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The Sarah Silverman Program
Pilot title screen
Also known as The Sarah Silverman Programme
Format Comedy
Created by Sarah Silverman
Rob Schrab
Dan Harmon
Starring Sarah Silverman
Laura Silverman
Brian Posehn
Steve Agee
Jay Johnston
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 32 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Sarah Silverman
Rob Schrab
Dan Sterling
Heidi Herzon
Running time 22 minutes
Original channel Comedy Central
Original run February 1, 2007 (2007-02-01) – present
External links
Official website

The Sarah Silverman Program is an American television series starring comedian and actress Sarah Silverman, who created the series with Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab. The show premiered on February 1, 2007 on Comedy Central.[1] The show's humor is predominantly based on satirizing conventional "family-friendly" or wholesome television programs.

The second season resumed airing on October 8, 2008 and finished December 11, 2008.

It was announced in Sarah Silverman's e-mail newsletter, on March 3, 2009, that The Sarah Silverman Program had been picked up for a third season. Writing for the season began March 4, 2009, shooting wrapped in October 2009, and the episodes began airing on February 4, 2010.[2][3]



  • Sarah Jane Anastasia Silverman (Sarah Silverman) - The main character who is extremely childish, immature, and exhibits a lack of diplomacy or sensitivity to others. She often acts impulsively, completely oblivious to anyone or anything else. Sarah doesn't have a job and her sister Laura pays her rent. Sarah is very close to Laura, and she has a dog named Doug, "Chihuahua-pug mix",[4] whom she found in the trash. Her favorite TV show is Cookie Party!, a show about cookies in which viewers vote for their favorite cookie. She enjoys watching the show with Laura as a weekly ritual, though going on Cookie Party! as contestants was not without its pitfalls for Laura and Sarah, as well as their mother's skeleton (episode "Doodie"). Sarah is jealous of Laura's relationship with Jay and assumes that Laura is replacing her by dating him. She retaliates by attempting to undermine their relationship. In the episode "Positively Negative", she expresses her unhappiness with Jay and Laura's relationship by sitting between them at brunch. In the first episode, her car is impounded after she drives under the influence of a cough syrup. She attended Valley Village High School with Brian, Steve, and Laura. Sarah and Laura's parents, Max and Rose Silverman, died when they were young (though, it is later revealed in the episode, "I Thought My Dad Was Dead, But It Turns Out He's Not", that her father is actually still alive). In the episode "Positively Negative", Sarah says that her mom was a "bitch" and that her dad was an "ass-munch." She claims to have spent an extended period of time in Haiti, but is unsure exactly how long, as she was "doing a lot of heroin at the time". In the episode "Not Without My Daughter", it is revealed that Sarah placed 2nd in the Little Miss Rainbow Pageant, and that she had tried out for the pageant every year since even though she was too old to compete. It is also mentioned in the episode that Sarah got pregnant and had an "abortion" 10 years ago and that she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant when she went to the hospital and ordered, "Get that thing out of me!" Her description of the abortion strongly suggests that she actually gave birth and abandoned the baby by climbing out the window.
  • Laura Jane Silverman III (Laura Silverman) - Sarah's younger sister (in real life, her older sister), is a registered nurse. Their parents died when they were young (Her mother's tombstone claims she died in 1986, when Sarah was 10), and Sarah is the only family that Laura has. Laura is very susceptible to guilt, making Sarah's manipulation of her remarkably easy. She is more responsible than Sarah and devotes most of her life to taking care of her. In the first episode, she tells Jay that she can eat 30 hard-boiled eggs in one sitting. She used to have a large amount of pubic hair (like her mother) until the episode "Patriot Tact" where she shaves it all off after her mother came to her in the form of a ghost and tells her how it's OK for Laura to shave. She falls in love with Jay in the first episode. She attended Valley Village High School with Brian, Steve, and Sarah. Laura pays Sarah's rent because Sarah is too lazy and immature to get a job or to support herself. Laura is currently married to Jay.
  • Brian Spukowski (Brian Posehn) - Sarah's gay neighbor and friend, who is dating Steve. He claims to be an enthusiastic metalhead but in fact only has one song on his five-year-old iPod, the Spin Doctors' "Two Princes." In the first episode, he claims to be bisexual, which causes some strain with Steve. Following a near-death experience, when Sarah crashes their car, Brian tells Steve that the event put things in perspective and that he remains gay. Brian takes karate lessons, but only uses his skills when he sees it is necessary (and not to defend Steve, episode "Humanitarian of the Year"). He and Steve occasionally double date with Laura and Jay, which they secretly dread. Brian attended Valley Village High School with Sarah, Steve, and Laura. In the episode "Nightmayor", he and Steve finally get married.
  • Steve Myron (Steve Agee) - Sarah's gay neighbor and friend, who is dating Brian. He makes wry comments on his partner's antics, or may even prompt them (such as by suggesting Tab could be a fine beverage). In the first episode, the sight of women in lingerie made him physically ill due to (or despite) the fact that Brian had pasted his face on all the women in the catalogue. Steve enjoys playing Halo 2 online. He is often assaulted by strangers, who claim that his face just makes them want to punch him. Despite knowing karate, Brian usually lacks the will to stop people from punching Steve. Although Sarah and Laura have two friends that are named Steve, they nicknamed Steve "Straight Steve" to be ironic because he is gay. His family no longer speaks to him due to his homosexuality and relationship with Brian. He attended Valley Village High School with Sarah, Brian, and Laura. In the episode "Nightmayor", he and Brian finally get married.
  • Officer Jay McPherson (Jay Johnston) - A police officer who is dating Laura, Sarah's sister. Jay met Laura when he arrested Sarah for driving her car into a playground sandbox after drinking too much cough syrup and passing out. Jay is also a closet performer, in the genre of sentimental "gentle comedy" character sketches. Jay dislikes Sarah and calls her "the cuckoo clown" (in the episode "Positively Negative"), but he is so devoted to Laura that he will go out of his way to help Sarah, even when she vows to kill him. Jay wins a "Humanitarian of the Year" award for the work that he does reading to blind people. Growing up, he never celebrated his birthday because his mother told him that every day was his birthday. (She'd only told him that to cover up her beer and cake addiction, which ended up killing her on Jay's actual birthday.) Jay also has a brown moustache. In "Muffin' Man," Jay mentions that his partner, Officer Paul Tompkins, has been suspended for opening fire on a Hispanic youth who pulled a pellet gun on him, and that he had received a temporary new partner named Tig (Tig Notaro) who is a lesbian. Jay was also very attached to a turtle he owned, Toot. Toot was shot to death by Sarah (in the episode "Pee"). It was revealed in Season 2 that Jay had an uncle that was killed by an electric eel. He proposed to Laura on the second season finale.

