Sarah Silverman — The Joy of Being Alone, Becoming Your Own Best Friend, Insights from Therapy, and More (#563)

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“Mom always said ‘Be your own best friend,’ and I really, really mastered that.”

— Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) is a two-time-Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and producer.

She currently hosts The Sarah Silverman Podcast and stars in the HBO Max animated series Santa Inc., opposite Seth Rogen. She will next be seen opposite Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson in the feature film Marry Me. Other upcoming projects include TBS’s Stupid Pet Tricks, an expansion of the famous David Letterman late-night segment, and the indie psychological thriller Viral, starring alongside Blair Underwood.

Her first book, a memoir called The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee, which went on to become a New York Times bestseller, is currently being adapted into a musical with the Atlantic Theater Company to premiere in April 2022.

Silverman served as creator, executive producer, and host of the Emmy-nominated series I Love You, America, which streamed weekly on Hulu and saw her connecting with people through honesty and humor. On stage, she continues to be recognized as a force in stand-up comedy. Her latest stand-up special, A Speck of Dust, debuted on Netflix in May 2017 and culminated in two Emmy Award nominations and a Grammy Award nomination. Her additional film and television work includes Battle of the Sexes, I Smile Back, Wreck-It Ralph, Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks The Internet, Masters of Sex, and Bob’s Burgers.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Helium 10 all-in-one software suite to sell on Amazon, Dry Farm Wines natural wines designed for fewer hangovers, and Athletic Greens all-in-one nutritional supplement. More on all three below.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#563: Sarah Silverman — The Joy of Being Alone, Becoming Your Own Best Friend, Insights from Therapy, and More

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

SCROLL BELOW FOR LINKS AND SHOW NOTES…

Want to hear an episode with someone who takes half-and-half with his coffee? Have a listen to my conversation with Jerry Seinfeld in which we discussed the book that nudged him toward comedy as a potential career, how to generate and maintain a prolific wellspring of creative ideas, why the word “systemize” is such an important part of his personal operating system, self-rewards and other routines that keep him writing, and much more.

#485: Jerry Seinfeld — A Comedy Legend’s Systems, Routines, and Methods for Success
  • Connect with Sarah Silverman:

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SHOW NOTES

  • Sarah continues her story about childhood depression that Jerry Seinfeld interrupted in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, explains what was going on in her life at the time, and answers the question her stepfather posed: “What does it feel like?” [06:34]
  • How did Sarah become her own best friend, and does this make her asocial? [10:47]
  • As a television aficionado, what shows give her comfort and deserve regular revisiting? [17:35]
  • What does Sarah mean by “comedy stress?” [21:02]
  • What Sarah discovered about herself and the comedic process while writing her memoir, working on her first feature, and observing Chris Rock. [22:04]
  • How Sarah’s experience as a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live — and as a basketball player growing up — made her tougher. [28:05]
  • The aftermath of Sarah’s time at SNL and favorite Charlie Kaufman quotes. [36:30]
  • On the rise of extremism across the political spectrum, where it seems to be headed, and what we need to remember about the things we consume via social media. [42:19]
  • The comfort zone of worrying. [46:24]
  • Sarah’s advice to people who are prone to constant self-flagellation. [48:27]
  • How has therapy helped Sarah, and how frequently does she attend sessions? Why did she recently switch therapists? [52:27]
  • Why prompted Sarah to start her own podcast? How does it differ from her comedic work, and how does she choose her participants? [59:47]
  • Is Sarah becoming her mother? [1:05:28]
  • How did Sarah get involved as the dramatic lead in the movie I Smile Back, and what did she take away from the experience? [1:08:16]
  • What did Sarah learn from spending time and working with the late Garry Shandling? [1:11:37]
  • What would Sarah’s billboard say? [1:14:42]
  • Grab joy where you can get it. [1:16:34]
  • Why you should never miss the chance to mourn at a comedian’s funeral. [1:17:31]
  • What would Sarah’s name be if she’d been born a boy? [1:18:41]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:19:11]

MORE GUEST QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW

“When you accept yourself the way you accept any schmuck on the street, you just have a lot more room for other stuff.”
— Sarah Silverman

“There’s nothing better than someone canceling plans.”
— Sarah Silverman

“Mom always said ‘Be your own best friend,’ and I really, really mastered that.”
— Sarah Silverman

“I am a people person, but I just really love being alone.”
— Sarah Silverman

“I had a dad who thought it was hilarious to teach his three-year-old swears, and then I would yell those swears at the market. And I just remember the feeling of yelling it out and all these grownups giving me this wild approval despite themselves. And that feeling, I just became addicted. … Shock became my currency at three and four and five.”
— Sarah Silverman

“Hey, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s okay if you don’t like what I say, and it’s okay if you’re no longer a fan.”
— Sarah Silverman

“With my stand-up, I’m a very slow honer. I’ll work on a joke for months, months, months, months, maybe even a year or two years and I hone it so slowly, even though it may sound kind of in the moment, I’m working on it inch by inch. And on the podcast, it’s very immediate. It’s messy.”
— Sarah Silverman

PEOPLE MENTIONED

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