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Sarah Silverman's Bedwetter

The humor memoir shelf is expanding, probably in part due to the popularity of Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants, but I’m on the fence as to whether or not this is a good thing. The trouble is I haven’t been able to get through any of them, and it’s not for lack of trying. Sarah Silverman’s memoir The Bedwetter is readable (Yay!) and even has a few laugh out loud moments. It also provides a peak into the lifestyle of a stand-up comedian. Similar to Bossy Pants, it really made me appreciate the irony of how incredibly hard comedians have to work just to pay the bills by making people laugh. Hugs to all comedians.

Not knowing who Sarah Silverman was before picking up this book, I had the advantage of low expectations so I really don’t want to do the disservice of over hyping. As the title subtly implies, what primarily set Silverman apart from her peers during her early years in New Hampshire, aside from being Jewish, was that she wet the bed. She wet the bed big time, straight through high school. Her parents took her to head doctors who saved the day by prescribing xanax, up to 16 pills a day at one point.

My favorite part of the book comes early on when she talks about the headmaster of a fancy new school. For some reason, she got into the habit of throwing her books into the air and falling every time she saw him. “What? You can’t yell at me for falling.” It got to the point where a look of horror came into his face every time he saw her. What a bratty thing to do, but you can imagine a teenage girl who wets the bed almost nightly jacked up on xanax finding joy in driving her headmaster crazy, and you cheer for her.

The first half of this book feels like it was written by someone who cared about its quality. The stories are amusing, developed and have an easy flow. The second half of the book is sloppy and reads as if she didn’t want to write it. Overall, I think she’s at her best when not talking directly about herself. For instance, describing how, when leaving the house, nana would often yell after her “Don’t get a perm.”

I might check out The Sarah Silverman Project someday, and possibly her live act. You have to give her props. Could any other celebrity capitalize on having a weak bladder?