As a comedian, actress, and writer, former SNL cast member Sarah Silverman has carved out a successful career for herself over the years. Her firebrand kind of comedy may not be to everyone's tastes, but she is hilarious if you resonate with dark humor and the kind of stand-up that rarely cares to censor itself in any way. Her success as a comedian has seen her do four comedy specials, and earn herself a lot of praise along the way.

While she's best known for stand-up, Silverman also has an expansive filmography as an actress, having appeared in various films and TV shows since the early '90s. She's also appeared in music videos like Maroon 5's "Don't Wanna Know", and has proven to be a talented voice actor over the years, too.

With a ton of award nominations and wins to her name, including nominations for Grammys and Primetime Emmys, Silverman has become an icon of comedy and has amassed a huge following as a result. Hugely talented and always hilarious, here's a look back at her funniest movie and TV roles so far.

20 Herself - Funny People (2009)

Funny People
Funny People
R
Release Date
July 30, 2009
Director
Judd Apatow
Main Genre
Comedy

Funny People was something of a film shout-out to comedians. It starred Adam Sandler as a famous comic, George Simmons, who learns he has a fatal illness. Facing his own mortality, he decides to mentor a struggling young comedian named Ira (Seth Rogen). They become close friends, and Ira helps George leave behind a legacy he can be proud of.

Just a Case of Sarah Being Sarah

Among many other famous comedians that had cameos in the film, Silverman appeared in it for a quick scene. That short scene was enough for her to make audiences laugh, since it was a textbook example of Silverman being herself, and highlighted her audacious and immoderate comedic style. Seeing George in a bar, she has a boozy exchange with him where she laments how many men want to sleep with her, and why she shouldn't allow them to. Stream Funny People on an Apple TV+ and Starz combo.

Sarah Silverman in her scene from Funny People
Universal Pictures 

Related: Best Dramatic Movies From Funny Comedians

19 Josh's Right Hand - Man Seeking Woman

Man Seeking Woman
Man Seeking Woman
Release Date
January 14, 2015
Main Genre
Comedy
Seasons
3

Between 2015 and 2017, FXX aired a romantic comedy series called Man Seeking Woman that can be described as a surrealist show at best and plain weird at worst. It followed the dating antics of Josh Greenberg (Jay Baruchel), an awkward man who struggles in the dating world after breaking up with a long-term girlfriend. His dating experiences often devolve into surreal situations, such as dating an actual troll and interacting with a monster made of penises.

A Role that Somehow Just Fit Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman has grown a reputation for racy and unashamedly sexualized humor. Given her brand of comedy, providing the voice for Josh's right hand somehow seemed fitting. It also gave her one of the funniest roles in the show, as she and Josh share a hilarious exchange in which his hands questions their relationship (based on him pleasing himself). Man Seeking Woman isn't currently available to stream

Jay Baruchel speaking to his hand in Man Seeking Woman
FXX

18 Betsy Ross - Great Minds with Dan Harmon

Great Minds with Dan Harmon was a show with a great concept that featured via History. Conceived by writer Dan Harmon, it stars him and his assistant, Spencer Crittenden, as they construct a time traveling device to bring historical figures back to the present, so they can be interviewed for the History Channel.

A Satirical History

Among other comedic personalities like Jack Balck and Aubrey Plaza who appeared on the show as various historical personalities, Sarah Silverman was chosen for the role of Betsy Ross. As the woman credited for making the second official US flag, Ross was portrayed hysterically by Silverman. In keeping with the show's satirical history, Silverman depicted her doing things like claiming other designs for the flag originally featured things like a crown and a middle finger. Great Minds with Dan Harmon isn't currently available to stream.

Poster Image for Great Minds with Dan Harmon
History

Related: The 20 Greatest Comedy Movie Actors of All Time

17 Raving B*tch - The Way of the Gun (2000)

The credit for this one kind of says it all, as Silverman played a foul-mouthed woman who induces a fight between her posse and the film's main characters in The Way of the Gun. Those main characters were named Parker and Longbaugh, and were played by Ryan Phillippe and Benicio del Toro, who depicted two petty thieves who hit upon a scheme to kidnap and extort a pregnant woman acting as a surrogate.

She Was Hurt for Real in the Infamous Scene

The film's opening scene sees Silverman's character unleashing a homophobic, cuss-laden tirade on Parker and Longbaugh. However, what no one expects is for Parker to punch her character right in the face. A shocking scene done in a comical manner, it set the tone for the film, but has an infamous history, as Silverman herself explained to The Guardian. Stream The Way of the Gun on Tubi.

The second time was an accident and I do believe it was my fault. I was shooting a fight sequence with Ryan Phillippe and I leaned in when I shouldn't have leaned in. He knocked me right off my feet, leaving me with a huge egg on my jaw.

