David Sedaris…a laugh every ten words!


Two nights before I left for BEA, I was invited to go see David Sedaris in one of the Cal Performances at Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Also on the ticket for the evening were Sarah Vowell and David Rakoff. Who? I had no idea who the This American Life regulars were, but worse yet…I couldn’t say I actually knew who David Sedaris was either.

Shame of all shames…how could a woman editing a humor book not know the infamous sardonic wit of David Sedaris? I gingerly admitted it to my host. I knew his name in the sense that every time someone spoke it, the line “I almost peed in my pants!” usually followed. Which meant I knew he was hilarious, but I had not heard his pieces or read his books.

After admitting my sinful ignorance, my gracious host still wanted me to come. And boy was I glad to get invited. The “grand master of the high art of self-deprecation,” made me laugh so hard I cried. He had the audience in a fit of laughter every ten words. I know, because I counted. My fingers were flying like a counting kindergartner on speed. In the beginning the crowd was laughing every five words, and then as the stories unfolded with more detail, an average of ten. I was dumbfounded and impressed. Not just with his craft of comedic writing, but his speaking cadence and ability to pause at all the right places, for just the right amount of time to let us laugh.

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I’m eager to hear more of his work and read/study his writing. If you don’t know who he is either, or want to know more on David Sedaris, check out these links:

o David Sedaris (the unofficial page)
o Salon Directory| David Sedaris
o A Million Bubbles with Audio from Me Talk Pretty One Day
o NPR|David Sedaris
o Buy some of his books here: Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Barrel Fever : Stories and Essays.