David Sedaris

  • Aired:  11/04/10
  •  | Views: 167,315

David Sedaris' editor came up with the title for his book, "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk" because he wanted to call it "Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls." (7:05)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT THE BEST

SELLING AUTHOR, AND WHEN I SAY

BEST I MEAN BEST -- HIS NEW BOOK

IS CALLED "SQUIRREL SEEKS

CHIPMUNK."

PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THE

PROGRAM DAVID SEDARIS.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> THAT WAS GREAT TO SEE IRA IN

A CAT SUIT.

>> Jon: IRA GLASS, YOU, I

DON'T KNOW IF THIS IS A SHOWER A

PLEDGE DRIVE.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING

TODAY.

"SQUIRREL SEEKS CHIPMUNK."

I'M ANGRY WITH YOU AT YOUR

ABILITY TO WRITE HILARIOUS BOOKS

QUICKLY.

HOW DO YOU -- THIS IS SUCH AN

INTERESTING IDEA.

WHERE IS THE IDEA FOR THIS BOOK

COME FROM?

>> SOMEBODY GAVE ME AN AUDIO

BOOK OF THESE FOLK TALES, SOUTH

AFRICAN FOLK TALES.

I STARTED LISTENING TO IT AND I

THOUGHT, CAN I DO BETTER THAN

THIS.

THEY JUST WEREN'T VERY GOOD.

IT WAS LIKE --

[LAUGHTER]

IT JUST WASN'T VERY GOOD.

I JUST STARTED --

>> Jon: DRIVING ALONG THINKING

I CAN DO BETTER THAN EASE SOUTH

AFRICA ORAL TRADITIONS.

I COULD WRITE THESE BETTER.

THESE ARE -- THE ANIMAL SORT OF

FABLES.

I MEAN CANINE INFIDELITY.

ALL SORTS OF VERY HUMAN PECK

DILLIES.

-- IT PACKS MORE PUNCH SOMEHOW.

>> IF YOU WERE GOING TO SAY

PHILIP AND LESLIE DATED FOR TWO

WEEKS AND THEY RAN OUT OF THINGS

TO TALK ABOUT.

AS A READER I WOULD NEED TO KNOW

WHAT LESLIE'S HAIR COLOR WAS AND

WHAT SHE LOOKED LIKE.

BUT THE SQUIRREL AND THE

CHIPMUNK, YOU CAN JUST START.

AS A READER AND LISTENER YOU

WOULD THINK FIVE PAGES.

I WOULD PERVERSE FOR THAT TO GO

ON FOR 17, 18 PAGES.

I LIKE THAT AS WELL.

[LAUGHTER]

THE BELIEVEITY.

>> Jon: IT IS BELIEVEITY --

BREVITY.

IN THE BEGINNING DID YOU THINK

IT WAS MOST NUT BASED

CONVERSATION AND THEN --

>> IT ACTUALLY WAS.

>> Jon: I WOULD THINK.

>> AND HOW MUCH THEY DISLIKED

DOGS.

>> Jon: REALLY?

AND THEN THEY BOND AND THAT'S

IT.

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF DOING A

BOOK THAT DOES THIS LITERATURE

THAT WE HAVE TODAY.

I WOULD LOVE TO SEE ROMEO AND

JULIETTE DONE IN A SQUIRREL

CHIPMUNK TYPE -- I WOULD LIKE TO

SEE IT IN A DINNER THEATER.

NO GOOD?

>> DINNER THEATER.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: CAN YOU NOW -- ARE

YOU -- CAN YOU LOOK AT ANIMALS

IN THE SAME WAY OR ARE YOU -- IN

YOUR HEAD THINKING OF WHAT THEY

MIGHT BE TALKING ABOUT NOW.

HAS IT CHANGED THE WAY YOU

INTERACT WITH THE ANIMAL WORLD?

>> I'M A NATURE PERSON NOT

REALLY A PET PERSON.

I'M INTERESTED.

I LIKE READING ABOUT NATURE.

I LIKE READING ABOUT, YOU KNOW

HORRIBLE MEAN ANIMALS OR EVEN

FRIENDLY ONES.

I DON'T FEEL THE NEED TO OWN

THEM.

BUT THAT WAS AN INTERESTING

THING.

WORKING ON THE BOOK I WROTE A

STORY ABOUT GROUNDHOGS.

MY EDITOR WHO IS FANTASTIC IS

SAID IT'S OKAY.

WE DON'T HAVE ANY EXPECTATIONS

ABOUT GROUND HOGS.