Minor characters

  • Max Silverman (Mark Cohen) - Sarah's and Laura's father. He was originally thought to be dead, but it turns out he is not; in the episode "I Thought My Dad Was Dead, But It Turns Out He's Not" Sarah finds out that he is alive after encountering him in a bookstore. Sarah introduces him to Laura on a television talk show where Laura is visibly angry and shocked. Max and Sarah go on tour as Lisa Loeb cover singers called the "Loeb Trotters". At the end of that episode Max reportedly dies 'again' in a bus explosion. It was revealed in the third season episode "Smellin' of Troy" that he did not, in fact, die in the bus crash. He actually fell into a coma, a fact Laura held from Sarah. He awakes for a short amount of time in order to kill Sarah's imaginary friend. He has been referred to by Sarah as an 'assmunch'.
  • God (Tucker Smallwood) - He has a one night stand with Sarah in "Batteries", then rekindles their relationship in "Ah, Men".
  • The Mustangs - Perennial Cookie Party champions, and all-around buttholes-about-town.


Season Episodes Premiere Date End Date
Season 1 6 February 1, 2007 March 8, 2007
Season 2 16 October 3, 2007 December 11, 2008
Season 3 February 4, 2010

The 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike put The Sarah Silverman Program on hiatus in November 2007.[5] According to actor Brian Posehn in March 2008, "We go back to work the third week of April."[6] The second half of the second season began airing on October 8, 2008.[7] The third season premiered February 4, 2010. [3]


The show's premiere drew impressive ratings, 1.8 million total viewers and 1.3 with the 18-49 demographic, making it "cable's biggest audience of the night".[8] The show had the single best debut ratings "for a Comedy Central original since the premiere of the animated series Drawn Together (2.2 million viewers) in 2004."[9] On February 12, 2007, eleven days after the show's premiere, Comedy Central announced that it had "ordered 16 new episodes for air this fall and next spring." The network claimed the early pickup was because in its first two weeks, "[the show] was the most-watched cable show in primetime among all key demos." Comedy Central called it "its most successful primetime launch in three years."[10]

The show also drew some critical acclaim. Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle, said that the show is "bursting with imagination, audacity, rude charm, and a relentlessly funny worldview" and called the show "an offbeat gem."[11] Daniel Fierman of Entertainment Weekly called it "totally hilarious."[12] Tad Friend of The New Yorker called the show "The meanest sitcom in years — and one of the funniest."[13] Doug Elfman of The Chicago Sun-Times called the show "a live-action comedy as funny as Chappelle's Show."[14] Time magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 New TV Series of 2007, ranking it at #6.[15] The show has also been praised for its non-stereotypical portrayal of a gay couple, resulting in a GLAAD Media Awards nomination.[16]

The show has had its fair share of detractors. Matt Roush of TV Guide called the show "juvenile" saying that "Silverman reminds us how quickly the novelty can wear off while watching a pixie with a potty mouth." Roush went on to say that, "If there's such a thing as feminist frat-boy humor, Silverman has mastered it. Big deal."[17] gave the show a negative review, elaborating that, "The Sarah Silverman Program has all of the charms of a joke with an audible fart as the punch line."[18]

On July 16, 2009, Silverman was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance on the series but lost to Toni Collette.

