- Brian Fishbach
Sarah Silverman on Label, "Jewish Comedian"
The term “Jewish comedian” sounds unnecessary, since so many members of the tribe have made a living being a lingual muse.
Either way, 42-year-old comedian Sarah Silverman is ambivalent when it comes to the “Jewish comedian” label. And for good reason: Her father was Jewish, her sister Susan is a rabbi, and her last name is SILVERMAN.
And in 2008, Silverman helped orchestrate “The Great Schlep”, which encouraged young Jewish voters to get their Jewish grandparents in South Florida to get off the golf course and vote in the Presidential election.
Still, in an interview with Movieline in 2011, Silverman says “I’m so associated with being Jewish — and I do it myself — but I have no religion. To me it’s cultural, it comes out of my pores. I can’t control it. I wasn’t raised with any religion, I have no religion, but it’s become such a part of me. ‘Jewish comedian Sarah Silverman!’ You know what I mean?
The “comedian” label needs not much clarification. A quick look through Silverman’s YouTube videos, quotes, or book The Bedwetter, you will see that being a Jewish girl is just one of the countless topics Silverman touches with her pointed prose.
Along the way, Silverman has appeared on almost every late-night talk show since the late 1990s. In 21 years on the comedy circuit, Silverman has had a part in so many television shows and films that she has proven to be a pretty reliable talent, always ready to work with her fellow comedian pals.
Silverman even had a cameo in the film adaptation of the musical Rent.<
Profane? Yes. Insightful? Absolutely. Shocking? No doubt. “Jewish comedian”? The label is distracting. But Silverman is certainly a bright and talented comedian—-a modern-day Lenny Bruce with a hint of Jewishness and a hunk of obscenity.
This article appeared on www.gatherdc.org.