WE EXPECT A CAT TO BE VAIN OR A

MONKEY TO CAUSE TROUBLE BUT WE

DON'T HAVE PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS

OF GROUND HOGS.

MAYBE WE COULD LOVE THIS OUT.

IT IS A GOOD NOTE.

IT WAS SOMETHING I HADN'T

THOUGHT ABOUT.

SHE'S A GOOD -- SHE'S ALSO THE

ONE WHO CAME UP WITH THE TITLE

OF THE BOOK.

I WANTED TO CALL IT LET'S

EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS.

[LAUGHTER]

I THINK THAT IS -- I WAS SO

PROUD OF MYSELF WHEN I CAME UP

WITH THAT TITLE.

>> Jon: I LOVE IT.

IT'S REALLY FUNNY.

>> SHE SAID PLEASE DON'T PUT THE

WORD DIABETES IN YOUR BOOK.

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: DO YOU THINK IN ANYWAY

SHE WAS CAVING TO PRESSURE FROM

THE GROUNDHOG COMMUNITY BUT NOT

INCLUDING GROUNDHOGS?

YOU COULD HAVE BEEN THE STANDARD

BARRIER FOR SETTING AN

EXPECTATION.

>> I WANTED TO RIGHT 25 STORIES

AND CUT TEN OF THEM.

THAT'S WHAT I ENDED UP DOING.

>> Jon: DO YOU APPROACH IT IN

A MATH MAT CALL WAY?

I BET I COULD SQUEEZE TO 200

PAGES AND DO 15 STORIES BUT I'LL

WRITE 25 BECAUSE THAT'S MY

RATIO?

DO YOU OVERBOOK YOUR OWN NOVELS

OR --?

>> I TRY TO.

I STARTED THIS SEVEN YEARS AGO.

I JUST THOUGHT I'LL WRITE FOR A

YEAR AND THEN EVENTUALLY I'LL

HAVE ENOUGH FOR A BOOK.

I DIDN'T SIT DOWN AND THINK FOR

THE NEXT GO YEARS I'M GOING TO

WRITE -- YOU COULD GO CRAZY.

I WROTE A COUPLE EVERY YEAR AND

READ THEM OUT LOUD AND THROUGH A

LOT AWAY AND REWROTE THEM.

HEARD, YOU KNOW, NOW I HAVE

IDEAS FOR REALLY GOOD ONES.

>> Jon: ARE YOU LIKE

SPINNING -- ARE YOU A PLATE

SPINNER?

DO YOU HAVE DIFFERENT BOOKS YOU

ARE WORK ON SIMULTANEOUSLY?

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: YOU MOVE FROM ONE TO

ONE TO ONE?

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: CAN I ONLY ACCOMPLISH

ONE THING AT A TIME AND THEN I

HAVE TO GO.

I DID NOT TIE MY SHOES TODAY.

[LAUGHTER]

TOO BUSY THINKING OF OTHER

THINGS.

CAN YOU GIVE US A HINT OF

SOMETHING ELSE THAT IS COMING

OUT?

A SAID SAID -- SEDARIS TEASER,

IF YOU WILL.

>> I WRITE ESSIVES.

>> Jon: DO YOU WRITE THINGS

AND SAY I CAN'T BELIEVE IT WENT

TO PRINT?

>> I'VE BEEN ON THIS TOUR FOR

THE LAST MONTH.

I LIKE TO HAVE A LITTLE PROJECT

ON TOUR, JUST A LITTLE THEME.

SO I'VE BEEN ASKING PEOPLE TO

TELL ME JOKES.

SOMEONE TOLD ME A JOKE LAST

WEEK.

I WISH THAT -- I GUESS I WISH I

MED -- MADE IT UP.

A MAN IS IN HIS HOUSE.

IT'S LATE AT NIGHT.

THERE'S A KNOCK AT THE DOOR.

IT'S A SNAIL.

THE SNAIL SAYS, I'D LIKE TO TALK

TO YOU ABOUT BUYING MAGAZINE

SUBSCRIPTIONS.

THE MAN IS FURIOUS HE'S BEEN

INTERRUPTED.

HE REARS BACK, KICKS THE IS

SNAIL AS HARD AS HE CAN.

SLAMS THE DOOR GOES TO BED.

WITH IT YEARS LATER HE IS

GETTING READY FOR -- TWO YEARS

LATER HE'S GETTING READY FOR BED

AND THERE'S A KNOCK AT THE DOOR.

HE ANSWERS IT.

IT'S THE SNAIL.

THE SNAIL GOES WHAT THE

(bleep) WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?

[LAUGHTER]

>> Jon: SQUIRREL SEEKS

CHIPMUNK.

YOU MUST.

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