Funny girl and Emmy Award winner Sarah Silverman of the “The Sarah Silverman Program” returned to Comedy Central for her third season on Feb. 4.
Silverman’s big break was the year she spent as a writer for “Saturday Night Live”.
“It was an amazing experience that helped me for the rest of my life. “SNL” is like New York City in that if you can make it there, then you can make it anywhere. Not that I made it there, I didn’t,” she said.
Silverman’s career after that point included an eclectic mix of movie roles; stand-up comedy and writing, including a part in the movie “School of Rock”.
“By the time I got my own show on Comedy Central I was ready and experienced and knew who I wanted to work with. You want it to be a real, long gradual journey because it’s more fun that way,” Silverman said.
Silverman credits her comedic personality to growing up as a Jewish girl in a New Hampshire neighborhood that she describes as very “blonde, Christian, and LL Bean.”
“I was very different and I had an instinct to put people at ease around me by being affable,” she said.
The desire to put people at ease and make them happy is a trait she has carried through into her career and her personal life.
“If I’m with people I don’t know I will kind of go into host mode and try to make sure everybody is having a good time and is entertained, which is probably why I’m a comic,” she said.
“The Sarah Silverman Program’s” third season will feature a large variety of celebrity guests, many of whom are Silverman’s personal friends. “Saturday Night Live” cast member Andy Samburg will guest star in an upcoming episode as Silverman’s childhood imaginary friend who comes back all grown up and becomes a nightmare.
Silverman worked with Samburg and other “SNL” writers, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, when they were just starting out with their comedy troupe, The Lonely Island, as a part of Silverman’s project Channel 101.
Silverman has incorporated a lot of what she learned from her “SNL” days into the creative process of her own television show, but says that their style is a little bit more free.
“The writing process on my show is really different,” she said. “It’s just about five or six of us writing and we usually start out in my apartment, because we don’t have enough office space.
“It’s very free and we need to have a safe free environment where anything goes in order to write the way we write,” she said.
The show follows the daily life of a character named after herself, however Sarah Silverman the character and the real Sarah Silverman are very different.
“We talk alike and we look alike but my character is a little more dumb. I always think of her as an arrogant ignorant person, which is an awful combination but fun to watch,” she said.
Though her character was created purely for comedic interest, there is a side to her that shows that Silverman has put thought into the depth and meaning of this character.
“The Sarah Silverman I play on the show is always looking for an identity to put on,” she said. “The real way to go in life is just to discover who you are from the inside out, and she does it from the outside in.
“A lot of people do that instead of just looking inside themselves,” she says.
Silverman’s memoir, “The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee,” comes out in stores April 20.
“The Sarah Silverman Program: Season Two; Volume Two” DVD was released in stores Feb. 9, and features bonus materials including animations, behind-the-scenes footage and an audio commentary.
An updated Web site for the show will launch this month, featuring exclusive video from Sarah, moments from last season, episode highlights and behind-the-scenes footage.
“The Sarah Silverman Program” airs on Comedy Central Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.