Sarah Silverman

On this date in 1970, Sarah Kate Silverman was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, into a secular Jewish home. Silverman acted in plays as a teen and first performed stand-up comedy at age 17. She attended New York University for a year and dropped out to work in New York City comedy clubs. Silverman worked as a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live for the 1993-1994 season when she was only 21 years old. She was featured on “Mr. Show,” a sketch comedy show on HBO, from 1995-1997. In addition to numerous television appearances, Silverman appeared in films such as “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), “Heartbreakers” (2001), “The School of Rock” (2003), “Rent” (2005) and “The Muppets” (2011). Her film based on her stand-up, “Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic,” was released, with positive reviews, in 2005. “The Sarah Silverman Program” aired on Comedy Central between 2007 and 2010, and was one of the network’s highest rated shows. Silverman was nominated for an Emmy for her acting on the show in 2009. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2008 for the short video she also starred in called “I’m Fucking Matt Damon,” which first aired on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Her memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee (2010), was a New York Times Best Seller. In a comic video first seen on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Silverman suggests to the Pope: “Sell the Vatican, take a big chunk of that money, build a gorgeous condominium for you and all of your friends to live in, all the amenities, swimming pool, tennis court, water slide. And with the money left over, feed the whole fucking world. You preach to live humbly, and I totally agree. So now maybe it's time for you to move out of your house that is a city” (viewed on HuffPost, 3/18/10). In an interview on “CNN Larry King Live,” Larry King asked Silverman if she was agnostic, to which she replied: “Yes, I'm agnostic. I don't know. I just don't know. I think people need religion because they need to know. They need to get their head around it. But you know, I don't know. I don't know what the answers are” (April 20, 2010).

“I'm so associated with being Jewish — and I do it myself — but I have no religion. . . . I wasn't raised with any religion, I have no religion. . . . ”

—Sarah Silverman, “Sarah Silverman Talks Peep World and Distancing Herself from 'Jewish Comedian Sarah Silverman,' ” by Jen Yamato in Movieline, March 25, 2011

Compiled by Bonnie Gutsch; Photo by Helga Esteb,

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