Parents' Guide to

The Sarah Silverman Program

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Caustic humor delivered in a sing-songy voice.

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Silverman is a skilled comic actress and an intelligent social critic, but her humor is known for its political incorrectness and lack of taboos. She frequently jokes about race, disability, religion, sex, and poop; in her stand-up routines, she even takes on previously untouchable subjects like 9/11, Martin Luther King, Jr., and rape. Silverman's trademark persona is self-absorbed and cutesy. She often speaks in a sing-songy voice, with her sweet demeanor highlighting the depravity of her jokes. Sometimes she even breaks into song, mocking the earnestness of musical ballads and MTV videos.

Silverman's commentary on race is especially incisive -- and often disconcerting in its ability to point out social problems. For example, at the end of one wild episode in which Silverman crashes her car into a playground after drinking cough medicine and later winds up in jail, she talks about the lessons she's learned, including: "Elderly black women are wise beyond their years, but younger black women are prostitutes." Like Dave Chappelle's smart and edgy brand of comedy, Silverman's material can very easily be taken the wrong way. Young folks attracted to her scatological humor may not understand that she's joking when she says, "Whether you're gay, bisexual, it doesn't matter, because at the end of the day, they're both gross." Parents may want to preview the show before allowing even mature teens to watch.

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