"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!" Sarah Silverman.
Sharp, sassy comedienne Sarah Silverman, who often uses many controversial topics such as racism, abortion, rape, death, scatology, child abuse, and sometimes a caricatured or stereotypical Jewish-American perspective in her comic materials, first gained national exposure as a writer/featured player (1993-1994) on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Sometimes credited as “Big S” or “Sarah 'Big S' Silverman,” the funny, irreverent, fearless and hardcore comedienne is also an actress. She could be seen playing roles in films like Bulworth (1998), There's Something About Mary (1998), The Bachelor (1999), The School of Rock (2003), Rent (2005), and her in-concert feature Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic (2005). Her latest film project is Todd Phillips' 2006 remake of a 1960 British film, School for Scoundrels, in which she costarred opposite Jon Heder and Billy Bob Thornton.
Silverman, once wrote an article for Penthouse Magazine, 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?" and made an appearance at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. The 5' 7" tall was one of the annual Maxim magazine Hot 100 List and appeared in the music video for "Rise Up with Fists!!" by Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins.
More personally, Silverman became the girlfriend of comedian/TV host Jimmy Kimmel (born on November 13, 1967) in 2002 after his divorce from wife Gina. In some of her comic material, Silverman refers to the relationship: "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."
Childhood and Family:
“I was born in New Hampshire. I only lived there until I was 18 so I don't really remember.” Sarah Silverman.
In Bedford, New Hampshire, Sarah Bennett Silverman was born on December 1, 1970, to Jewish-American parents Donald and Beth Ann Silverman, of Russian and Polish extraction. She has three sisters: Susan Abramowitz-Silverman, a feminist rabbi and author of “Jewish Family & Life: Traditions, Holidays, and Values for Today's Parents and Children,” Laura Silverman, an actress who plays one of her friends in the film version of Jesus is Magic, and Jody Speyer, a screenwriter. Sarah attended New York University for one year, but left to concentrate on her stand-up career.
Jesus is Magic
12-year-old Sarah Silverman had her earliest acting role as the titular role of a Community Players of Concord production of “Annie” and began doing stand-up comedy when she was in high school. The aspiring comedienne, who wrote the phrase “I Love Steve Martin” on her bedroom ceiling, performed her first stand-up gig at age 17, at Stitches, on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. And after leaving the university to focus on her stand-up career, she graduated to open mic appearances in Manhattan, which brought her regular comedy gigs and tours around the country.
While on the road, she was discovered by scouts for the classic late night live sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” (SNL). And Silverman, 22 years old at that time, soon found herself writing and performing, alongside part of the cast that also included Mike Myers, Chris Farley and Adam Sandler, on the popular weekly show. While writing for SNL, she also played the Chop Suey in Adam Sandler's performance of "Lunchlady Land."
Since her first appearance as a Not Ready for Prime Time Player in 1993, Silverman earned national exposure for her funny, irreverent, fearless and hardcore performance. But frequently using many controversial topics such as racism, abortion, rape, death, scatology, child abuse, and sometimes a caricatured or stereotypical Jewish-American perspective in her comic materials, she often got herself into trouble with the NBC censors. And after one season, she was eventually fired (via fax) since none of her sketches ever made it to air.
Bob Odenkirk, a former SNL writer, 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."
Quitting from SNL, Silverman relocated to Los Angeles in 1995 and moved on to another sketch comedy show, HBO’s “Mr. Show with Bob and David.” She also made guest appearances on sitcoms like NBC’s sitcom “Seinfeld” (1996-1997), where she played Kramer's girlfriend, UPN’s sci-fi series “Star Trek: Voyager” (1996-1997), NBC’s original "JAG" (1997), ABC’s original sitcom “The Naked Truth” (1997-1998) and a recurring stint as writer Wendy Traston on HBO’s satirical comedy show "The Larry Sanders Show" (1996-1998).
Meanwhile, Silverman also appeared in films, debuting with a starring role as a struggling Manhattan comedienne in Sam Seder's mockumentary Who's the Caboose? (1997). She followed it up with an appearance as Second American Politics Assistant in Warren Beatty's political satire Bulworth (1998; also starring Halle Berry) and a supporting role as a friend of Cameron Diaz's Mary in the Farrelly brothers’ romantic comedy smash There's Something About Mary (1998; also starring Ben Stiller and Matt Dillon). She was also seen alongside Paul Rudd and Reese Witherspoon in Overnight Delivery (1998) and with Chris O'Donnell and Renee Zelwegger in The Bachelor (1999).
Silverman also returned to TV, on NBC’s "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," where she once again sparked controversy for using the racist slur “Chink” in a comedy routine on the July 11, 2001 episode. Afterward, she was cast as Alison Kaiser on the short-lived Fox Comedy "Greg the Bunny" and voiced Hadassah Guberman, a Jewish female college student who frequently asks intrusive questions and makes veiled passive-aggressive insults, in Comedy Central's reality prank calls "Crank Yankers."
In 2003, Silverman played the annoying girlfriend of Jack Black's roommate in Richard Linklater's critically-acclaimed comedy movie The School of Rock. That same year, she toured the country in her one-woman show, "Jesus is Magic." The successful stage show, in which Silverman addresses such issues as AIDS, The Holocaust, race and midgets, was later released as a feature film, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic. The film, directed by Liam Lynch and also features Bob Odenkirk, Brian Posehn and Laura Silverman, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September, and was screened in eight theaters in November 2005.
Also in 2005, Silverman played a role in Jeff Garlin's feature writing and directing debut, the indie comedy I Want Someone to Eat Cheese with and portrayed Alexi Darling in Rent, Chris Columbus' film version of the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning rock musical. She also found more voice work on the animated series “Tom Goes to the Mayor” on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim and “American Dad!” on Fox.
More recently, Silverman 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?" She also made an appearance at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, where she joked about celebrity-socialite Paris Hilton being overweight and impersonal about her friendship with her “Simple Life” costar Nicole Richie.
Her other credits for 2006 include Sarah Silverman Comedy Central Pilot, which she also wrote, and the newly-released comedy film School for Scoundrels, starring Jon Heder and Billy Bob Thornton. In director Todd Phillips' remake of the 1960 British film of the same name, Silverman played Becky, Jacinda Barrett's sardonic roommate who routinely ridicules Jon Heder's Roger.