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Comedian and best-selling author David Sedaris will make his annual visit to Santa Barbara today to dazzle audiences with his classic self-deprecating wit at 8 p.m. in the Arlington Theatre.
Sedaris, who was first published in 1994, has penned several celebrated essay collections including New York Times best-sellers Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed in Flames. He has earned a total of three Grammy Award nominations for spoken performances of his work as well as contributions to radio programs including “This American Life.”
UCSB Arts & Lectures senior writer and publicist Karna Hughes said Sedaris uses his written material, laden with the author’s trademark humor, to provide the show’s groundwork.
“Personally, I’m really looking forward to Sedaris’ talk,” Hughes said in an email. “He’s got the kind of absurdist, droll humor that just completely leaves you helpless with laughter. I still remember the first time I read Me Talk Pretty One Day years ago: I read the whole thing cover to cover on my porch in one day and laughed every 5 minutes. It was the first time a book ever did that to me — and I remember wishing every book was like that. And he’s just as funny live; it’s a fantastic laugh workout.”
Sedaris’ work is generally semi-autobiographical and often includes humorous reflections on his family, upbringing and time abroad in Europe.
According to Hughes, students will have the opportunity to engage in conversation with Sedaris following his lecture and books will be on hand for purchase and signing.
“David Sedaris is by far one of the funniest and smartest satirists writing today and he’s written more than a half dozen best-selling books,” Hughes said. “Audiences can expect him to read some of his latest works as well as gems from the past — and possibly even a few works in progress. He’ll be doing a Q&A after his talk, and that’s often when the humor ramps up another few notches.”
His first widely recognized comic piece, 1992’s “Santaland Diaries” on NPR, chronicled his background working as a Christmas elf at a Macy’s department store. Along with his sister, comedian and actress Amy Sedaris, David Sedaris has co-authored a series of plays under the name “The Talent Family,” which have been performed at Lincoln Center, The Drama Department in New York City and La Mama Experimental Theatre Club.
Tickets for the event are $23 for UCSB students with ID and range from $28 to $48 for the public. The event is sponsored by Arts & Lectures, KCLU 102.3 FM and the Santa Barbara Independent.