.P. in the episode "481⁄2 Hours" (2002); Greg the Bunny as a series regular (2002); and on the puppet television comedy Crank Yankers as the voice of Hadassah Guberman (2003, 2007). She made her network standup comedy debut on the Late Show with David Letterman in July 2007. She had small parts in the films There's Something About Mary, Say It Isn't So, School of Rock, The Way of the Gun, Overnight Delivery, Screwed, Heartbreakers, Evolution, School for Scoundrels, and Rent, playing a mixture of comic and serious roles.

In 2005, Silverman released a concert film, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic, based on her one-woman show of the same name. Liam Lynch directed the film, which was distributed by Roadside Attractions. It received 64% positive ratings based on 84 reviews on the film critics aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, and earned approximately $1.3 million at the box office As part of the film's publicity campaign, she appeared online in Slate as the cover subject of Heeb magazine and in roasts on Comedy Central of Pamela Anderson and Hugh Hefner.

Silverman played a therapist in a skit for a bonus DVD of the album Lullabies to Paralyze by the band Queens of the Stone Age. Silverman also appears at the end of the video for American glam metal band Steel Panther's "Death To All But Metal." On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Silverman parodied sketches from Chappelle's Show, replaying Dave Chappelle's characterizations of Rick James and "Tyrone" as well as a Donnell Rawlings character based on the miniseries Roots. In 2006, Silverman placed 50th on Maxim Hot 100 List. In 2007, she placed 29th and appeared on the cover.

Her television sitcom The Sarah Silverman Program debuted on Comedy Central in February 2007, the series had 1.81 million viewers and portrays the day-to-day adventures of fictionalized versions of Silverman, her sister Laura, and their friends. A number of comedic actors from Mr. Show have appeared on The Sarah Silverman Program. Silverman was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her acting on the show. At the awards ceremony, she wore a fake mustache. Comedy Central canceled The Sarah Silverman Program after three seasons.

In June 2007, she hosted the MTV Movie Awards. During her opening act, she commented on the upcoming jail sentence of Paris Hilton, who was in the audience, saying: "In a couple of days, Paris Hilton is going to jail. As a matter of fact, I heard that to make her feel more comfortable in prison, the guards are going to paint the bars to look like penises. I think it is wrong, too. I just worry she is going to break her teeth on those things." In September 2007 she appeared at the MTV Video Music Awards. Following the comeback performance of Britney Spears, Silverman mocked her on stage, saying: "Wow, she is amazing. I mean, she is 25 years old, and she has already accomplished everything she's going to accomplish in her life."

In January 2008, she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to show Jimmy Kimmel, her boyfriend at the time, a special video. The video turned out to be a song called "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" in which she and Matt Damon sang a duet about having an affair behind Kimmel's back. The video created an "instant YouTube sensation." She won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards. Kimmel responded with his own video a month later with Damon's friend Ben Affleck, which enlisted a panoply of stars to record Kimmel's song "I'm Fucking Ben Affleck". On September 13, 2008, Silverman won a Creative Arts Emmy for writing the song "I'm Fucking Matt Damon". Silverman guest-starred in a second-season episode of the USA cable program Monk as Marci Maven. She returned in the sixth season premiere and for the 100th episode of Monk. According to the audio commentary on the Clerks II DVD, director Kevin Smith offered her the role that eventually went to Rosario Dawson, but she turned it down out of fear of being typecast in "girlfriend roles". However, she told Smith the script was "really funny" and mentioned that if the role of Randal Graves was being offered to her she "would do it in a heartbeat." She appeared in Strange Powers, the 2009 documentary by Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara about cult songwriter Stephin Merritt and his band The Magnetic Fields. Silverman wrote a comic memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, which was published in 2010.

Silverman played Geraldine alongside Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in Take This Waltz, written and directed by Sarah Polley. The film was well received when it premiered in Toronto in 2011 and was picked up by Magnolia for U.S. distribution in summer 2012. Much was made of the fact that the film features a full frontal nude scene from Silverman, which the actress has spoken about on several occasions. At the Toronto International Film Festival, she told the press she'd deliberately gained weight for the part, emphasizing that Polley wanted "real bodies and real women." In interviews she warned fans not to expect too much. However, she later told podcaster and author Julie Klausner that she had not really gained weight for the role, and that the statements were meant as self-deprecating humor.

