Sarah Silverman Tweets Abortion Joke, Stirs The Twitter Pot

    April 16, 2012
    Josh Wolford

Sarah Silverman making edgy jokes is like Tim Tebow praying on the field at an NFL game. You might not agree with it, you might think that it’s an over the top display, but you can’t really be surprised when it happens.

Okay, so why the Tim Tebow comparison? Maybe I just have Tebow on the brain – or maybe it’s because Tebow’s been so outspoken on the topic of this Sarah Silverman controversy – abortion.

Abortion. I know, it’s such a controversial topic. If you’re not a part of one of the ends of the spectrum (diehard pro-choice or diehard pro-life), it’s often an area of conversation that you simply avoid out of fear of confrontation and want of pleasantry. But almost 40 years after the landmark Roe V. Wade decision, it’s still a hot-button issue in today’s politics (especially after people like Rick Santorum brought it back to the forefront).

Now back to Sarah Silverman. Over the weekend, she made an abortion joke with a couple of tweets. First, she tweeted a pic of herself with a protruding stomach with the words “It’s a burrito!” About five minutes later, she tweeted the following photo, saying “Got a quickie aborsh in case R v W gets overturned.”

Got a quickie aborsh in case R v W gets overturned 4 days ago via WhoSay ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto


And, ignite the firestorm. Some tweets directed at Silverman:

Hey @SarahKSilverman when u gonna grow up? NOT FUNNY! 39 minutes ago via Safari on iOS ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@tmhco Sickening people like @SarahKSilverman think abortion is something to joke about & make fun of under the (cont) 47 minutes ago via TwitLonger Beta ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@SarahKSilverman your latest joke was tasteless and insensitive. Abortion is not something you should be laughing about #shameonyou #sad(image) 1 hour ago via Echofon ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

There are plenty more like that. To be fair, plenty of people on Twitter thought it was funny as well. Thus is the nature of most comedy – funny to some, not funny to others.

Some sites bashed Silverman for the joke: FOX News Nation called it a “sick Sarah Silverman Abortion Hoax” and said that she “joined America’s current War on Women” with the tweet. Conservative news aggregation site The Drudge Report ran the headline “Sarah Silverman tweets ‘before-and-after abortion’ photos” (no mention of a joke).

Was it a political statement? Yeah, kind of. A typical Sarah Silverman joke? Absolutely. A publicity grab (she’s got a new show on the way)? Probably. But was it funny? That’s for you to decide.

Pushing envelopes is nothing new for comedians, especially Silverman. And they should. As Louis C.K. said when defending Tracy Morgan when he got himself in a sticky situation, “If every word a person says has to be right and balanced and fair, I will jump off a tall thing onto a hard place.”