Amy Sedaris is the heroine of a thousand fabulously fucked-up faces. You may know her as Jerri Blank, the bucktoothed, borderline-retarded, ex-heroin-shooting/pussy-peddling star of Comedy Central’s Strangers with Candy. Or as Piglet, a Scotch tape-snouted, scatologically inclined 16-year-old bitch on wheels, prone to Tourettic cataclysms of unbelievable filth on late-night talk shows. Or as the fat-suit-and-ugly wig-collecting, imaginary-boyfriend-shtupping sister/co-conspirator of humorist David Sedaris. What you may not know about this exuberant broad is that she is also a brilliant expert on social etiquette and gracious living, and with her rabbit, Dusty, runs a cupcake-and-cheese-ball catering business, Dusty Food Cupcakes. In I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, Sedaris lovingly instructs readers on such matters as snappy party invitation composition, ingenious pantyhose-recycling and fun-filled event planning for children, old people and drug addicts alike. I threw myself on her tender mercy, and here is the wisdom she bestowed on me in return.
Your recipes don’t shy away from either mayonnaise or ketchup, which have been totally maligned by all the hoity-toity foodies out there—including Rachael Ray, who says, “Mayonnaise bad, bad, bad!” Are there any condiments you’re not OK with?
I like condiments. I tend to tease mustard a lot. It’s not that I don’t like it; I just don’t reach for it a lot.
I just saw your clip on teaching Martha Stewart to make grilled cheese sandwiches if she should ever return to prison. I was wondering if you had any other ideas about introducing gracious living into the American prison system.
Someone gave me a recipe for jungle juice—he was actually in prison—but I didn’t get it in time. That would have been a good thing to make. It’s that juice they make in prison. It’s made literally out of a cleaning product.
You mention pantyhose a lot. Where do you buy them—the drugstore or an actual hosiery department?
I’ve been getting them at the drugstore. The colored ones I needed for the crafts for the book I had to go online for, to eBay, because you can’t find them anymore, or at least I can’t find them. But I don’t wear pantyhose. I just don’t like it up around my waist area, the black around the stomach.
Do you have much experience entertaining vegans?
I just tell them to come “have eaten.” Vegans and the macro-bio-whatever—I don’t know anything about that kind of cooking, so I just ignore it.
Where can a girl go to get fake teeth that won’t eat up her bank account? I read you have a lot of fake teeth, and the ones I get at the joke shop fall out of my mouth.
The teeth I have are more like display teeth. When you go to the dentist, you want them to pick out a color for you, like for a crown—it’s that kind of stuff that I collect. They’re samples, they come mounted on stands, on pink discs of wood or something. I have a lot of those. I find them at thrift stores, or flea markets.
Would you ever attend a dental-hygiene-themed soirée? If I threw one, what kind of food would you suggest I serve?
I have no idea. I guess you wouldn’t want to serve popcorn; that’s one of the worst things for your teeth. I would probably attend something like that. You know those little pink tablets that you chew and all the plaque would show up? That would be fun, or maybe a sample of different mouthwashes you could gargle with. There could be a demonstration on how to floss, because a lot of people just don’t know.
What got you started on cheese balls?
In North Carolina, there was a place called Hickory Farms where you could eat cheese balls. When I moved to New York, I never saw them. I thought, “That’s such a good thing to bring to a party!” So when I got my second rabbit, I wanted to give her a little job, to bring money in, so I started my little cheese ball business. But I actually have the Gourmet Garage in my neighborhood make them now—I don’t make them at my house. They’re special-order.
If you had your own TV show, what would be the theme song?
I would have a jingle. It would be original. It seems like that’s a business that’s no longer around, and that’s a shame, because it’s really smart. Commercials should start doing that again instead of buying Beatles songs. It would be artistic and clever, it would remind people of the past, and then they would start buying products even more.
Sorry to hear about Ricky’s stroke. Any new imaginary dating prospects on the horizon?
Ricky was stabbed 18 times. He was murdered, actually. And I live with the ghost of Ricky … He hasn’t changed at all, he’s very friendly.
Last but not least: Can you give our readers a Piglet sign-off?
Fuckin’ fucker fuckin’ fuck!