There are parts of Sarah Silverman’s memoir, The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, that are very, very funny. Most of them involve her family, primarily her father and his accent, written out phonetically and played for great laughs. And Silverman, like many comedians, is great at poking fun at herself, and it’s fun to laugh along with her. She also tells great stories about the men and women she has worked with over the years — doing stand up with Louis C.K., the writers on The Sarah Silverman Program (all of whom seem profoundly, wonderfully disturbed). She tells a story that ends in this line: “HE BROKE HIS NOSE GIVING A FAKE BLOWJOB. Holy shit. I love that story with every part of me.”
She also includes a picture of Harris Wittels’ penis (with Chelsea Peretti’s hair clip on it — she made the mistake of leaving it unattended), with the caption “His parents are so proud”. I know she didn’t know the guy was going to kill himself — but ugh, that made me cringe.
Other parts were very touching — Silverman struggled not only with depression, but with a medical community that couldn’t figure out how to treat her (besides prescribing massive amounts of drugs that didn’t work to a teenager). Her struggles with bedwetting, which lasted for years, were particularly affecting. She was teased a lot growing up: for her “Jewishness”, hairy arms, and her inability to dress herself (which she blames on her parents, although she takes full credit for her rainbow Mork from Ork suspenders).
Other parts, however, really grated on my nerves. Silverman takes several chapters, spread throughout the book, to explain her side of a few things. One is an ugly dress she wore to the Emmys. Another was a controversy about saying “Chink” on late-night TV. Another was her insensitive monologue about Britney Spears after a disastrous MTV performance. First of all, I was unaware of like, all of these things (except I think maybe I saw the dress on Go Fug Yourself). I guess she’s just not really on my radar. So besides the fact that I didn’t really care, it was kind of annoying to read her excuses for these things, years after they occurred, in what is basically a one-sided argument for her own awesomeness. I guess this is the “redemption” part of her subtitle, but it came of as obnoxious and whiny instead.