Amy Sedaris

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Amy Sedaris
Amy Sedaris080112.jpg
Sedaris at BlogHer in 2007
Born (1961-03-29) March 29, 1961 (age 53)
Endicott, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, author, comedian
Years active 1991–present
Family David Sedaris (brother)

Amy Louise Sedaris[1] (/səˈdɛr.əs/; born March 29, 1961) is an American actress, author, and comedian. She is known for playing Jerri Blank in the Comedy Central television series Strangers with Candy. She regularly collaborates with her older brother David, a humorist and author.

Early life[edit]

Sedaris was born in Endicott, New York, the daughter of Sharon Elizabeth (née Leonard) and Louis Harry "Lou" Sedaris,[2] and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina with her siblings, Lisa, David, Gretchen, Tiffany, and Paul. Her father is of Greek descent and her mother, who has roots in the U.S. going back to Colonial America, has English ancestry.[3] Her father is Greek Orthodox and her mother was a Protestant. She was raised in her father's Greek Orthodox faith, and remains devout today.[4][5]

At age 16, Sedaris worked at her local Winn-Dixie supermarket. She would make fake announcements over the loudspeaker, prompting the head cashier to confiscate the microphone. After work, she egged the cashier's car in protest. Later, as a cocktail waitress at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago, Illinois, she was fired for being five minutes late. She took her revenge on her boss: "I took his keys and I threw them in the snow. I heard he found them in the spring."[6]

Career[edit]

Television[edit]

A former member of Chicago-based Second City and Annoyance Theatre comedy troupes, her first major foray into television began in 1995 on the Comedy Central sketch show, Exit 57, which also starred Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello.[7] The show was cancelled after three seasons.[7]

Beginning in 1999, Sedaris portrayed Jerri Blank in the Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy.[8] The show, which she co-wrote with Dinello and Colbert, was based on Sedaris's impression of 1970s-era motivational speaker Florrie Fisher.[9] The show ran for three seasons and would later inspire a full-length movie.[10]

Sedaris has made numerous guest appearances on a number of different TV programs, including Rescue Me, Monk, Wonder Showzen, Just Shoot Me!, Sex and the City, My Name Is Earl, The Closer, The Middle, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Raising Hope, and Sesame Street.[10] Sedaris also hosted the series Film Fanatic on Trio.[10]

Sedaris has appeared on many talk shows, including the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and WTF with Marc Maron.[10] In 2008, Sedaris appeared on Chelsea Lately during which she gave host Chelsea Handler a presentation concerning vaginal hygiene with the aid of a plush vagina created by fashion designer Todd Oldham.

In 2007, Sedaris was featured in Dolly Parton's first mainstream country music video in 14 years, "Better Get to Livin'".[11]

It was announced in October 2008 that Sedaris would be getting her own sitcom, produced by 20th Century Fox, which she will be creating, writing and starring in.[12] Also in late 2008, Sedaris did voiceovers in several commercials for the discount hair salon SuperCuts.[13][14]

In January 2009, Sedaris narrated the PBS special Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, a six-hour documentary on comedians and comedy in American history.[15]

In early 2010, she appeared as a supporting character in the Canadian comedy series The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Fun Time Hour.[16]

From September 2010 to February 2011, she also voiced the WordGirl character Miss Davis, the Woodview School's debate club teacher in the season 2 episode "Cleanup on Aisle Eleven" and where she was the schoolteacher of Becky, Todd, Violet, Tobey and Victoria in "Cherish is the Word" in season 3.

In December 2010, Sedaris was seen with Paul Dinello in the "Mummified Hand" episode of the Discovery/Science Channel show Oddities.

In 2011, she appeared in a series of commercials for Downy Unstopables, a fabric softener product. The ad was designed by Grey with the aim of "kicking the old 'mom' image with spots featuring 'laundry expert' (and accomplished lifestyle guru) Amy Sedaris".[17]

In 2013, she played the sex-crazed sister Hershe Heartshe, in the Adult Swim surreal comedy horror show The Heart, She Holler.

In 2013, Sedaris appeared in eight episodes of Amazon's Alpha House, a political comedy series written by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau.[18] Sedaris played Louise Laffer, the Mormon wife of Utah Senator Louis Laffer, who lives with three other Republican senators in a town house on Capitol Hill.

