Apparently memoirs of successful female comedians is a new favorite genre of mine. Good comedians are, by necessity, smart, funny, and insightful, so I tend to find their books worth reading. And even though I think getting up on a stage and telling jokes to a crowd of strangers would be the ninth circle of hell, I usually find something relatable in their stories. Besides Sarah Silverman's video, "I'm fucking Matt Damon" and seeing her on late night once in awhile, I didn't know too much about her or her work coming into The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee (2010).
Silverman's book is quick and entertaining. Every story and anecdote about her life is short and she jumps quickly from topic to topic before any boredom can set in. Silverman starts with her family and some unique childhood traumas growing up, she goes on to discuss starting stand-up, losing her virginity, her job at SNL, her work at The Sarah Silverman Program, and being Jewish. Although Silverman discusses some very personal details of her life, she avoids discussing her relationships in any detail--only mentioning some ex-boyfriends in passing. But Silverman is trying to entertain, not bare her soul to the world, and in this she succeeds.
Although Silverman tends towards the outrageous at times, my enduring impression is of her intelligence. When it comes to debating an issue, Silverman argues eloquently and thoughtfully. Silverman also mentions feeling bad about the jokes she told about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears on MTV. Although she is a comedian and making fun of people is a major part of the game, those specific jokes did not happen quite as she expected.
Two more random, but oh so important, points: I loved when Sarah Silverman talked about Louis C.K. Ever since I watched him doing some stand up recently, I've had a major crush. I was glad that Silverman's interactions with him did not require me to stop liking him. And finally, I would like to thank Silverman for standing firm against her publisher and refusing to use "pee pee" in the title instead of "pee." Who wants to read a book that sounds like a child's potty training manual. I don't know where that publisher was coming from, but dying on that hill was a good idea.