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Amy Sedaris: Writer, Actor, Cupcake Baker

No Kidding in the Kitchen: Amy Sedaris with the tools of her (other) trade.
Jesse Baker, NPR
No Kidding in the Kitchen: Amy Sedaris with the tools of her (other) trade.

As Jerri Blank, a former "user, boozer, and loser," Amy Sedaris contorts her face into a sad-sack overbite and wears both garish makeup and padding that gives her an over-sized midsection. But at home, Sedaris is a pleasant hostess, and an expert baker.

In the new film Strangers With Candy, Sedaris is reprising her role as Blank, an ex-con who returns to high school to give a second stab to learning life's lessons.

The movie is based on the series of the same name that spent three seasons on cable's Comedy Central. Sedaris created the series -- and wrote the film -- with her fellow Second City alums, Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello, who appear as teachers Chuck Noblet and Geoffrey Jellineck.

Strangers With Candy often came off like an after-school special gone horribly wrong. It was often squirmingly funny, with an affinity for the bizarre. In one scene from an early episode, Blank is shown at the school vending machine, making her selection -- and walking off with a messy handful of baby-back ribs. Even at Flatpoint High, Blank was fish out of water.

But at home in her Greenwich Village apartment, Sedaris is quite comfortable -- and formidably so in the kitchen, where she turns out everything from cupcakes to cheese balls.

The sister of writer David Sedaris, Amy Sedaris has long worked with food. Even while her series was on television, she kept a job as a waitress in New York.

These days, Sedaris lives in what she calls "a one bedroom kitchen," which is full of art, trinkets and oddities, from plastic meat displays to colorful cut-away models of the human body. It gives a home to her craft club and serves as her writing center. It's also where she makes cupcakes.

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