On September 20, 2012, Silverman made a public service announcement (PSA) criticizing new voter identification laws that create obstacles to the ability of certain groups to vote in the November presidential election, i.e., young, old, poor, and minority citizens. The project was financed by the Jewish Council for Education & Research (JCER) and was co-produced by Mik Moore and Ari Wallach (the pair that also co-produced The Great Schlep and Scissor Sheldon).

Silverman also voiced Vanellope von Schweetz, one of the main characters in the 2012 Disney animated film, Wreck-It Ralph. She is in the creative team that writes and produces the content for the YouTube comedy channel called JASH. The other partners are Michael Cera, Reggie Watts, and Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (also known as Tim & Eric). The JASH channel premiered online March 10, 2013. In Seth MacFarlane's western comedy film, A Million Ways to Die in the West, she played Ruth, a prostitute, who is in love with Edward (Giovanni Ribisi). It was released on May 30, 2014.

HBO has announced that Silverman will star with Patti LuPone and Topher Grace in a situation comedy pilot called People in New Jersey, produced by SNL '​s Lorne Michaels. The pilot was not picked up for a series order.

Silverman became a vegetarian at the age of ten. She has also said that she does not drink alcohol because it nauseates her. Silverman is open about her lifelong battle with clinical depression, which at one point led to her developing an addiction to Xanax. She credited her subsequent emotional health to taking the prescription drug Zoloft. She struggled with bedwetting from the time she was young until well into her teens and stated in a 2007 interview that she had wet the bed recently. Her autobiography, published in April 2010, entitled The Bedwetter, explores the subject, among others. Sarah has stated she does not want to get married until same-sex couples are able to. She stated she does not want to have biological children to avoid the risk that they might inherit her depression. Silverman's biological sister Laura played her sister on The Sarah Silverman Program.

An older sister, Susan, is a rabbi who lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Yosef Abramowitz, the co-founder and president of Arava Power Company, and their five children. Silverman considers herself culturally Jewish, which she has frequently mined for material, but says she is agnostic and does not follow Judaism, claiming, "I have no religion. But culturally I can't escape it; I'm very Jewish."

Silverman was in a relationship with comedian Jimmy Kimmel beginning in 2002. She referred to the relationship in some of her comedy, joking: "I'm Jewish, but I wear this Saint Christopher medal sometimes; my boyfriend is Catholic—but you know... it was cute the way he gave it to me. He said if it doesn't burn a hole through my skin, it will protect me." In July 2008, Vanity Fair reported that the couple had split. However, in October 2008, the media reported they were on "the road back to being together". The couple attended the wedding of Howard Stern and Beth Ostrosky, but split again in March 2009. Silverman began dating television writer Alec Sulkin in early 2010; they met via Twitter after she sent him a personal message and they split up months later in October 2010, but remain friends. Silverman and comedian Kyle Dunnigan were in a relationship from October 2011 to December 2013.

Silverman began dating Welsh actor Michael Sheen in January 2014.

Sarah Silverman's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1997 Who's the Caboose? Susan
1998 Overnight Delivery Turran
1998 Bulworth American Politics Assistant
1998 There's Something About Mary Brenda
1999 The Bachelor Carolyn
2000 What Planet Are You From? Woman on Plane
2000 Screwed Hillary
2000 The Way of the Gun Raving Bitch
2001 Say It Isn't So Gina
2001 Heartbreakers Linda
2001 Evolution Denise
2002 Run Ronnie Run Network Executive #3
2003 School of Rock Patty Di Marco
2003 Bad Santa Teacher
2004 Hair High Cherri (voice)
2004 Nobody's Perfect N/A
2005 The Aristocrats Herself
2005 Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic Herself
2005 Rent Alexi Darling
2006 I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With Beth
2006 School for Scoundrels Becky
2007 Futurama: Bender's Big Score Michelle (voice)
2008 Super High Me Herself
2008 A Bad Situationist Jamy Shonelike
2009 Saint John of Las Vegas Jill
2009 Funny People Herself
2010 Peep World Cheri Meyerwitz
2011 The Muppets Restaurant greeter
2011 Take This Waltz Geraldine
2012 Wreck-It Ralph Vanellope von Schweetz (voice)
2014 Gravy Bethany
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West Ruth
2014 Cops, Cum, Dicks and Flying Lieutenant Silverman
2015 I Smile Back Laney
2015 Ashby June Wallis

Sarah Silverman's television credits include...

