The Sedarises (Sedari?) are tag-teaming the entertainment business again, but this time no one’s using protection. They’re coming right in with the wit and getting us all pregnant … with laughs. Well, sort of.
In addition to Amy’s recurring role as tightly-unwound Mimi Kanasis on season four of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the first half of which debuted this week, there’s brother David’s new essay collection, Calypso, which has taken the funny man’s thoughtful and ironic commentary in a surprisingly dark and political new direction.
The duo, originally from Raleigh, NC, achieved notoriety in the ‘90s as The Talent Family, co-writing and staging plays including, “The Little Frieda Mysteries,” “The Book of Liz.”
Amy’s Martha Stewart Living-meets-Pee-Wee’s Playhouse TV series, At Home With Amy Sedaris was recently renewed for a second season and will air later this year. Amy continues voicing “Princess Carolyn,” the pink Persian cat on the Netflix series BoJack Horseman.
In a nod to the nation’s current state of political unrest, David’s Calypso features such disconcerting anecdotes as a recounting of the day when Rev. Martin Luther King was killed. Apparently, Sedaris was in a restaurant in Raleigh, N.C. when the news came in, and everyone in the restaurant burst into applause. “Our family hadn’t been in the South very long, and that was a real eye-opener,” he writes.
The disturbing part is that the idea of people clapping over a black person being shot is not too far removed from disgruntled white Americans defending cops who shot black teenagers.
Following that political train of thought, Sedaris also recently revealed to the AV Club that he’s pinning all of his hopes and dreams for the country on a movement of teenagers. When asked “what makes [him] optimistic about the future,” he responded, “All those high school students who are protesting gun violence.”
So perhaps Sedaris is moving away from his trademark wry, misanthropic wit and trying on sincerity for size?
He also spent part of the interview complaining about a bacon-wrapped hotdog he recently ate in El Paso, Texas, which promptly fell apart on the table. When asked if it tasted okay, he responded, “All I tasted was my rage.”
And just in case we were worried that Sedaris had lost his edge, there’s this wondrous line in Calypso about the “interveners” on Intervention:
“They often cry, perhaps because what they’ve written is so poorly constructed.”