How did Sarah Silverman end up on 'The Good Wife'? The creators explain

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Image Credit: Jeffrey Neira/CBS

At the end of March, The Good Wife writers tweeted that Sarah Silverman was set to guest star on the CBS drama, and last night saw the fruit of that casting in the episode “Getting Off.” In a turn from her comedic roots, Silverman played Stephanie Engler, the purveyor of a controversial adult website that brokered hookups between married people. Lockhart/Garner defended the woman against the disgruntled wife of a man who was murdered after using the website. Considering that Silverman is famous for envelope-pushing jokes, how’d such interesting casting come together in the drama?

“We’re Sarah Silverman acolytes,” says Robert King, who created The Good Wife with his wife, Michelle. “We love her. And so we basically said, ‘Can we find a gap in your schedule?'” As you might guess, however, Silverman’s role wasn’t initially set to be so dramatic. “Originally we were doing an FCC episode where it was going to be a comedian who sues the FCC, and we kind of wanted to see if she would be available for it and timing worked out, but I don’t think her interest was in playing a comedian,” Robert explains. “So we had this other idea — the writers had this other idea that we pitched her and she was into it.”

The nature of the show — which sees guest stars, both clients and judges, abound in its courtrooms — allows for such changes as the storylines develop. “The show is very flexible in that you can have different clients, you can have different judges, and what’s wonderful is to have strange people pop up in roles that you wouldn’t imagine,” Robert says. “Our schedules on each episode are eight days, guests come in for four or five days and do an arc and then they leave. So we pitched her that and she was excited, I think.”

Were the Kings pleased with her performance in last night’s episode? The short answer: Yes. “She has a very good monologue,” King says. “I mean probably the longest piece of writing written on the show, which was this monologue about desiring men and it was really — she did such a very good job with it. I’m glad she tried something dramatic because I think it can just add to the comedy, too.”

Check back next week on EW.com for our interview with The Good Wife‘s creators on the show’s highly anticipated season finale.

Follow Tanner on Twitter @EWTanStransky

Read more:
‘The Good Wife': Creators Robert and Michelle King answer burning questions about last night’s explosive episode
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‘The Good Wife’ scoop: America Ferrera joins for three episodes, Jerry Stiller for one


Comments (21 total) Add your comment
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  • megs

    Tanner, isn’t the firm Lockhart Gardner?

  • Chloe

    I was surprised at how good she was.

  • Joanie

    Love the show for loving her.

  • Brooklyn Mike

    Ugh. I can’t stand her smarminess and smugness. I DVR all episodes and will likely fast forward past anything with her in it. PLEASE do not every bring her back.

    • KD

      She was actually really good. If you hate her comedy (like I do) you can still enjoy this performance. They are world’s apart.

      • IndyStacey

        I’m with KD too. I detest Silverman’s comedy, but she was outstanding on The Good Wife. She should do drama more often.

    • Rosey

      Agree with KD — Mike, I am not a fan of her either, but she was pretty good

  • Chichi

    Silverman is such a douche-nozzle, making a great show almost unbearable to watch last night due to her douche-ness.

  • gms

    Honestly, you have to ask “how” she ended up on the show? What factor do you think was at play? Sexual……talent…….ethnicity?

  • julia

    the show has become so lame. We know what’s coming…Will and Alicia.

  • Adwina Lambert

    this so-called comedian is sooo NOT funny!! tee-hee!!

  • KD

    What a breath of fresh air it was to see Silverman letting some of her TALENT shine for a change. I haven’t been a fan for a while (feel like her comedy has become a bit obnoxious, and well, unfunny), and I really hate her show. But her guest turn on last night “The Good Wife” was pure gold. Yay!

  • Jerz

    I am normally pretty indifferent to Silverman, but last night I really enjoyed her performance. I thought she was great!

  • mydove

    I thought she was great and showed ranged. Good casting!

  • Sparky

    Can’t stand her as a comedian but she did a good job last night…

  • enzoiscool

    A while back, Stephen Colbert (who was on the “Daily show” at the time, did a dramatic turn on “Law and Order Criminal Intent”. He was very very good and proved that he had acting chops beyond comedy. Whoopie Goldberg is a comedian by profession but has done a number of dramatic roles like “The Color Purple”. Although some of her lines in “Ghost” were funny, most of her performance was dramatic and she won an oscar. I could go on and on but you get my point – comedians are not just relegated to comedy roles – see Bill Murray in “Lost in Translation” and to mention the most famous – Tom Hanks started out making comedies (“Splash”, Bachelor Party, etc.) and he has TWO oscars and about 6 nominations (one (nomination) was actually for a comedy “Big”. If you want to see Sarah Silverman’s acting chops – see “Peep World” – she is great and it’s a very good movie – kind of a dramady. As a bonus, in “Peep World” you get Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute in “The Office”, and Michael C. Hall “Dexter”.

    • Peter

      There’s a difference between comedian and comedic actor. Hanks is the latter.

    • MC Hammer

      Also, Robin Williams is a well-known stand-up comedian who has done many strong dramatic roles: Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam, etc. It’s easier for a comedian to do drama than for a dramatic actor to do stand-up.

  • Jefffro

    Sarah Silverman was amazing on last nights show. Her story and lines were perfect to reflect the conflict inside of Alicia at the moment….it was written brilliantly and the acting was top notch!

  • Chris

    I don’t watch The Good Wife but the creators are obviously cool. It’s long overdue for more people to recognize the many talents of the beautiful Sarah Silverman.

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