Michael Ian Black Takes on David Sedaris

Actor/comedian/VH1 fixture Michael Ian Black is sick to death of memoirist David Sedaris hogging all the best-seller lists for himself, so he's taking the NPR man down. To get the ball rolling on his would-be literary feud-and to promote his own book, My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face-Black offers suggestions on ways to belittle Sedaris in casual conversation. "Say, for example, you are at league bowling night and your buddy finds himself facing an easy pick-up for a spare. Just before he bowls say something like, 'Don't miss, Bob, or you might hear David Sedaris telling a long and humorous story about what a boob you are on 'This American Life.'"

At a cocktail party, a bottle of lousy champagne is uncorked. You take a swig, grimace, and say, "Send this swill back to France where David Sedaris is undoubtedly enjoying a baguette." (I admit this probably doesn't seem like much of a put down on paper, but if you say the word "baguette" with a sneer, trust me, this will be devastating.)



Another idea: you're knitting with some gal pals. Somebody drops a stitch. You respond by saying, "Speaking of stitches, that's what David Sedaris wishes he had me in when I read his last book."



Perhaps you are simply riding the subway. Somebody across from you is reading "Me Talk Pretty One Day," or another Sedaris gem. You lean over to that person and say, "I read that book, too..." Wait a beat, then unleash the punchline: "When I was in a coma!" (This one doesn't make that much sense, but if you say it fast enough they will probably ignore the glaring logic problem of trying to read something while in a coma.)



You've just been arrested for aggravated assault. The processing officer instructs you to make your one phone call. You dial seven random digits and say to whoever answers the phone, "Call David Sedaris and tell him I've just been arrested. If he pretends he has no idea who idea who I am, then you will know all you need to know about 'The Great' David Sedaris."



When referring to him, put a "p" after the "S" in "Sedaris," so that what you're saying is "Spedaris." This isn't a put down exactly; it's actually just a mispronunciation of his name, but if enough people start doing it, I have no doubt it will drive him fucking crazy. [Michael's Webpage]