A Review By: Amelia
I’m not a huge fan of comedians that put on a fake persona to deliver their act. Take Stephen Colbert as the biggest example (in my own experience) that instantly comes to mind: charming nerd-man who really likes Lord of the Rings in real life vs. so bloody annoying when he does his patriotic, hard-ass act on the now no longer running Colbert Report! That act has made it impossible for me to like who he actually is because all I see is the act! For a long time, that’s how I felt about Sarah Silverman. I couldn’t get past her racist/sexist/crude jokes so I just avoided her. I don’t know what made me want to read her book all that considered, but I did, and came out of the experience pleasantly surprised!
So, what’s this book about? Well, considering how I didn’t like Sarah Silverman before picking this book up, I’ll give you exactly what I read that made me want to read it!
Warning from publisher to reader:
At HarperCollins, we are committed to customer satisfaction. Before proceeding with your purchase, please take the following questionnaire to determine your likelihood of enjoying this book:
1. Which of the following do you appreciate?
(a) Women with somewhat horse-ish facial features.
(b) Women who, while not super Jew-y, are more identifiably Jewish than, say, Natalie
(c) Frequent discussion of unwanted body hair.
2. Are you offended by the following behavior?
(a) Instructing one's grandmother to place baked goods in her rectal cavity.
(b) Stripping naked in public—eleven times in a row.
(c) Stabbing one's boss in the head with a writing implement.
3. The best way to treat an emotionally fragile young girl is:
(a) Murder the main course of her Thanksgiving dinner before her very eyes.
(b) Tell her that her older sister is prettier than she, and then immediately die.
(c) Prevent her suicide by recommending she stay away from open windows.
If you read the above questions without getting nauseous or forming a hate Web site, you are ready to buy this book! Please proceed to the cashier.
Can we talk about how clever this is? So self-deprecating and who doesn’t love a little self-hate every now and again?
So what’s Sarah Silverman all about? Well, she’s an American, Jewish stand-up comedian/actress. She has a satirical style rolled in sarcasm and dipped in irony that bluntly and crudely goes about social taboos like racism, sexism, and religion. Left to describe herself, she says she loves dogs, New York, television, children, friendship, sex, laughing, heartbreaking songs, marijuana, farts, and cuddling!
The Bedwetter, as mentioned above in the multiple choice questions, is a memoir that follows Silverman through her entire life. And I do mean her entire life. She goes into so many details many would consider so embarrassing they’d take them to their graves! She talks about her childhood and her relationship with her parents and how they fostered the love of comedy in her by laughing when she yelled the word ‘fuck’ as a toddler, her years of struggling with a bedwetting problem. Her teenage years were full of continued bedwetting and almost dropping out of high school because of depression and her co-dependent relationship with Xanax because of the depression. Then we get into her adult life and how she moved to New York and handed out flyers for a comedy club she would then perform at. She talks about her sex life and her crazy relationships with other comedians (Louis C.K. being one of her best friends).
What’s so interesting about Silverman’s life story is that she offers an in-depth look at her life without the rose-coloured glasses that so many others have while recalling their lives. It’s a very honest memoir and that is, by far, it’s greatest strength. With so many other comedian memoirs out there, The Bedwetter stands out as one of the most direct and open.
My final thoughts on The Bedwetter are that you should give it a chance and read it! I didn’t give it a chance until some five years after its release because I hated the title and thought I hated the author! I regret that decision dearly because this really is a great memoir full of such honesty that you’ll either cringe and want to keep reading, or laugh out loud and want to keep reading! Either way, you’ll want to read it!