Jenny Slate: What I Read

This article is from the archive of our partner .

How do people deal with the torrent of information pouring down on us all? What sources can't they live without? We regularly reach out to prominent figures in media, entertainment, politics, the arts and the literary world, to hear their answers. This is drawn from a conversation with Jenny Slate, recurring actor on the HBO series Bored to Death and Saturday Night Live alumnus, and co-author with fiancee Dean Fleischer-Camp of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On based on the popular web videos.

First thing, I always get the New York Times headlines sent to my phone. So, I often read those kind of bleary eyed on a tiny screen.  And I oftentimes -- I know this is not the news -- but I do like to watch the Today Show  while I’m having my coffee. It makes me feel like everything is just pretty easy. Oftentimes the stories on the Today Show are horrifying, like the baby Lisa story or Casey Anthony. But then when Kathi Lee and Hoda come on, it’s like "do you hate your arm fat" and you’re just like "Yeah!" Kathi Lee seems like she is just having a ball, and I love how they do their show and I love how they have fun cocktails. 

In terms of getting my proper news, I like to listen to All Things Considered, which is more of a late afternoon thing. I listen to a lot of WNYC. I love Brian Lehrer. And I often take peeks at the Huffington Post. For the most part, I really like to listen to the news on the radio, rather than read it online. I’ve been listening to NPR since I was a little kid with my mom in the carpool. When I was little I used to think that the theme song to All Things Considered was like the most boring song in the world, but now I really love it -- it gets me really revved up. And sometimes when I’m on airplanes or in hotel rooms I watch CNN because I feel like that’s what a businessman would do and I like to be businessy when I’m on my business trips.

Recommended Reading

I don’t like the computer very much at all. I just don’t like it. It makes me nervous. I’m not into social networking very much because it just makes me feel overwhelmed. My Twitter feed allows me to express the part of myself that is more for adults. I’m always back and forth with Dean [Fleischer-Camp]Gabe LiedmanGabe Delahaye, who writes for Videogum and Max Silvestri, who I do comedy with. Dean is really good at the Internet. Oftentimes he culls it for me so that I don’t have to do it. I also like Sophia RossiChelsea Peretti, and Judy Blume's twitter feeds. Really, my secret favorite is Weird Horse. It’s just a weird horse. He’s always like "just did a neigh and ran over some hay." Twitter is basically like hiding behind a screen and saying, "Jenny is back here, but you know you can’t see me so I can say anything I want." It’s kind of like when you go to your therapist: lie on the couch and not look them in the face and say something horrible and not see their reaction. 

On a daily basis, I watch Jem and The Golden Girls. I also love really any of the HBO programming -- it's wonderful. I also watch cooking shows. I like Top Chef and Ina Garten -- I think she rules. But honestly, I can get into such a tailspin with TV. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is the only one of the Housewives that I can stand at this point. I can’t handle what is going on with all of those other ladies. I think that they all need to take a big long nap. I find myself watching a lot of the Saturday Night Live reruns every now and then in the afternoon when I’m vaccuming. But I haven't watched the live show this season -- it's not on purpose, I love SNL. It was always my favorite show growing up; it will always be one of my favorite shows. I just haven’t had a chance because, you know, I like to party on Saturday nights.
On Saturday mornings Dean and I like to nurse our hangovers make pancakes and watch R.L. Stein’s The Haunting Hour on The Hub. They are kind of like Goosebumps or Are you Afraid of the Dark. They are honestly really scary. I am a true believer that you should not dumb stuff down for children. You probably shouldn’t make it about terrorism or rape, but if it’s about ghosts, it’s probably fine.
I read a lot of food magazines. I subscribe to Cook’s IllustratedFood and WineBon AppetitSaveur and I think have a one of those fitness magazines. My friend Lindsay Mound who illustrates for Bon Appetit made me a little notebook for my birthday for me to write down all of the recipes. So I write down the name of the magazine and all of the recipes from that month. I like to do it the old fashion way. That way I can recycle the magazines. 

I think a nice thing to listen to before bed -- I really do like the radio most of all, I’m kind of like a weird old lady -- is On Point. Honestly, not that I’m in denial of what’s going on in the world because I think I make a special effort to pay close attention, but at the end of my day I like to read chapter books and kids stories because they make me feel good. And, I’m pretty hyper so I like to calm down at the end of my day. Recently I’ve been reading the D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. My dad just gave me The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. A lot of times my dad passes novels on to me, he is always up on the new stuff.  When we were on our book tour I was getting so scared that maybe books were going to become obsolete to the next generation. But I feel like that’s what old people think. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.