Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Brother and sister acts

Ever willing to make themselves look ridiculous for the cause, Amy and David Sedaris just may be the First Siblings of Satire. Take Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. No one in their right mind would take Amy Sedaris seriously as a crafter, but here you have both Amy and her intended audience in a hand-painted nutshell. Do you tend to perceive the world in a pixilated fashion? Are you often looked at askant? Are you all thumbs—albeit opposable—when it comes to making stuff? Are you financially challenged? Then this book's for you…. And your friends. It's party time! (Don't forget to reference her 2006 release, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.)

Amy's appearances on behalf of her opus have been, shall we say, counterproductive. That bully Conan called her samples—including a potato as a pencil holder and a baby shoe as an ashtray—the worst crafts he'd ever seen. Amy's kind of a multimedia phenomenon: from having her own tv show (Strangers with Candy), and appearing on myriad talk shows, she's gone on to gleefully bugging the @*$%! out of Alan Cumming on The Good Wife.
She had a long-time imaginary boyfriend named Ricky... Who worked as a grip in Argentina, brought her back saffron, lost all of his tools in a camper fire and suffered a stroke. She and Ricky had a baby, Hercules, the around same time that David Letterman's son was born. Amy said they had been "trying for hours." She briefly had a know-it-all imaginary dog named Douglas, but he went away when she ran out of random facts for him to know. She also had an imaginary monkey named Pockets. (amysedarisrocks.com)
Diehard fans of his NPR appearances and New Yorker vignettes will know brother David's catalog of drolleries backwards and forwards. I doubt he needs an introduction from me to Daedalus followers! Savory holiday classics that will live on in the annals of unbridled laughter, there are bits both old and new in Holidays on Ice (e.g., incensed reviews of holiday theatricals at elementary schools; the lady of the evening who came for Christmas Eve; David devouring his Halloween candy rather than hand it over to dorky neighbors who came a day late).
The woman at Macy's asked, "Would you be interested in full-time elf or evening and weekend elf?"
I said, "Full-time elf."
I have an appointment next Wednesday at noon.
I am a thirty-three-year-old man applying for a job as an elf.
I often see people on the streets dressed as objects and handing out leaflets. I tend to avoid leaflets but it breaks my heart to see a grown man dressed as a taco. So, if there is a costume involved, I tend not only to accept the leaflet, but to accept it graciously, saying, "Thank you so much," and thinking, You poor, pathetic son of a bitch. I don't know what you have but I hope I never catch it. This afternoon on Lexington Avenue I accepted a leaflet from a man dressed as a camcorder. Hot dogs, peanuts, tacos, video cameras, these things make me sad because they don't fit in on the streets. In a parade, maybe, but not on the streets. I figure that at least as an elf I will have a place; I'll be in Santa's Village with all the other elves. We will reside in a fluffy wonderland surrounded by candy canes and gingerbread shacks. It won't be quite as sad as standing on some street corner dressed as a french fry.
I am trying to look on the bright side. I arrived in New York three weeks ago with high hopes, hopes that have been challenged. In my imagination I'd go straight from Penn Station to the offices of "One Life to live," where I would drop off my bags and spruce up before heading off for drinks with Cord Roberts and Victoria Buchannon, the show's greatest stars. We'd sit in a plush booth at a tony cocktail lounge where my new celebrity friends would lift their frosty glasses in my direction and say, "A toast to David Sedaris, the best writer this show has ever had!!!"
I'd say, "You guys, cut it out." It was my plan to act modest. (from SantaLand Diaries; more here)
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12 comments:

  1. LOVE David Sedaris. His wit and self-deprecating humor is easy for anyone to relate to. "Me Talk Pretty One Day" is my favorite collection of his. I haven't looked into Amy too much but if she's any bit as funny and imaginative as her brother then it must be worth it.

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    1. He's pretty deprecating to others as well as himself!! As is Amy. I'm a fan. Funny people, they are. Strangers With Candy is definitely worth a watch.

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    2. Oops ... I meant to put some videos of Amy on there. But she does have a youtube channel!

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    3. I read Amy's first book about hospitality. Hilarious! Can't wait to read the new one. Crafts for poor people that is soooo me

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  2. Yay!! The wittiest sibling pair I can think of! Imagine the holidays at this household. Also, STRANGERS WITH CANDY is easily the most underrated comedy series ever!! Great stuff...

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    1. I agree! Strangers with Candy was the best!

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  3. David Sedaris is my favorite writer by far! I just reread "Me Talk Pretty One Day" for the third time a couple months ago. I swear it gets funnier every time I read it!

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  4. Penelope ClearwaterMay 15, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I want to know what Mother Sedaris did while she was breastfeeding to produce two such talented comedians. Both David and Amy have comedic styles that jive perfectly with my sense of humor.

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  5. Oh my word, totes love The Sedaris siblings. One of my favorite David Sedaris stories is when he wrote about the time where Amy wore a fat suit to freak out and worry their dad.

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  6. Love Holidays on Ice! I remember reading that excerpt and laughing out loud. Strangers With Candy is great...Amy Sedaris reminds me of Tracy Ullman a little bit.

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    1. Man, I do love Holidays on Ice. Although Me Talk Pretty One Day is probably my all-time fav. And totes true about Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman. I see it.

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