Book Review: The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

May 10th, 2010 by Graham McMorrow

The Bedwetter

What?! A book review!  Yes, The Mayor can read (slowly) and will stop talking in the third person right now.  In this edition Sarah Silverman makes her literary debut with The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee. Silverman I should add is one of my favorite comedians, she does great things with TV and film and so obviously a book was the next step.  If you are a fan of her famous internet videos (an example below) and The Sarah Silverman Program consider yourself a fan and pick up this book.  It’s irreverent, funny and sometimes emotional.  I’ll explain…Do not read this if you are easily offended by radical, funny women, crude language or jokes/ironic humor about pee, male/female sexual anatomy, sex, semen, defecation, body hair, religion (specifically Jews, Catholics, God), race (specifically African-Americans, Asians), homosexuality, rape, death, suicide, the Holocaust, drugs or bedwetting. Or anything, really.

Sarah Silverman has worn blackface and slept with God on her television show, and now she shares everything else in The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee. Though Silverman’s book provides the usual shock-and-awe humor we expect from her, it’s the afterword, written by “God,” that actually surprised me.  “God,” describes things he “had a direct hand in developing. Like I’m really proud of cancer. Also the HIV virus” — that to me, is hilarious and honest.  Reading too much into a knock at religion and crazy people?  Perhaps.  If that didn’t offend you, this book is for you.

The title of the book seems like a joke, but it turns out that wetting the bed was a problem into her high school years and contributed to her depression.  Silverman writes. “As quickly and casually as someone catches the flu, I caught depression, and it would last for the next three years.” She isn’t shy about the details of her sex life and visiting her past not-so-charmed career choices.  One person who doesn’t receive a detailed mention is Jimmy Kimmel; a surprise given their publicized relationship of more than half a decade.  Silverman’s book doesn’t just go for laughs. She mixes it up with funny and a sometimes serious look back.  She explains her dislike for deconstructing comedy – but does go into detail about controversial moments in her career that include using the world “chink” on Conan O’ Brien’s show, her insults towards Britney Spears and Paris Hilton to name a few.

Sarah Silverman

The book is beautifully written, funny and works as a great confessional for the star, some of the content is still going to offend. Her brand of humor does not sit well with many, Silverman’s God jokes are not taken well. However it is quite clear to most that the humor is tongue in cheek and not meant to cause offense.

As she explains, “I’m not writing this book to share wisdom or inspire people, I’m writing this book because I am a famous comedian, which is how it works. If you’re famous, you get to write a book, and not the other way around.” Despite what her critics say, it’s impossible to read this book and believe anything else except that Sarah Silverman is brave, funny and one of a kind.

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