Amy Sedaris brings crafting acumen, and quirky humor, to The Kessler

BLANK SLATE | Amy Sedaris will get crafty after Dallas appearance and talk up her  famous Jerri Blank character.

BLANK SLATE | Amy Sedaris will get crafty after Dallas appearance and talk up her famous Jerri Blank character.

Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St. April 19 at 8 p.m. $30.


Gay humorist David Sedaris may have his spot on the New York Times bestseller list, but he’s not the only member of the family making people laugh for a living. Best known for her role as Jerri Blank, a 46-year-old former junkie and ex-con who returns to high school with hopes of a fresh start in the Afterschool Special mockumentary Strangers with Candy, Amy Sedaris has carved her own niche playing eccentric characters. She’s also penned two books on the worlds of entertaining and crafting, drawing from this same off-the-beaten-path well of humor.

Sedaris combines her kooky characters with real-life crafting lessons for An Evening With Amy Sedaris, her show playing Thursday at the Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff. Dallas Voice caught up with the woman of a thousand faces to talk about the show, her life and how she convinced Dallas designer Todd Oldham to create for her a felted faux vagina as a gift for Chelsea Handler.

— Jef Tingley


Dallas Voice: Have you been to Dallas before?  Amy Sedaris: I’m pretty sure I have, but I can’t recall when. I just finished watching all 14 seasons of Dallas the TV show. I am all Dallased out.

What can we expect from An Evening with Amy Sedaris? Song? Dance? Some no-holds-barred crafting (hot glue gun optional)?  First of all, bring a book. I was told that the audience wants me there because I played loser Jerri Blank, which tells me to expect to meet a lot of misfits and outcasts, which equals ugly people — my favorite people. I plan on demonstrating some crafts from my hit craft book Simple Times, and then I will do a long Q&A so I can answer Jerri Blank questions. I will sell a few items like lighters and pillboxes and sign some books.

You once gave a “how-to” demonstration on vaginal hygiene for Chelsea Handler, using a plush vagina made by North Texas native Todd Oldham. How did you two become friends? Who now has that designer lady-part? I met Todd when he called me and asked me to do a photo shoot with him, and we’ve stayed friends. I asked him to make that vagina for me. I had to send him a lot of reference pictures because he had no idea what a vagina looked like. As far as what I did for him to make it ,well, my lips are sealed. And I gave my vagina to Chelsea — she needed one.

Simple Times Crafts for Poor People is filled with great photos of your various characters, as well as actual home crafting ideas. Our favorite is where you and co-author Paul Dinello wear matching shorty-short canary yellow robes in “Making Love for Craft Lovers.” Do you have a favorite?  That’s one of my favorite chapters. I don’t know anything about making love, so Paul pretty much wrote that chapter by himself. I love seeing guys in short robes. I came up with that chapter just so I could have a short robe made for Paul to wear.

What’s your next big project after taking the world of entertaining and crafting by storm?  I am in the process of doing a hospitality show.

What would we find if we raided Amy Sedaris’ medicine cabinet (which coincidentally is the title of a Facebook page created in your honor)?  You would be able to give yourself a really great facial. I have lots of creams and lotions in there. Also a small ceramic bunny and a jar of fake gem rings. No drugs, though. I’m no idiot — that’s the first place people look.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 13, 2012.