Last week, comedian/author/VH1 dude Michael Ian Black started a feud with memoirist David Sedaris in preparation for the release of his own book, My Custom Van: And 50 Other Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face. I decided to ask him about that, and a bunch of other things, at around the time of night when I used to watch Battlestar Galactica. The deeply insightful results after the jump.
Q. Books are weird and old and almost nobody buys them anymore. Why bother writing one? What're you trying to pull?
A. Books may be weird and old, but when the terrorists launch their EMF War against us (electro-magnetic frequency) and all electronic data is erased, isn't it comforting to know that you'll still be able to curl up with a book containing an essay entitled "How to Approach the Sensitive Question - Anal?"
Q. And the people who still buy books are ladies, mostly, and they mostly only buy books written by ladies with a photo of pretty feet and/or shoes on the cover. How are you gonna leap this hurdle?
A. I have an advantage with the female book-buying population in that I am a very attractive man. Women go gaga over my pronounced jaw line, high cheekbones, and full, supple lips. So I'm trying to emphasize those qualities to the book-buying population. How am I doing this? In every interview, I make sure to discuss my jaw line, high cheekbones, and full, supple lips. Also, I smell like chocolate.
Q. David Sedaris makes me angry and mumbly, but I'm not really sure why. Meanwhile, his sister, Amy Sedaris, makes me want to marry her every time she says or does anything at all. Why does she rule and he kind of makes me want to hang myself in the shower like that guy in An Officer and a Gentleman, or at least fling feces at him like the monkeys at the zoo?
A. This is a question that has bedeviled me for, literally, years! How can one family produce, on one hand, an American icon (Amy) and a virulent anti-American crusader (David)? It just doesn't make sense. I think you can learn a lot by looking at their individual books: David writes poignant, often painful essays about dysfunctionality (a word I think I just made up), while Amy writes recipes for cupcakes. That pretty much tells you all you need to know.
Q. Speaking of monkeys... Some monkeys are dangerous and terrible, while some monkeys are adorable and probably know the Secrets of the Universe. In your estimation, what is the most horrible kind of monkey, and what is the most wonderful kind of monkey? (Warning: I already know the answer, so I will correct you if you get this wrong.)
A. Obviously, the most wonderful kind of monkey is the baby chimpanzee. Michael Jackson proved that to us with Bubbles. Once they get much older than three, though, they get too grabby and should probably be euthanized. As for the most dangerous and terrible kind of monkey, that's easy-flying monkeys.
(The correct answer is that drunk monkeys are the most adorable and the worst monkeys are the terrible, terrible spider monkeys!)
Q. What is the greatest sandwich of all time? And why?
A. You can't beat a good reuben. The reuben is maybe the perfect combination of terrlble-for-you-meat, terrible-for-you-cheese, and terrible-for-you salad dressing, all mushed together on fried bread. It is truly fantastic. Better even than the Big Mac, which is also among the greatest sandwiches of all time, and which also includes salad dressing.
Q. I can't write my own stuff for more than three hours at time, excluding editing. Do you have a process? If so, what is it?
A. Sure. I use the QWERTZ method. I find that it's the most efficient process for writing ever invented. Also, when I write, I tend to try to think as much as I and and then just transcribe my thoughts as fast as I can. Thinking is easier than writing, so I just try to think instead of write.
Q. I actually love every single version of "I Love The..." on VH1. Even that weird 90s one! Is there another in the making?
A. I assume they will continue to make them until time itself comes to an end.
Q. We do our own "I Love The..." for the 80s and the 70s every weekend here. We call it "One More Thing." A theme is presented, and then everyone posts their fave clips and comments and comments and comments. Why won't you help? How hard is that? Just sign in and post a YouTube clip. Geez!
A. The only reason I won't help is because I never read this site. Otherwise, I would be all over that shit.
Q. Has Sedaris or any of his feverish followers contacted you yet? I kind of have to think that they have. Because they would.
A. There have been some Sedaris fans who have taken up his banner for him and defended him, which is at should be. One woman told me I wasn't witty enough to carry his shoes, which I thought was a strange thing to say, because honestly, how witty do you need to be to carry somebody's shoes? Carrying shoes requires no wit at all, which I suppose was her point, but even the completely witless, even those with negative wit, could carry his shoes, particularly because he has such small feet.
Q. Do you have Amazon Fever yet? You know, where you check your book's stats every few hours? And have they coupled your book to someone you can't stand yet? Because they love to do that.
A. They have coupled my book with my comedy album, entitled "I am a Wonderful Man," so to answer your question, yes. Because I am self-loathing. And yes, I do check my Amazon stats all the time because I really don't want to fail in this endeavor as I have in so many others.
Q. Bonus Question: What is the best thing to come out of the 80s? And what is the worst?
A. Best thing to come out of the 80's: the video for Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again." Worst: The phrase, "Hey, did you see the Space Shuttle blow up?"
Q. Another bonus Question! Why is David Sedaris?
A. Because he can.