16 Candy Smalls - Santa Inc.

A stop-motion animated Christmas show with adult humor, Santa Inc. was a show that premiered on Max in December 2021. It followed a character named Candy Smalls, a female elf with ambitions of being the first female Santa. It featured Seth Rogen as Santa, with other comedic actors like Leslie Grossman and Craig Robinson also appearing in it.

Dirty Humor and Racy Dialogue

A show that fit Sarah Silverman's comedic persona well with tons of dirty humor and plenty of racy dialogue that lent a decidedly naughty edge to the Christmas theme, it was very funny if you're into dark humor. Silverman played Candy Smalls, and as the lead character, was often at the heart of the show's raunchiest scenes. Stream Santa Inc. on Tubi.

Rogen, Silverman and Robinson sing songs for Santa Inc.
Max

15 Emily - Seinfeld

seinfeld
Seinfeld
Comedy
Release Date
July 5, 1989
Main Genre
Comedy
Seasons
9

A legendary sitcom, Seinfeld was a legendary sitcom that ran for nine seasons between 1989 and 1998. It starred comedian Jerry Seinfeld as a fictionalized version of himself. Its impressive run saw it rack up a ton of awards and made icons of its cast members and wacky characters.

She Played Kramer's Girlfriend

The wackiest of those characters was, of course, Kramer, Seinfeld's weird and hilarious neighbor, who tended to burst in with a range of inappropriate and crazy antics. In an episode titled "The Money," Sarah Silverman made a guest appearance on the show. She played Emily, one of Kramer's love interests, who had some funny exchanges with him and drove him crazy since she wore him out in bed. Stream Seinfeld on Netflix.

Sarah Silverman and Michael Richards in Seinfeld
NBC

Related: 12 Best Movies About Stand-up Comedy, Ranked

14 Becky in School for Scoundrels (2006)

School for Scoundrels was the kind of film that fit Sarah Silverman's kind of humor to a tee. Starring Billy Bob Thornton and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite), the film sees Heder as a shy and nerdy meter reader named Roger, who is smitten by a woman named Amanda (Jacinda Barrett). In order to win her over, he enrolls in a confidence-building class run by a tyrannical instructor, Dr. P (Thornton). However, as the plot thickens, he learns Dr. P also wants Amanda, sparking a fierce rivalry between the pair.

It Felt Like She Was Playing Herself

While Sarah Silverman didn't have a large role in the film, she played Becky, Amanda's narcissistic roommate. The role was a hilarious one, as Becky had a dry type of humor that made it feel like Silverman was playing herself. By trying to protect Amanda from Roger, whom she thinks gives off nerdy psycho vibes, Becky's constant repose is that of a deadpan insult queen. Stream School for Scoundrels on Peacock.

Silverman and Barrett in School for Scoundrels
The Weinstein Company
MGM
Dimension Films

13 The Voice of Michelle - Futurama: Bender's Big Score

A spin-off movie from the original show, Futurama: Bender's Big Score was a hilarious animated film from the animated series created by Matt Groening (also famous for creating The Simpsons) that also featured a reboot. The film was made alongside three others that, together, comprised season five of the show. Taking place in the future, the show was essentially an adult workplace animated show.

She Became a Well-Known Character

Voicing the character, Michelle, Sarah Silverman added Futurama to her expansive and successful list of voice roles that also included stints with The Simpsons and many other animated shows and films. As Michelle, she was the ex-girlfriend of the main character, Fry, who briefly froze herself before unfreezing at the wrong time and hooking up with Fry again. Futurama: Bender's Big Score isn't currently available to stream.

12 Paula Klein - Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

'90s SNL alumni are well-known for going on to forge successful careers as comedic actors, with the iconic skit show often becoming a launch pad for such endeavors. Sarah Silverman was no different, and nor was Andy Samberg, who has enjoyed a very successful solo acting career since leaving the show.

In 2016, his mockumentary musical comedy film, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping was a hilarious project written by Samberg himself. It starred the actor as a heavily parodied Justin Bieber-esque version of a musical prodigy named Conner Friel, and followed his life through the lens of a behind-the-music-style documentary layout.

Silverman Provided an Effortlessly Dry Performance

Playing Connor's publicist, Paula Klein, Sarah Silverman provided an effortlessly dry performance for the character. Presenting her scenes as answers given during a documentary-style project, her lines and delivery were hilarious, and perfectly in tune with her stand-up persona and deadpan wit. Here's an example of one of her lines from the film that perfectly illustrates how absurdly funny and crude she was. Stream Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping on Hulu.

"I'd like to get Connor to the point where he's just kind of everywhere, like oxygen, or gravity, or clinical depression, he's just....everywhere."

Silverman in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Universal Pictures 

Related: The 8 Funniest Movies Starring Stand-Up Comedians

11 Herself - History of Swear Words

History of Swear Words
History of Swear Words
Documentary
Comedy
Release Date
January 5, 2021
Cast
Nicolas Cage , Kory Stamper , Sarah Silverman , Nick Offerman
Main Genre
Documentary
Seasons
1

History of Swear Words is a hilarious parody-style documentary from Netflix that examines the history of six, well-known swear words that enjoy a prominent place in modern culture. Between etymology experts, the show also had celebrity guests and comedians give their opinions about the words in question.