Sedaris entertaining the audience and fellow author David Rakoff as she gives direction on making brownies at the 2006 Texas Book Festival.

Film[edit]

Sedaris has had small roles in a number of films, including Elf, School of Rock, Maid in Manhattan, Bewitched, Snow Angels, Full Grown Men, Old Dogs, Shrek the Third, and Chicken Little.[10] She also starred in the 2006 film adaptation of Strangers with Candy.[10] Sedaris also had a large role in the comedy, The Best and the Brightest with Neil Patrick Harris.

She voiced Cinderella in Shrek the Third and reprised her role in Shrek Forever After. In 2008, Sedaris starred as principal Abby Hofman in Nickelodeon TV's Gym Teacher: The Movie, directed by her Strangers with Candy co-star Paul Dinello.[10]

Print and other work[edit]

Sedaris at a book signing for her 2010 book Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People

She coauthored the text-and-picture novel Wigfield with Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert, published in 2003. As of 2005, Sedaris writes a monthly advice column in The Believer. She has written a guide to entertaining titled I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, published in October 2006 by Warner Books. That light-hearted approach to cooking stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for more than 12 weeks, and currently has over 350,000 copies in print.

Her book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People! (2010), included a cover that can be easily made into a hat, as David Letterman demonstrated during her appearance on his Late Show in October 2010.

Along with her brother David Sedaris, Amy has co-authored several plays under the name "The Talent Family": Stump the Host (1993), Stitches (1994), One Woman Shoe (1995), Incident at Cobblers Knob (1997) and The Little Frieda Mysteries. She also co-authored the play The Book of Liz with him, which has gone on to productions at such regional theaters as No Name Players.[19]

Her theater work includes a role as the stage manager in Paul Rudnick's play The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. In support of PETA's anti-fur campaign, Sedaris appeared as her Strangers with Candy character in an ad that reads, "When you wear fur, people laugh at you, not with you."[20]

In addition to acting and writing, she ran a cupcake and cheese ball business, Dusty Food Cupcakes, out of her home kitchen,[21] but has since ceased doing so.[22]

She was the emcee for Microsoft's 2010 annual employee meeting in Seattle, Washington on September 28, 2010.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Sedaris and her Strangers with Candy co-star Paul Dinello dated for eight years. Though their relationship ended, they have remained very close friends and Dinello made Sedaris godmother to his son.[24][25][26] Sedaris has stated in several interviews that she has never wanted to get married or have children.[27]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1991 Big Deals Topaz Radulavitch Television film
1997 Bad Bosses Go to Hell Trendy Boss
1997 Commandments Scholar
1998 Wheels of Fury Pepper Mills
1998 Strangers with Candy: Retardation, a Celebration Jerri Blank Short film
1998 Six Days Seven Nights Robin's Secretary
2001 Jump Tomorrow Student in Class
2002 Maid in Manhattan Rachel Hoffberg
2003 Untitled New York Pilot Connie Television film
2003 School of Rock Mrs. Haynish
2003 Elf Deb
2004 Neurotica Renee
2004 My Baby's Daddy Annabelle
2005 Strangers with Candy Jerri Blank
2005 Bewitched Gladys Kravitz
2005 Romance & Cigarettes Frances
2005 Stay Toni
2005 Chicken Little Foxy Loxy Voice
2006 Full Grown Men Trina
2006 I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With Ms. Clark
2007 Snow Angels Barb Petite
2007 Dedication Cassidy's Mom
2007 Shrek the Third Cinderella Voice
2007 Puberty: The Movie Paulie the Penis Voice
2008 Gym Teacher: The Movie Principal Hoffman Television film
2009 Space Buddies Gravity Voice
2009 Dance Flick Ms. Cameltoé
2009 Jennifer's Body Needy's Mom
2009 Tanner Hall Mrs. Middlewood
2009 Old Dogs Condo Woman
2010 Beware the Gonzo Diane Gilman
2010 The Best and the Brightest Sue Lemon
2011 Puss in Boots Jill Voice
2014 Ping Pong Summer Aunt Peggy
2014 Chef Jen

