I snapped into reporter mode. After we bantered a bit about Strangers with Candy I started asking about her many appearances on David Letterman.
Just yesterday I stumbled upon the audio file of that conversation. Sedaris and Letterman always had such fun on his show and just bonded over their mutual weirdness. Here’s Amy on Dave:
What has Letterman brought to late night and to comedy?
He was starting something completely new and so did Johnny Carson. I think, or like Steve Martin, starting off with something nobody else was doing. I don’t think everybody can do it. People think, ‘Oh, I’ll do a talk show’—it’s really hard. You gotta be quick. I would panic sitting there and say, ‘Why don’t you come prepared?’
How do you prepare?
For me, if I’m asked to do someone’s talk show, then I feel like I’ve got an assignment and I’ve got to work on it. I’m not going to just come off the street.
You pick out a big dress…
At least I think about it, you know. Not even think about something being funny, think I have something to talk to him about.
How did you first become a guest?
He invited me on the show and I wasn’t really doing anything and then I think we had really good chemistry so they keep inviting me back. I’m on that list when someone calls in sick they’ll call me and I’ll run down, it happens sometimes. I’d rather be a last minute guest then knowing I have three weeks to do it.
You just focus, and in a way you can use that as an excuse. ‘What do you expect? You just called me at the last minute!’
Dave seems to have the biggest crush on you.
People always say that. It all happens so fast when you’re out there, I just know I feel safe on the show. You feel comfortable, because you know that he’s so smart and so funny and he’s looking out for you.