Today’s post is about Amy Sedaris. Some of you may ask: who is Amy Sedaris? Well, pardon me as I aerate my lungs so I can scream, “SHE IS A LIVING LEGEND!” If this is the first time you are hearing about her, I am sad at your circumstance but glad to enlighten you.
Anyway, the fabulous Miss Amy Sedaris is a comic. Maybe you know her from Comedy Central’s Strangers with Candy. Maybe you know her big brother, David. He’s almost as funny. But his face isn't quite as elastic as hers. She's got play-doh features and eyebrows wired with fishline that enable her to transform herself into characters we recognize from that one time we went to Ho-Chunk Casino.
Besides being an actress, Miss Sedaris is also an expert in decorating and entertaining. She has published books, designed fabrics, and recently created her own line of housewares. Check out her Money Dishtowel, below, retailing at $18 in New York City. She based the pattern on a jumpsuit she saw being worn by a peripheral character on 'Dallas', which she binge-watched in its entirety over a 5-day period.
David Letterman is a fan. Here's how he introduced Amy on the show once:
“What you have to understand about this lovely woman is, in addition to being a fine actress and a wonderful comedienne, she’s peculiar…. You have to keep that in mind because she’s like — and joyfully, gladfully — different from everybody else walking around on the planet. That’s what makes her special. That’s why we embrace her. But, you know. She’s not hooked up right.”
He has a point. Check out her breakfast sausage log cabin, posted to her Instagram.
She loves plastic food and displays it in an appetizing way in her pantry. In particular, she dotes on a big fake turkey, as seen in the photo below. During the holidays, she wraps him in foil and props him in various strategic spots to make her guests hungry.
Some just don't get her. Once in an interview for New York Magazine, Miss Sedaris said, "I decorate my house as if I owned a child. I’ll toss a tiny pair of shoes in the hallway or lean small wooden crutches in what I refer to as 'the baby’s room,' which is actually a tiny space where I make things. I continue to call it the baby’s room because it confuses people and it’s creepy."
People got upset. They forgot that Miss Sedaris is a comic. They failed to appreciate the strength of her imagination.
Just look at her basking in the awesomeness of that tricked out "baby's room." Note the monogrammed cupboard and the rickrack trim on her shelves. The gingham cat pillows and pot holders scattered about her feet. Some might call her a satirist poking fun at our culture's current do-it-yourself obsession. I don't think that's quite it. I reckon she's a happy homemaker who misses the 1960s and can't help her nostalgic yet wacky take on the domestic arts. It's not a gimmick and it's not just for laughs. Her zeal is for real. As she says herself:
I wouldn’t call myself a shut-in. I have the ability to leave my home; I just choose not to. But because I’m such a homebody, it’s important to be surrounded by things I love. I prefer items that convey a sense of mystery, playfulness, or theatricality. My favorite things often have a story behind them and are usually handmade or discovered at a flea market. My furniture is small and low. It’s not unlike living in a dollhouse.
One last tidbit of goodness from the hostess-with-the-mostest. Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind the next time you entertain:
1. "Odd numbers look better on a plate. So three chicken legs are gonna look better than two. Five are gonna look better than four."
2. "People always think it's good when you go to someone's house to bring flowers, and really it's the worst thing. It takes the hostess out of commission. She has to react to the flowers, cut 'em down, find a vase."
3. "If you have any dead animals in your freezer waiting for spring burial, uh-uh, get it out, because that will really turn somebody off."
4. "Supply your neighbors with products that you might run out of."
5. "If you have pharmaceutical goods, a good trick is to fill your [medicine cabinet] with marbles, so that when they open the door the marbles will come out and hit the sink, and then you'll know which one of your friends is a junkie whore."
Photos of Amy Sedaris by Todd Oldham.