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October 9, 2015

My TV Crush: Amy Sedaris

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 14th 2006 10:02PM
Amy SedarisWhen I first put this topic up on our list of pending posts, I received an e-mail from fellow Squadder Adam Finley:

"I saw you had a post started about your crush on Amy Sedaris. I wrote something similar back in June. Bob Sassone also has a thing for her. I guess this means the three of us must fight to the death?"

Maybe later, Adam. We have to pick an open field on a neutral site, which means booking flights and hotels. Then we'll have to select weapons that are deadly but are stealthy enough to get past airport security. I'll get started on the plans tomorrow, promise.

But for now, I think we should just collectively praise Amy Sedaris as "The Official Funny Gal of TV Squad". It looks like we've made her the topic of conversation a number of times, and with good reason. Amy Sedaris is funny. Subversively funny. She's so funny that she doesn't even realize how funny she's being, even when she's on a roll.

How does she do it? By being normal. So normal it hurts.

How does she pull this "normalcy" off? Well, first of all, just look at her. She looks like, at most, your funky, artistic neighbor from across the hall. She looks so wholesome it's scary; blonde hair, perky nose, impish smile. Some of the things she does would also look utterly normal if it weren't coming from such a known oddball: she still runs a homemade cupcake and cheeseball business out of her apartment and -- just for material -- still takes an occasional shift waiting tables at an old-fashioned seafood restaurant in the Village, a job she's had since before she hit it big.

Of course, anyone who's read her brother David's essays already knows that Amy is a bit "off". But, even so, she does seem to come off as the most "normal" of the Sedarises, which is kind of a frightening thought.

Even if you just knew Amy from her signature role, as Jerri Blank on Strangers With Candy, you'd never believe that the pretty woman talking to say, David Letterman, was the same person. Jerri was a 46-year-old former runaway and revcovered drug addict who goes back to high school to get her life back together. While I wasn't the biggest fan of Candy (I await all the comments that calling me an idiot for not liking it), I always gave Amy credit for uglying herself up for the sake of good comedy. Jerri was tough to look at -- Amy was really able to show the toll Jerri's rough life took on her -- and not exactly the nicest person in the world, but Amy made her into not only a funny character, but a symathetic one, too.

But where I think Amy actually shines is when she's being interviewed, especially on The Late Show. Much like Bonnie Hunt, Amy brings out the best in Dave, and he gives her free reign to be as loopy as she wants to be. I especially liked her appearance on the episode that was taped at 4 AM; Dave let Amy give a tour of her West Village neighborhood, giving the stories behind odd stores and weird neighbors that only a longtime resident can give. She also seemed to hit every adult video store in her area, saying in front of one "I do my Christmas shopping here." Even during her most recent appearance, she was able to get Dave to break down his defenses and answer her questions about how he feels about interviewing people who are solely there to promote their TV show or movie (Dave told Amy that he sometimes he feels like a promotional tool for the movie and TV production companies and he hates it; I don't blame him).

When Dave's company and CBS were looking for a replacement for Craig Kilborn, Amy's name was floated as one of the finalists. She didn't get the job, which was a shame. Although I like Craig Ferguson, it would have been interesting to see how Amy would have fit her comic sensibilitiy into a talk show format. Would we have gotten to know her neighbors? Would we have seen the customers from the seafood restaurant? Something completely unexpected? Who knows? But I would have liked to find out. She would have made Conan's show look boring by comparison. Oh, well. Maybe she'll show up on Letterman again soon.

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Jason Anderson

Strangers with Candy was genius. Pure nougat-filled chocolate-covered genius.

January 22 2006 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ruth Forester

I recently saw Amy on Dave Letterman's show and thought she was very funny. However, I can't imagine staying up late on a regular basis to watch anyone else, but Craig Ferguson! There is no one like him on late night in my book! He is so talented and LOL funny! I can't miss out on the fun when he is on!
CBS was right on when they gave him that job!

January 16 2006 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Interestingly enough, the rumor about Amy replacing Craig Kilborn was just that--a rumor. At an interview in San Francisco a few months after all that came about, Amy said that hosting the Late, Late Show wasn't even something she was ever interested in doing, and that she wouldn't be any good at it ("I'd ask inappropriate questions").

January 16 2006 at 2:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tuna d'luna

I thought Amy's recent interview with Dave Letterman was hilarious! It is RARE to see Dave in a state of genuine admiration of a guest without being smarmy, but it was so obvious that he completely delights in her company. Not since the days when Teri Garr was a frequent visitor have I seen Dave so adoring. I was mesmerized not just by Amy but by a Dave we rarely see. Too bad those two didn't get together...

January 15 2006 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think she's best when on Conan. She just seems most suited for that showand Conan obviously delights in her appearances. To my knowledge, she's worked on a couple things with Andy Richter in the past.

January 15 2006 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Amy, too. Although, I think last week's appearance on Letterman wasn't one of her best. She and Dave just never clicked. Dave, I think, couldn't keep up.

Between Amy and David- whenever I see those two, I wish I had known that family when they were all growing up. What an odd, funny bunch.

January 14 2006 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rich Keller

Is Amy Sedaris the girl who does those Triscuit commercials?

January 14 2006 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Only because I can't seem to find it, is there a contact page for the folks at TVSquad?

I found tvsquad.com/contact, but it just redirects to the front page.

January 14 2006 at 10:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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