Television[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1995–1996 Exit 57 Various Characters 12 episodes
1999–2000 Strangers with Candy Geraldine Antonia "Jerri" Blank 30 episodes
2001 Fling The Receptionist 2 episodes
2001 Just Shoot Me! Betsy Frayne 2 episodes
2002–2003 Sex and the City Courtney Masterson 4 episodes
2002–2003 Monk Gail Fleming 2 episodes
2004 Ed Kate McCormick 2 episodes
2004 The Wrong Coast Various Characters Voice
2004 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Charlie Donato
2005 Wonder Showzen Miss Amy
2006 The Colbert Report Abraxxia Voice
2006 Sesame Street Snow White
2006 My Name Is Earl Judy
2007 Andy Barker, P.I. Rita Spaulding
2007 Rescue Me Beth 2 episodes
2008 Yo Gabba Gabba! Tooth Fairy
2009 The Closer Claire Howard 2 episodes
2009 American Dad! Dr. Meg Penner
2009 The New Adventures of Old Christine Frances "Frankenstein"
2010 The Middle Abbie
2011 Royal Pains Nan
2011 The Drunk and On Drugs Happy Fun Time Hour Katherine Money ("K-Money")
2011 SpongeBob SquarePants Ma Angler Voice
2011 Raising Hope Delilah 3 episodes
2011 Bob's Burgers Samantha Voice
2011 Hot In Cleveland Heather Shaw 2 episodes
2012 The Good Wife Stacie Hall 3 episodes
2012 American Dad! Trish / Dr. Lizzy
2012 30 Rock Visor Lady
2013 The Heart, She Holler Hershe Heartshe
2013 Alpha House Louise Laffer
2014 Lil Bub's Special Special Herself
2014 Broad City Pam
2014–present BoJack Horseman Princess Carolyn Voice

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amy Sedaris – I Like You" on YouTube, retrieved 2012-02-28. She pronounces her name at the very beginning.
  2. ^ Heard, Alex. "This American Lie: A midget guitar teacher, a Macy's elf, and the truth about David Sedaris.". The New Republic. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots, PBS, November 18, 2014
  4. ^ "Me Talk Pretty One Day". Amazon.com. Amazon.com. 
  5. ^ "Amy Sedaris Interview". 
  6. ^ Amy Sedaris – The Best and the Brightest *Interview (June 21/11) on YouTube
  7. ^ a b Exit 57 at the Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ Strangers with Candy at the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0194624/trivia
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Amy Sedaris at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ BuzzSugar (2007-11-28). "Music Video: Dolly Parton, "Better Get to Livin'" (With Amy Sedaris!)". Buzzsugar.com. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  12. ^ "Amy Sedaris Inks Sitcom Deal, Guest Gig on The Closer". TV Guide. October 15, 2008. Archived from the original on 18 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-15. 
  13. ^ Zachary Paul Sire (2008-01-09). "Sire Says 2.0: As If Today Couldn't Get Any More Weird". Siresays.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  14. ^ SuperCuts Commercial on YouTube
  15. ^ "About: Make 'Em Laugh". PBS. PBS. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Boys are back and on drugs", The Globe and Mail, July 12, 2010.
  17. ^ Bazilian, Emma (18 August 2011). "Amy Sedaris and Her Unstopables Will Get Your Clothes Kooky Clean". AdWeek. 
  18. ^ Goodman, Tim (14 November 2013). "Alpha House: TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  19. ^ Hoover, Ted. "The Book of Liz | Theater Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh City Paper". Pittsburghcitypaper.ws. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  20. ^ "Amy Sedaris," Los Angeles Times, accessed 6 march 2012.
  21. ^ "Amy Sedaris Sells Movie Candy", TV Guide, Retrieved 2011-06-26.
  22. ^ "And How Was Your Summer, Amy Sedaris?", The Awl, Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  23. ^ Fried, Ina (28 September 2010). "A View From Inside Microsoft's Company Meeting". CNET. 
  24. ^ "Biography". Paul Dinello dot net. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  25. ^ "Blank Generation – Screens". The Austin Chronicle. 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  26. ^ David Letterman – Amy Sedaris: Funny Godmother on YouTube
  27. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-12-04. [dead link]

External links[edit]