Cartoon by David Mamet.

Two Holiday Treats: David Sedaris and David Mamet

In lieu of TGIF, a conversation with our favorite humorist. Plus: Christmas cartoons from the brilliant playwright.

Nellie here. My head would be hanging in shame if such a feeling were possible for me. Thankfully, it is not, but I am taking a vacation week and abandoning you all.

So in lieu of TGIF, while I am snuggled by the fire, watching my family members and trying to figure out which mental illnesses are genetic and which are earned, I did need to find someone to replace me. I really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

Meet: David Mamet and David Sedaris.

Mamet, who did the cartoon just above, is of course one of the best American writers alive today. He won a Pulitzer Prize for writing the plays Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow. He’s written and directed hit movies—I’m thinking of The Verdict, Wag the Dog, Heist. Most importantly, he and his spectacular wife, the actor and musician Rebecca Pidgeon, have hosted us at their beautiful home, which is all you need to do to get a job around here.

Here’s how he describes himself: “recognized in early childhood as an artistic prodigy, a change in family circumstances forced Mamet to abandon painting and seek a living in literature. Now, in retirement he turns to his first love.”

You’ll be seeing his cartoons frequently in these pages, and we are so lucky for it.

Then there’s David Sedaris, and the fact that I get to introduce him is unbelievable to me. He is a humorist and author of many best-selling books: Calypso, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, Holidays On Ice, Barrel Fever. And now he has a new one, Happy-Go-Lucky, which is why he carved out a few hours to sit down with Bari.

Strap in for a conversation about why his family is better than yours; why he recently walked 42 miles; why, in a pinch, he’ll choose England over France; why he detests dogs in sunglasses and so much more.

Listen here for a great chat with the funniest man alive:

I hope everyone is slowing down as the year ends. Merry Christmas to my Jewish family. Happy Hannukah to my Christian one. There will be a banger TGIF next Friday. A banger TGIF for a wimper of a year. More on that.

For now, here’s one last cartoon from Mamet:

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