film / tv / substack / social media / lists / web / celeb / pajiba love / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / substack / web / celeb

GettyImages-1035261348.jpg

Sarah Silverman Lost Both of Her Parents, Two Weeks Apart

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | May 18, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | May 18, 2023 |


GettyImages-1035261348.jpg

When I woke up this morning, there was a new episode of The Sarah Silverman Podcast available, which was striking only in that it was the first since April. I knew Silverman had been on tour, and that the episodes during the first weeks felt thrown together, so I assumed that she had decided to take a break until she finished the tour and could better devote herself to recording them.

As it turns out, she had taken a break, not only from the podcast but from the tour itself. Sarah Silverman had lost her parents, two weeks apart from each other. She used the podcast to talk about what happened, and for those who are regular listeners, you know how close she is to her father, the rare New Hampshire Jew. She grew up outside of Manchester, NH. Her father owned a clothing store and a furniture store. He lost a son (Sarah’s brother) when the boy was young. He and Sarah’s step-mom, Janice, were frequent listeners of Sarah’s podcast, and before the end of each episode, she would signal to her father that the episode was winding down because he didn’t like it when it ended abruptly.

In any case, as Sarah recounted on the episode, her step-mom — to whom she was very close — died of pancreatic cancer earlier this year. Janice didn’t even know she had it until it was stage four. Her father is one of those old-school guys who didn’t know how to take care of himself without a wife — he didn’t even know how to pour himself a glass of water, Sarah joked — and so he took her diagnosis hard (in fact, Janice kept it hidden from him for a short time because she knew it would destroy him). Janice died in her sleep while her husband was asleep next to her, holding her hand. She was 80.

Sarah’s father Donald did not have much interest in living beyond his wife, and his failing kidneys wouldn’t allow him many more days, anyway. He was ready. He said he’d lived a good life, his daughters were all grown up and didn’t need him, and he wanted to be with his wife. I understand. He stopped taking his meds. Friends of Sarah with whom he played poker — Jeff Ross, Jimmy Kimmell, Jon Hamm — visited him in the days before he died. His family all were able to say goodbye, sing songs, and be with him in his final days. Two weeks after Janice died, Donald died at home. He’s with Janice now.

The funeral that followed was casual-wear only, and Sarah and her family wore his old t-shirts, which all had liberal sayings on them, like “Peace is possible” in Arabic and Hebrew, and “This is What a Feminist looks like.” It sounded like the perfect funeral if such a thing could even exist.

If death is not a hindrance, and if you’re at all interested in Sarah Silverman, it’s a stellar podcast episode: Sweet, reflective, and powerful. It’s worth a listen.