Amy Sedaris on Crafts for the Poor and a (Possible) Return to TV


Comedy Central

You're well known for your role as Jerri Blank, in Strangers with Candy. Being a 46-year-old high school freshman, I wasn't sure if Jerri would be good at craft making—but after I thought about it, she's actually pretty crafty.

She's crafty in a way that's shifty—she could make the shiv. [Laughs] You know Jerri. I think she'd probably stop in the middle of a project and lose interest. She can put on her own eyelashes, though. That's pretty crafty. She'd put on crafty jewelry: that raccoon necklace, that ring made just out of a puff of blue fur. She liked that stuff, but was just too lazy to sit down and finish a project.

Did you imagine a specific audience when you wrote the book?

I didn't. I just sat in my apt and had a select group of people who helped and we came up with ideas. Paul [Dinello] and I did the writing. It's like we just put everything in there that I love—all the costumes and makeup. And a lot of people just loved having a project to work on, and I would ask them to help.

Who helped you out with the book?

I did a music video for Dolly Parton, and Adam Selman did my costume for the video, and we became friends. He was my right hand guy [with the book]. I went to other people, too, or friends that could do specific crafts.

Do you like touring?

You know, I like meeting people... I like the audiences, and enjoy Q&As, but I always forget about the other stuff involved. I hate packing and having to pack for a long time. I went to YouTube and asked, "How do you really pack? How do I make this easier?" But I didn't really see anything on there that's too helpful except they say, "Put your socks into your boots." Boots? What? So, I don't like that part—lugging your shoulder-pack around, getting on planes, delays. And because it's for a craft book, you want to wear a crafty outfit. Which is harder when you're traveling. And then you forget to eat, and then you don't get any sleep. It's always kind of hard in the beginning, before you get into a rhythm.

Do you have plans for another book?

I'm always writing down ideas and things that inspire me and after a while I'll open it up and look at them. The thing about working on a book like this is that it takes you out of circulation. You can't do too much else. It's nice to have a project like that's just completely creative, and I'm in charge, and then when I'm ready, I come out of my hole, and I'll do a TV show, or a movie, or whatever else there is.

Speaking of TV/movies—anything coming up?

I have a role in The Best and the Brightest [a film that comes out in 2011, with Neil Patrick Harris]. I'm going to be in an episode of Raising Hope soon. I haven't planned anything else. I don't have anything else on my plate. I'm kind of excited about that. I'm just going to promote the book and then decide what to do after that.

A while ago I heard you were planning a new show—perhaps a follow-up to Strangers with Candy. What happened to that?

I'm still thinking about it. The thing is finding the right place for it and finding the right people to work with. I still want to do it. It takes a long time. It's always on my mind. I'm trying to figure out what it is, or where it will be. It will happen when it's supposed to.

That's exciting. Can you tell me any more specifics? I've flirted with the idea of doing a hospitality-type show. But once you go down that path you're more stuck with doing a very particular type of show, or being a particular type of character.... I do better when I'm hiding behind a character like Jerri Blank. I have another character that I think is as strong as Jerri Blank, and once I have that down more, I'll be excited to work on it. I just very recently decided I might want to work with that character, so I'm looking forward to when I'll get to finally sit down and think more about it.

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Adam Eaglin is a New York-based writer and editor. He previously worked in The Atlantic's Boston office.

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