Note: Watch the entire 25-minute interview here. There’s a brief introduction in Dutch, after which the conversation switches to English.
Dutch TV journalist Wim Brands looks a bit dour to be inhabiting the role of World’s Luckiest Man, but that’s surely how bazillions of David Sedaris fans will view him, wishing they too had been invited to cozy up to their favorite author’s kitchen table. Particularly since that table is situated in the rustic, sixteenth-century West Sussex house that provided the setting for “Company Man”, one of his more delightful New Yorker stories of late.
Sedaris has made a fortune passing himself off as a self-involved fuss-pot, but in this episode of Boeken op Reis (Dutch for “Books on Tour”) he’s the perfect host.
He supplies thoughtful responses to Brands’ unsmiling questions and affably points out the home’s notable features, including off-kilter doorways and a taxidermied lapdog (“We call him Casey because he’s in a case.”)
He brings a plastic bag on a stroll through the surrounding countryside in order to collect litter — an endearing routine, even if it’s a scoop Brands must share with the BBC’s Clare Balding.
Best of all, he obliges his guest with a couple of live readings, the first from the aforementioned New Yorker piece, the other having to do with his youngest sister’s suicide this summer.
“I always figure that whatever most embarrasses you is something that everyone can relate to,” he muses, effectively summing up the secret of his success. If you ever feel like Sedaris is overdoing the craven complainer bit, this visit will set the record straight.
Watch the entire interview here. Non-Dutch speakers, please be advised that the segment switches to English once Brands sets the scene for his intended audience.
-Tip of the hat to Michael Ahn for the idea.