Honestly, I really expected to call this episode “Covid Sedaris” because David Sedaris had just tested positive for COVID when we taped the interview. But when we spoke, he wasn’t feeling it much at all. Had some symptoms that might have been allergies or COVID but were barely noticeable. Other people have it a lot worse, he says.
David has been delighting audiences for 30 years now, ever since the broadcast of Santaland Diaries. His latest book, Happy-Go-Lucky, is deceptively titled, containing a lot of stories and memories that are pretty painful. David’s father died last year at age 98 and liberated David to share some things he hasn’t shared so openly before. He talks about how his father ridiculed him, belittled him, and just flat out didn’t like him. He shares the story of being invited to give the commencement address at Princeton and bringing along his dad, who told the university president that they should have booked his sister Amy Sedaris instead.
David also shares stories of his sister Tiffany, who died by suicide in 2013. He’s caught heat over the years for writing and talking about how difficult it was for him to deal with her when she was at her most unstable. He also talks about the charges of abuse Tiffany made against David and their father before he died.
There are still plenty of laughs in the interview because, come on, it’s David Sedaris, but there’s also pain and melancholy that you might not have heard from him before.
Get your copy of David Sedaris’ Happy-Go-Lucky wherever books are sold.
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The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 or 1-800-273-8255, 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741.
International suicide hotline numbers available here: https://www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines
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John’s acclaimed memoir, The Hilarious World of Depression, is now available in paperback. https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250209566/thehilariousworldofdepression
John is on Twitter @johnmoe.
About the show
Join host John Moe (The Hilarious World of Depression) for honest, relatable, and, yes, sometimes funny conversations about mental health. Hear from comedians, musicians, authors, actors, and other top names in entertainment and the arts about living with depression, anxiety, and many other common disorders. Find out what they’ve done to address it, what worked, and what didn’t. Depresh Mode with John Moe also features useful insights on mental health issues with experts in the field. It’s honest talk from people who have been there and know their stuff. No shame, no stigma, and maybe a few laughs.
Like this podcast? Then you’ll love John’s book, The Hilarious World of Depression.
Logo by Clarissa Hernandez.
How to listen
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