Sarah Silverman was not exactly an SNLstar. Hired as a writer and performer in 1993, only one of her sketches ever made it into dress rehearsal— and none ever appeared on the air. Silverman did appear once on the fake-news program “Weekend Update,” reporting on her sister Susan’s wedding. Still, at the end of just one season in 1994, she says, the producers laid her off via fax.
Silverman had far more success in her post-SNL career. She went on to do bit parts in such movies as Bulworth and There’s Something About Mary. Returning to her roots in stand-up comedy, she developed a charmingly naïve stage persona to skewer political correctness and say generally outrageous things. (“I was raped by a doctor,” she says in one of her bits. “Which is so bittersweet for a Jewish girl.”) Critics and peers applauded. “She’s what everyone says they want: ‘Where’s the really smart young women comics who are saying edgy stuff that’s really intelligent?’” Conan O’Brien told the New York Observer in 2001. “Here she is!” But mainstream audiences were less easily convinced, and Silverman often found herself embroiled in controversy. In 2007, however, she found her niche with a Comedy Central sitcom-musical-fantasy show, The Sarah Silverman Program, soon to enter its third season.
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