Sarah Silverman - The Bedwetter (4 stars)

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Sarah Silverman - The Bedwetter

(Faber)

There’ve been plenty of reasons to be slightly scornful of Sarah Silverman’s rise to infamy. With a demeanour which suggested that butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth (usually because there was no room to fit both butter and all those potty words), Silverman seemed to get away with saying all kinds of outrageous stuff because either: a) she is considered a hottie in an ugly male industry; or b) see ‘a’. Perhaps her eponymously-titled TV show and the performance movie Jesus is Magic were holding back her true genius or in fact all she really had in her locker was a gleefully rude song about Matt Damon. Then there was her disastrous UK live debut when she was booed off the Hammersmith Apollo stage for concluding that her audience should be rewarded with 40 minutes’ material for a 50 quid outlay.

All that said, her memoir (subtitled ‘Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee’) is a massively likeable, occasionally moving and often hilarious account of a weird childhood in New Hampshire with a dad who encouraged her to cuss in public at the age of four while her almost nightly habit of soiling her sheets took many years to subside. There are tales of death (her beloved nan, a sibling she never knew and the suicide of her shrink) and many swipes at her own ‘Jewiness’, as we follow her progress from shy outsider to America’s number one female comic, all with the benefit of not being accompanied by that slightly whiny, faux-coquettishness that is her stage persona.

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