If we heart this ran Hollywood, Amy Sedaris would be the biggest star on the planet. We don’t get it, why doesn’t every one bow at the alter of this comedic genius? She created, wrote and starred in one of the funniest shows to ever hit the airwaves (Strangers with Candy), wrote the best book ever on hosting and crafting (I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence,) and she can sing, dance and bake a mean cupcake. Plus she isn’t afraid to make her adorable self look horrible for her art. None of that, add some glasses and pigtails to “ugly up” the actor. Nope, Amy goes all out with fat suits, hideous makeup, jacked up teeth and dismal hairstyles. A newcomer watching Amy’s most famous alter ego Jerri Blank would never guess there was a bombshell behind the disguise.
Need a few more tidbits (from our favorite Sedaris site, Amy Sedaris Rocks) about just why we adore Amy? For starters, she’s refreshingly honest, and not afraid to admit she enjoys toking up occasionally. She famously gave Martha Stewart a squirrel-shaped wooden bong which she carved herself, than told Martha it was packed. And how can you not love the person that claims she once made a Visine-laced cocktail because she heard it would cause instant diarrhea, and she wanted to see for herself if that was true.
So, for those of you unfamiliar with this extraordinary woman, we give you the top 5 reasons we heart Amy Sedaris (and you should too)!
1. Strangers with Candy We are still mourning the end of this remarkable show and again, we ask ourselves why wasn’t this a huge hit? Maybe the non-politically correct jokes and oddball characters were ahead of its time. We watch (and enjoy) the success of shows like South Park, Flight of the Concords and 30 Rock, and can’t help but wonder that if SwC had launched in 2009 it may be enjoying the popularity it deserved. Happily, we live in the age of DVD’s so you get all three seasons (in a trapper keeper package) for your very own and can watch them over and over and over again.
The show was a twisted take on the classic after school specials of the 1980’s, starring Miss Sedaris as Jerri Blank, a former teen age runaway, “a user and a boozer and a loser.” This “junkie whore” cleans up her act, moves back in with her parents and restarts school as a 46-year-old freshman.
Words can’t do it justice. Here’s a favorite (and fairly clean) clip from episode The Blank Page where it is revealed, at cheerleader tryouts no less, that (gasp!) Jerri can’t read!
|Strangers With Candy|
And here’s a second, more raunchy and even more hilarious clip from Let Freedom Ring. Honestly, we’re not sure how they were able to get some of this dialogue on television, but we’re sure glad they did!
So not safe for work; the infamous “Stinky Pinky” scene.
2. Because she’s thick as thieves with another “we heart” alumni and Strangers with Candy star Stephen Colbert. And while we loved Jerri’s interaction with Colbert’s teacher character Chuck Noblet on the show, this may just be our favorite Sedaris/Colbert collaboration, a spontaneous tumble routine on The Colbert Nation. The other power tumbler is Paul Dinello, another SwC star.
3. And while we’re on the subject of Amy on talk shows, she is one of the best guests ever on The Letterman Show. She’s one of those guests that Dave just fawns over (he loves her as much as we do and really “gets” her) and she’s always free to be her goofiest. Here is one of her latest appearances. The first thing out of her mouth is a song, quickly followed by a craft project and some burlesque dancing. But also check out this montage of all her appearances. You don’t even have to know what she’s talking about to laugh.
4. She is the hostess with the mostess, as illustrated in I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, Now stick with us, this may be confusing. She is a comedian, and this book is damn funny. Honestly, probably one of the funniest books we’ve ever read. But she is absolutely serious about entertaining, whether you’re throwing the party or you’re the guest. In amongst the smart yet hilarious tips (such as “never try to out dress the hostess unless you are the guest of honor or a transvestite” and a list of 25 acceptable snacks for stoners; #12 grilled cheese and corn sandwich), she’s got some amazing recipes (see #5) and really clever ideas (from games to play with kids to super cute crafts). We’ve read this book cover to cover numerous times and we always find something new.
5) She’s a damn fine cook and wants to spread the joy. Anyone known for her cupcakes and cheeseballs is all right in our books. And she’s the type of chef that likes to share her successful recipes (unlike many cooks I know that horde their best ones). She’s been known to bake cupcakes for her audiences at shows and appearances. Her homemade cupcakes are sometimes sold at Joe on Waverly in NYC. The fine people at Gourmet Garage make and sell Amy’s Li’l Smokey Cheeseballs at their Manhattan locations. Click here to see some of Amy’s favorite recipes, including the above referenced cupcakes and cheeseballs!
Bonus reason: Behind the extremely funny demeanor is a sweet gal with a heart of gold. She’s the type of entertainer that anyone she works with can only rave about and you never hear any nasty gossip about diva like behavior. Plus, she has a great love of animals, especially rabbits, just check out this Animal Fair article. Aww, we totally adore and understand her all encompassing love for her pets.
We know we have some fellow Amy Sedaris lovers in our audience! What are your favorite moments from Amy?