Year Show/Series Role
1993–
1994
Saturday Night Live Various roles
1995–
1997
Mr. Show with Bob and David Various roles
1996 Star Trek: Voyager Rain Robinson
1996;
1998
The Larry Sanders Show Wendy Traston
1997 Seinfeld Emily
1997 Brotherly Love Rosa
1997 JAG Lt. Schiparelli
1997 The Naked Truth Ali Walters
1998 Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Herself (voice)
1999 Late Last Night Jen
2000 Manhattan, AZ Dakota
2000;
2013
Futurama Michelle (voice)
2000 Super Nerds Gwen
2000 Rocky Times Kate
2002 V.I.P. Lucy Stanton
2002 Saddle Rash Hanna Headstrong (voice)
2002 Greg the Bunny Alison Kaiser
2003 Frasier Jane
2003;
2007
Crank Yankers Hadassah Guberman (voice)
2004 Pilot Season Susan Underman
2004 Aqua Teen Hunger Force Robositter (voice)
2004 Drawn Together Bleh (voice)
2004;
2007–2008
Monk Marci Maven
2005 American Dad! Stripper (voice)
2005 Tom Goes to the Mayor Barb Dunderbarn (voice)
2006 Robot Chicken Lt. Uhura / Cork's Big Sister / Playmobil Bunny / Woman (voices)
2007–
2010
The Sarah Silverman Program Herself
2010;
2012; 2014
The Simpsons Nikki McKenna / Herself (voices)
2011 The Good Wife Stephanie Engler
2011 Childrens Hospital Britches
2011 Bored to Death Lori
2011;
2013
The League Heather Nowzick
2011–
present
Bob's Burgers Ollie Pesto / Ms. Schnur / Lead Singer (voices)
2012;
2014
Louie Herself
2012 Susan 313 Susan Farrow
2013 Out There Amy (voice)
2013 Comedy Bang! Bang! Herself
2013 People in New Jersey Melanie Levin
2013 Comedy Central Roast of James Franco Herself
2013 Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles Herself
2014 Maron Herself
2014–
present
Masters of Sex Helen
2014 Saturday Night Live Herself (host)
2015 Man Seeking Woman Josh's right hand (voice)

Memorable Quotes

“People are always introducing me as "Sarah Silverman, Jewish comedienne." I HATE that! I wish people would see me for who I really am -- I'm white!”

“[on the US-Iraq war of 2003:] "This is not the first time that Europe has been passive while a Jew-hating tyrant with a weird looking mustache killed the people by giving them gas. [Pause.] Obviously I'm talking about Chef Boyardee."”

“Some people say my humor focuses too much on stereotypes. It doesn't. It focuses on facts.”

“Was that incredible? Britney Spears. Wow. She is amazing. She is 25 years old and she's already accomplished everything she's going to accomplish in her life. It's mind-blowing.”

“I like my life alone. I mean, I love being with friends and I love kissing and loving someone to pieces. But it's hard to find someone who doesn't ultimately start judging you and your choices. Men like to squash you. I just want someone who's happy with himself, happy with his life. He doesn't have to squash mine.”

“I've turned down things that, I just go "I'd rather do stand-up than say this shitty exposition for bad writing." It's just not fun, like "but you're a lawyer and he loves you!" Good writing doesn't need some Greek chorus in the form of a sassy friend.”

Did You Know

Once wrote an article for Penthouse Magazine.

In 2002, she began a relationship with comedian and TV host Jimmy Kimmel, immediately following Kimmel's divorce from his wife, Gina Kimmel.

Caused a major controversy when she used the word "chink" during a stand up routine on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

She does not drink alcohol.

Endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election of the United States.

Plays acoustic guitar.

sarah-silverman
Sarah Silverman in There's Something About Mary (1998).
Opposite Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa (2003).
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Silverman in I Smile Back (2015).
With Mike White and Joan Cusack in School of Rock (2003).
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Sarah Silverman in The Way of the Gun (2000).