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The Schmooze

Sarah Silverman Preparing Her Aging Dad For Death Is The Most Jewish Thing Ever

Sarah Silverman’s dad Donald is in perfectly good health for an 81-year-old. So Silverman decided “to show you just how important it is to take your elderly parents, bring them on your television show, and make a plan for their death.”

As Donald said, popping up next to his daughter during the season finale of her Hulu show “I Love You, America,” “Jesus f*****g Christ.”

Two-thirds of Americans don’t have a death plan, Silverman reports, leaving their family and their communities in a costly, confusing situation. In the segment, Silverman and Silverman visited a doctor for an advanced directive. “I told my wife,” the elder Silverman explained, “If I can’t have an orgasm, pull the plug.”

“I do not want to suffer,” he added.

The father-daughter duo then headed to a mortuary. “I invited my step-mom Janice, who has been married to my dad for 40 years and will never be my real mother. Never,” Silverman added.

“I really want to be biodegradable somewhere,” Silverman, Sr. added. “Just put into a sack.” According to Jewish law, this is a very commendable idea. Sadly, Janice was a no on this.

They finished with a living will, a video Sarah took of Donald giving instructions. Sitting in some kind of mortuary throne room, he recited instructions in a black shirt beaming the words “Love is love” and “Black Lives Matter.”

“Figure that I did my best, had a good time when I was here,” he asked. “Sometime, when you’re sitting around bulls****ing, talk about me a little bit,” he asked. He hugged his daughter.

“We went over a ton of excellent dying options today,” Sarah Silverman said, in a voice over.

Once again, we feel moved to ask — is Sarah Silverman a prophetess? The increasingly politically and sociologically-invested performer has gradually turned “I Love You America” into a kind of “Sesame Street” for adults, helping us navigate the painful and confusing parts of the life with a laugh.

Cheerfully anticipating death? Making death-planning a family adventure? Joking around in a mortuary? Smiling at the idea of being eaten by worms? This is truly the most Jewish-friendly, death-focused TV ever to hit primetime.

We wish Donald 81 more years of “keeping the devil waiting.” Happy death-planning to all of us.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny




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