Amy Sedaris is funny, but her love of hosting is no joke. We’ve been giving you behind-the-scenes glimpses of her new TruTV lifestyle series, At Home With Amy Sedaris for the last two months. I was invited to the viewing party last week at The Bowery Hotel but kids, I had oral surgery and couldn’t make it even though I had lots of nice pain meds.
But I’ll tell you who did make it…. SJP, Todd Oldham and his husband Tony Longoria, producer Paul Dinello, Jon Glaser, Michael Stipe, Cole Escola, David Pasquesi, Jackie (Mamacita!) Hoffman, Difficult People‘s Julie Klausner and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon, among others.
Amy has two books about entertaining: I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence, and later Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. The books contained Sedaris’ trademark wit;
“A good trick is to fill your medicine cabinet with marbles. Nothing announces a nosey guest better than an avalanche of marbles hitting a porcelain sink.”
The books became the genesis of the At Home pitch, which she sold to Turner -owned TruTV. But weeks after the network bought the show, it rebranded as a comedy-centric channel — so she had to work to intentionally add more humor to the series. Sedaris says.
“It’s so hard to do because you want to be straight and real and almost like a PBS show, but then you’re on a comedy channel. So the challenge was, how am I going to mix these two things together? Even watching the shows and all my inspirations from the ’60s and ’70s, how do you merge it? It’s really difficult. It’s almost like a little Mr. Rodgers, a little Dinah Shore, a little Red Skelton. It’s a little bit of all these shows.”
The challenge for me was if something was going happen with comedy in it, then it’s got to be funny. So I had to let go off some of the real stuff, which can get a little mundane and boring after a while,” she says. “I mean, you can only watch a homemaking show for so long. Are we really going to talk about tea biscuits for 45 minutes? Sometimes it’s a lot.“
The show will be a mix of earnest advice from someone passionate about homemaking, and a whole new mix of characters,
“I do embrace the things I’m passionate about. I was passionate about [the books]. I really want to teach you how to make spanakopita. Whereas on this show, I barely teach you how to cook spanakopita because every time I try to make something I get derailed and it turns into something else. That’s why I thought, well, I got all my passion out in the books, and now I’m kind of just playing with the books a little bit and making it sillier. And then people can always pick up the books and see the real deal.“
Despite Sedaris’ genuine love for crafting, she admits, she’s not actually very good at it.
“The thing about the show is that I always do things to the best of my abilities. I never try to do bad, so all the crafts you see me making in the show, I really am doing my best, and you can see how horrible I am at so much of it. I’m just not good at it. The shows that turn out to be the most fun are these crafting moments because it is fun to watch someone do something so horrible and so bad but yet really being honest and doing their best job.
It’s all about casting your party. If you get the right people in there it’s just the best feeling ever, and I love it. I love to entertain in my house. So having everybody who gets along, likes each other in your home. That’s my favorite way to entertain.“
Here’s a taste. Can’t wait for tomorrow night.
(Photos, truTV; via THR)