Sarah Silverman Was Made for the Show

Sara Silverman starred as one of the comedians on the show in four separate episodes. Playing herself, her takes on the words featured in each episode made for some very funny segments in which she used them and provided her views on them in her typically risqué style that effortlessly poked fun at the subject in a very raw way. Stream History of Swear Words on Netflix.

Sarah Silverman in History of Swear Words
Netflix

10 Jane - Frasier

frasier
Frasier
Comedy
Release Date
September 16, 1993
Cast
Kelsey Grammer , David Hyde Pierce , Jane Leeves , Peri Gilpin , John Mahoney
Main Genre
Comedy
Seasons
11

An iconic show, Frasier was one of the most successful sitcoms in history, sweeping Primetime Emmys by the bucket load and endearing itself to an army of fans. A spin-off from another iconic sitcom, Cheers, the show was rebooted in 2023, which saw Kelsey Grammer reprise his role as Dr. Frasier Crane, a neurotic and snobbish psychiatrist and media personality whose family and love lives often make for some very funny antics.

The Line That Became a Running Joke

In an episode from the final season of the show's first run titled "Maris Returns," Sarah Silverman played one of Frasier's patients when he tries to reestablish his private clinical practice. Playing a woman named Jane, the character realizes she knows Frasier since he dated her sister. As much as they try to keep things professional, Jane keeps bursting out laughing, until she reveals that her sister and she had a running joke between them about Frasier, since he once called her sister M'lady in bed. Stream Frasier on Paramount+.

Sarah Silverman in Frasier
NBC

9 Heather Nowzick - The League

the league
the league
Release Date
October 29, 2009
Main Genre
Comedy
Seasons
7

The League was a very funny sitcom that aired on FX between 2009 and 2015. Featuring a range of hysterically funny characters and famous guest stars, mostly notably from the NFL, the show revolved around a fantasy football league and its players. Semi-improvised, it often featured wacky and outrageous scenes from the range of talented comedic stars that appeared in it.

Her Appearances Were Raunchy and Crude

Sarah Silverman appeared in a couple of episodes of the show. She played Heather Nozwick, the sister of one of the main characters on the show. Heather went to school with many of the participants in the league, and slept her way through all of them back then. Her appearances were raunchy and crude as ever, but also hilarious, with her always sexualizing everything, once even managing to do this during a sorbet tasting scene. Stream The League on Hulu.

Sarah Silverman in The League
FX
 

8 Lori in Bored to Death

Bored to Death
Bored to Death
Comedy
Release Date
September 20, 2009
Main Genre
Comedy
Seasons
3

Created by comic author, Johnathan Armes, Bored to Death was a comedy series that ran on HBO between 2009 and 2011. It starred Jason Schwartzman as a fictionalized version of Ames himself, struggling as a writer in New York, and who moonlights as an unlicensed Private Investigator. Making for funny and brilliant co-stars, Zach Galfinakis and Ted Danson play his friends in the show.

A Counselor Who Analyzes Men Through Foot Massages

The show often featured great comedic guest appearances from the likes of Oliver Platt, Kristen Wiig, and even Johnathan Ames himself. In a very funny episode titled "I Keep Taking Baths Like Lady Macbeth," Silverman appeared as Lori, a therapist who does friendship counseling for Johnathan (Schwartzman) and George (Danson) when the two have a fallout. In her typically quirky and offbeat way, Silverman was hilarious in the role, as she made both men give her a foot massage as a way to gauge their respective personality traits. Stream Bored to Death on Max.

Sarah Silverman in Bored to Death
HBO

7 The Voice of Vanellope von Schweetz - Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It Ralph
PG
Release Date
January 1, 2012
Director
Rich Moore
Runtime
108
Main Genre
Animation

Proving her versatility, in 2012, Sarah Silverman joined John C. Reilly to voice the main characters in the hit animated film, Wreck-It Ralph. A delightful animated kids film, it was produced by Walt Disney Animated Studios, and proved highly successful. It revolved around a video game antagonist character named Wreck-It Ralph, who is disgruntled at being the bad guy in his game. Ralph and the others socialize outside their games, and at a support meeting for other unhappy villains, Ralph decides to try and change his fate.

A Very Successful Outing for Silverman

Sarah Silverman voiced the character Vanelllope von Schweetz, a confident little girl from a game called Sugar Rush who joins forces with Ralph. As a glitch in her game, Vanelllope has her own agenda to fix, but the pair soon become allies. Silverman was great as she portrayed Vanellope as a mix of childish, hilarious, and sweet, making her one of the standout characters in the film, which was very successful and went on to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Stream Wreck-It Ralph on Disney+.

6 Beth - I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With