'At Home With Amy Sedaris'

The Watchman: Amy Sedaris Goes ‘Home’, Tom Petty and the Heartbreak

Deputy editor Michael Malone’s weekly look at the programming scene

At Home with Amy Sedaris starts on truTV October 24, with Sedaris showing off her cooking, crafting and humor skills. Sedaris said the show is an homage to — or perhaps a satire of — the local hospitality shows she watched growing up in North Carolina.

“I am a cook and I am a crafter,” she said. “I wanted to play that part.”

Sedaris mentions several of the homespun shows, including At Home With Peggy Mann, which you can find on YouTube. They were not slick productions. She recalled often seeing a wire strung from the hostess to the cameraman, and hostesses she described as looking like a cross between “Zira from Planet of the Apes and Michael Dukakis.”

Sedaris also mentioned the shocking level of boredom that would bubble up in her from watching the shows as a girl. “I’m always amazed by boring stuff,” she admitted.

Never boring, the At Home hostess shows viewers everything from gutting a fish to giving yourself a massage to making raisin necklaces. Guests include Jane Krakowski, Paul Giamatti, Rachel Dratch and Stephen Colbert, the latter playing “turtle-sitter” for Sedaris’ pets, Poppy and Curly.

At Home With Amy Sedaris is also an extension of Sedaris’ love of playing house with her brother, humorist and author David Sedaris, when they were kids. They’d play alcoholics, her venting about the problems she was having with her layabout husband.

Also informing the series are Sedaris’ books, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence and Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People.

“We were all big crafters,” she said of her childhood.

Sedaris has been unwinding by taking in the documentary Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream on Netflix, remarking on the bandleader’s ability to be such a regular guy and a rock ‘n roll icon at the same time.

While The Watchman typically dwells on new shows, or at least new seasons, we do want to echo Sedaris’ enthusiasm for the 2007 film, which is directed by Peter Bogda-novich. The four-hour movie is terrifically done. Some of the quotes in the last 10 minutes of the picture hit that much harder after Petty’s death earlier this month.

“I’m sure that Tom will carry on writing songs and lyrics that will move me right until when I’m getting older and in a wheelchair,” said Dave Stewart. “They’re one of those iconic bands — they’ll be around forever.”

Petty’s drummer, Steve Ferrone, said he hoped to be a Heartbreaker forever. “The day Tom turns around and says this is over,” he said, “I’ll be heartbroken.”

Us too.