Most people think of Granite Staters as a flinty bunch, but these four comedians will remind you that people from NH can also be pretty funny. (Especially in Bedford for some reason…) From Manchvegas to Hollywood, read on about these stars’ hometown pride.
1. Sarah Silverman (Bedford, NH)
The edgy comedian busts taboos and boundaries to make hysterical observations about some of life’s toughest subjects. Her persona in the first season of her Comedy Central show, The Sarah Silverman Program ranks as one my personal favorite comedy roles on TV ever, and her eclectic career spans writing briefly for the 93-94′ season of SNL, acting in hit films like School of Rock and starring in dramas like Take This Waltz and I Smile Back (now in theaters). She’s funny, smart and can totally rock a mustache.
Silverman and her family moved from Manchester to Bedford, and she graduated from the Derryfield School in 1989. Her mother was actually the voice for Bedford Cinemas voicemail recording in the days when you used to have to call to find out when movies were playing, (Remember Moviefone?) and her father owned the store Crazy Sophia’s Factory Outlet. You can read about her experiences growing up Jewish in New Hampshire in her hysterical yet strangely heartwarming book “The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee“. You might also catch a glimpse of her around town visiting NH with boyfriend (and English actor) Michael Sheen, which she awkwardly recounted to her ex-boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel on his show last year.
I think maybe I became funny because as a kid, I was a Jew in a town of no Jews, and being funny just instinctively came about as a way to put people at ease around me. – Sarah Silverman
2. Seth Meyers (Bedford, NH)
There must be something in the water in the small town of Bedford. Former SNL head writer/Weekend Update anchor and current Late Night with Seth Meyers host also grew up in Bedford, NH after moving there at the age of 10. A graduate of Manchester High School West, he once quizzed Hillary Clinton on NH trivia on his show, telling her she’d score points with primary voters if she referred to Manchester as “ManchVegas” and that “live free or die” is a great thing to yell at your parents when you’re a NH teenager getting grounded.
His family still lives in the area, and on a recent visit he stopped by his former place of work, Pizza Bella in Bedford, tweeting a picture of the visit in support of the family owned restaurant.
3. Adam Sandler (Manchester, NH)
Well I’m not going to say that some of his more recent films are hilarious, but there’s something audiences find so lovable about Adam Sandler’s goofy characters and layered persona. From the oft quoted Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison to wooing Drew Barrymore in like a million movies, he’s made his mark in the lexicon of Hollywood comedy history; you can’t even turn on the radio during the holidays without hearing his “Thanksgiving Day” or “Hanukkah Song” from his SNL days in the early 90’s.
But as far as Sandler’s gone in Hollywood, he’s never forgotten his NH roots. In 2007, he donated $1 million to Manchester’s Boys and Girls Club, and he frequently uses NH in his films. His character in Mr. Deeds is from a fictional NH town, and he painstakingly recreated Manchester’s Red Arrow Diner in both Eight Crazy Nights and Grown Ups 2.
Check out Adam Sandler and Seth Meyers reminiscing about playing at the Hampton Beach arcade and the Pizza Hut in Hooksett:
4. Mike O’Malley (Nashua, NH)
For people who grew up in the 90’s, Mike O’Malley will first and foremost be remembered as the host of the coolest Nickelodeon game show ever, GUTS. Since then, the actor/playwright has gone to star in the hit CBS sitcom Yes, Dear and earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor – Comedy Series, for his memorable role as Burt Hummel in Glee. He also happens to be a writer on one of the show’s I’m currently addicted to, Showtime’s Shameless.
The actor’s varied career actually started in Nashua, NH, where he was raised from the age of two. A graduate of Nashua’s Bishop Guertin High School in 1984, he went on to study theatre with UNH’s class of 1988. He returned there to deliver the commencement speech in 2006 and left the students with this thought:
“If a former kids game show host who grew up in Nashua, got cut from the junior high baseball team, left college with a 2.89 GPA and starred in one of the quickest cancelled shows in sitcom history could find himself on a quiet night in Canada kissing Heather Locklear, you too can make your dreams come true.” – Mike O’Malley