Amy Sedaris on ‘F to 7th’ is a Thing of Hilarity and a Little Too Real

Ever have one of those days where you think, "Man, I wish Amy Sedaris was a regular presence on television/in my life in general?" We have those a lot. Even though she has made a handful of TV guest appearances in the past few years, we can’t help but get excited when we see that Amy Sedaris is doing a thing. In this case, the thing is an awesome and perhaps somewhat all-too-real guest spot on F to 7th, an awesome web series about the trials and tribulations of the middle-aged lesbian from Ingrid Jungermann, who you may remember from another series, The Slope, about a certain Brooklyn neighborhood known for its co-op and corps of stroller-pushers.

In the clip, Sedaris plays Jungermann’s character’s aunt, who has come in from out of town and has one too many drinks. The conversation gets uncomfortable quickly as Sedaris tells her niece about how she would have loved the flight because of the lesbians on it, and it quickly escalates into stereotype-lampshading jokes about owning a Subaru and family-reunion awkwardness far too many of us, regardless of age or sexual orientation, know too well. And it’s pretty excellent—both Sedaris’s appearance and the series itself. 

And, while we’re at it, and because it’s Valentine’s Day, and speaking of Strangers With Candy and how much we miss its existence and wish it would make an Arrested Development-style resurgence, here’s Stephen Colbert singing "The King of Glory" and getting his dance on. Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! 

Rachel Maddow, Gloria Steinem, and Hari Kunzru Dish on Employee of the Month

What do you get when an esteemed novelist, an iconic face of the feminist movement and a political commentator walk into a theater in the East Village to ruminate on their careers? Juggling, tap dancing and a puddle of Applejack on the floor, basically.

Last night at the UCBeast, Catie Lazarus mounted the holiday party edition of Employee of the Month, the comedienne’s hilarious podcast talk show that explores the ins and outs of various industries via the working experiences of its illustrious (and often infamous) guests. Amy Sedaris, Morgan Spurlock, Kevin Clash and Jodi Kantor have all previously joined Lazarus to reminisce about their lives before and after the landing of their respective dream jobs, and Employee of the Month brought forth a banger of a lineup with Rachel Maddow, Gloria Steinem and Hari Kunzru to close out a solid year of night shift woes and odd-job horror stories.

Though the consistently superlative string of filmmaking, comedic, musical and journalistic hotshots have provided Lazarus with plenty of fodder for Employee of the Month’s episodes, last night’s program may have been her most ambitious to date given the company present. Navigating a controversial talking point while successfully topping it off with a punch line is a difficult feat, but Lazarus seamlessly achieved this in each of her conversations, which covered everything from Kunzru’s fleeing India for reading a passage from The Satanic Verses in front of an audience to Steinem getting tested for STDs in order to work at the Playboy Club to Maddow’s professional leap from activism to joining the media. Peppered throughout the knowledge bombs were a few WTF/giggle-worthy anecdotes, including immigration advice from Kunzru (“If you don’t want to go to the little room at customs, say you write about UFOs”), Steinem’s criteria for liking a job (“You never know what time it is and if you do the job anyway without getting paid—that’s when you love your work”) and Maddow’s take on her own work ethic (“I do not believe in the romance of struggle! I believe in the joy of winning!”).

The highlights of the evening—and the endearing, eccentric edge that sets Employee of the Month apart from other digi-talk shows—occurred when Lazarus would seize the moment to mess with her guests, and this is where the Applejack comes into play. After grabbing an audience member’s glass of sangria to quench Kunzuru’s thirst during their interview, Lazarus proceeded to hand him three balls and asked him to juggle, referring to a time when the writer was in between jobs and trying to make a quid juggling in bars while hyping energy drinks. When Steinem referred to securing investors for creation and publication of New York Magazine as “tap dancing for rich people,” she later wound up shuffling offstage while doing a soft-shoe. Maddow, fresh off the set of The Rachel Maddow Show, was handed an armful of bottles (and an “I’d Rather Be Reading Jane Austen” apron) in order to mix a drink of her choosing, and when Lazarus was handed a glass without an introduction, the hostess wound up spitting the straight applejack out, much to the audience’s (and Maddow’s) delight.

It’s a delicate balance between real talk and real funny, and Lazarus was able to engage with these great minds in such an approachable way that they laughed along with her jokes—and not for the sake of the packed room or rolling cameras before them. Anyone who can talk politics with Rachel Maddow after unsuccessfully swilling Applejack—and conversely, who can somehow get Gloria Steinem to tap dance onstage—is okay in my book, so Lazarus, keep the shop talk coming.

Amy Sedaris & Television Enjoy Demented Reunion

In the best female comedian news since Tina Fey well, did anything in recent weeks, Amy Sedaris and Strangers with Candy writing partner Paul Dinello have signed with 20th Century Fox and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants to create a single-camera television series. This will be Second-City-alum Sedaris’s first series since the days of the infamous Jerri Blank, but in recent years she has kept herself busy as a New York Times bestselling author, guest-starring on TV, and lending her talents to supporting movie roles. No word yet on whether this new series will have her in a padded suit, but fingers are crossed.