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What shall we say about Sarah Silverman — born in Bedford, New Hampshire on this date in 1970 — but that she has taken comedy to new levels of tension and raunchiness that nearly, but not quite, make us wince as much as laugh? Silverman satirizes prejudice, sexism, ignorance, arrogance, insensitivity, and other destructive social behaviors by embodying them, and in doing so she has trumped both Norman Lear’s Archie Bunker and Stephen Colbert’s “Report” persona in her capacity to make us blush as she “innocently” testifies to America’s dark side. Unlike many other comedians, Silverman spent only a little time doing sketch-comedy before her break-out film, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (2005), and her Comedy Central television show, The Sarah Silverman Program (2007-2010), firmly established her persona in the public mind. Silverman stole the show in The Aristocrats (2005), a film that had a score of well-known comedians telling the world’s filthiest joke, when she “reported” in a deadpan style that the ancient talk show host Joe Franklin had once raped her. In 2012 she offered to have “lesbian sex” with rightwing Republican funder Sheldon Adelson if he would contribute to Obama’s reelection campaign instead of Mitt Romney’s. In real life, Silverman is a vegetarian, a teetotaler, a Zoloft user, an ally of GLBTQ struggles, and a radical/ liberal feminist/babe Jew who inexplicably has been in and out of relationship with Jimmy Kimmel, whose The Man Show was one of the more regressive entertainments of the past twenty years — but we digress. Silverman’s autobiography, The Bedwetter was published in 2010. To see her riffing on the Holocaust, look below.
“I think I’ve been called edgy — but in all honesty, there is a safety in what I do because I’m always the idiot. Unless you’re just listening to buzz words and not taking into account the context of the situation, you see I’m always the ignoramus.” —Sarah Silverman