I want to be more like Amy Sedaris. The comedian, known for her work in cultishly adored television like Strangers With Candy and BoJack Horseman, has mastered the art of being the most outrageous version of herself, even when it’s time to perform: like, say, when a bunch of people are coming over and it’s a little bit stressful.
At the Eater Young Guns Summit in July, Sedaris took the stage with Eater editor-in-chief Amanda Kludt to talk about her particular brand of unhinged entertaining, on full display in her book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence and her show, At Home with Amy Sedaris.
“At first I wanted to do a serious show, but then I realized, I’m better at going for a laugh,” Sedaris explained. “And I really am doing everything to the best of my ability. I’m not trying to be bad on purpose; I’m trying to do a good job. But I’m not good at it, so automatically, the humor’s there.”
And while most of us won’t have stars like Stephen Colbert, Juliette Lewis, Matthew Broderick, and Paul Giamatti showing up at your house like Sedaris does on her show, the comedian offered plenty of practical (and, of course, funny) tips on making the most out of a dinner party.
Here’s how to party like Amy Sedaris:
1. Think carefully about who to invite.
“Just cast your party, know what people work together.”
2. Consider just having a pizza party.
“I like it cozy. And lots of times I just order a pizza. It’s more about just getting everybody together and we’ll just have pizza.”
3. Do your best to accommodate dietary restrictions.
“Have something that you think everybody can eat. I’m learning how to entertain vegan people. Usually I say, ‘Just eat before you come. Because I’m making meat and I’m ordering pizza, so I really don’t know what to tell you.’ But I was at someone else’s house and they were entertaining a bunch of vegan people, and they had carrot sticks and celery sticks out, and I thought, Oh I can do this. So I think I have a handle on it now.”
4. Ask guests what they want.
“I always like serving anybody who comes to my house. And I’m always like, ‘What do you want?’ David [Sedaris, Amy’s brother and author of Me Talk Pretty One Day] will say, ‘Chicken of the taverns,’ this chicken dish that I make. I always like pleasing them, and they know my menu, what I’m able to make and not make. That’s always fun.”
5. If your space is small, be smart about what you’re serving.
“I can maybe get 10 [people into my apartment], and that’s if I serve something that doesn’t involve a knife. So you don’t have to [worry about] if it’s on your lap and you have to cut.
“I have a small apartment, but you know, I’ve had some big events in there.”