DVD release

DVD name Release date Ep # Additional information
Season One October 2, 2007 6 Audio commentary, musical performances, karaoke sing-along, and never before seen extras. A Best Buy exclusive, comes with bonus disc of Sarah's various Comedy Central material from Roasts and Crank Yankers.
Season Two (Volume One) October 14, 2008 6 Audio commentary, digital shorts, behind-the-scenes footage, and the cast and creators at 2007's Comic-Con.
Season Two (Volume Two) February 9, 2010 10


A soundtrack album will be released on March 2, 2010 entitled "From Our Rears to Your Ears." It will contain 99 tracks from the past three seasons.[19]

International broadcasts

Country TV Network Date of Premiere Weekly Schedule
United States Comedy Central February 1, 2007 Thursdays, 10:30pm/9:30pm
Australia The Comedy Channel February 17, 2009 Tuesdays, 9:00pm AEDT
Canada The Comedy Network March 1, 2007 Tuesdays, 9:00pm Eastern
Germany Comedy Central Germany October 23, 2008 Sundays, 0:45am; Mondays, 5:00am
Hungary Comedy Central Hungary December 4, 2009 Fridays, 11:00pm
Ireland Comedy Central IRE October 4, 2007 Fridays, 11:00pm
Israel HOT3 Wednesdays, 10:30pm
Italy Comedy Central Italy September 22, 2008
Latin America Sony Entertainment March 4, 2008 Tuesdays, 1:00am
Netherlands Comedy Central Netherlands Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 10:30pm
Poland Comedy Central Polska November 28, 2008 Fridays, 11:15pm
Sweden SVT1 February 18, 2009 Wednesdays, 10:25pm
Turkey e2 June 4, 2007 Mondays 11:30pm
United Kingdom Comedy Central UK, Channel 4 October 4, 2007 Fridays, 11:00pm
New Zealand C4 & Comedy Central February 5, 2008 (C4) Saturdays, 10:00pm (C4)
The Middle East Super Comedy Orbit cable network


  1. ^ Comedy Central (2007-01-11). "See the World Through Sarah's Eyes". Press release. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  2. ^ Sarah Silverman Online Newsletter
  3. ^ a b "Sarah Silverman Declares She’s ‘Literally’ Team Conan, Offers Advice To Leno". Access Hollywood. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  4. ^ Goodyear, Dana (2005-10-24). "Quiet Depravity". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2005-10-24. 
  5. ^ Keck, William (2007-11-13). "Actors lend support to writer's strike". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  6. ^ Sloan, Nate (2008-03-26). "Comedy: Nerd Rock". New York Press. Retrieved 2008-03-30. "We go back to work the third week of April... We were supposed to be shooting the first or second week of February." 
  7. ^ Comedy Central (2008-09-24). "The Totally Best Second Season Ever Continues... Emmy-Nominated "The Sarah Silverman Program" Returns Wednesday, October 8 at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central". Press release. Retrieved 2008-10-13. 
  8. ^ Crupi, Anthony (2007-02-05). "Comedy Central's Silverman Spells Ratings Gold". Mediaweek. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  9. ^ "'Silverman' Golden for Comedy Central". Hollywood Reporter (Reuters). 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  10. ^ "Comedy's 'Silverman' Getting Renewed". Multichannel News. 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  11. ^ Goodman, Tim (2007-01-31). "Silverman nails funny bone and all your buttons". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  12. ^ Fierman, Daniel (2007-01-24). "The Sarah Silverman Program". Entertainment Weekly.,,20009618,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  13. ^ Friend, Tad (2007-02-05). "Hostile Acts". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  14. ^ Elfman, Doug (2007-02-05). "Silverman wins with great offense". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  15. ^ Poniewozik, James. "50 Top 10 Lists of 2007 / Top 10 New TV Series". Time.,30583,1686204_1686244_1691353,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  16. ^ "19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Nominees". 
  17. ^ Roush, Matt (2008-01-24). "Designing to Win / Snarky Sarah". TV Guide.{C61ED008-FD34-4A5C-AA22-9E7232FE80BA}. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  18. ^ Havrilesky, Heather (2007-02-04). "I Like to Watch". Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  19. ^ [1]

External links


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