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Amy Sedaris Sees Friends As Sandwiches and Favors Food That ‘Comes to Life at Night’ — Exclusive Interview

My new favorite art medium.


Sorry, Forrest Gump — life is more like a sandwich than a box of chocolates (IMO). That’s because sandwiches are complex, and what you stuff them with is up to you. They can be sweet or savory, sophisticated or simple. Where one occasion might call for artisanal bread with farm-fresh veggies and homemade condiments, another may require bologna on Wonder bread with a dollop of mayo. In life, every day is delicious. In food, every sandwich is.

Amy Sedaris, an Emmy-nominated comedian, actor, and author, is something of a sandwich aficionado. As one of six siblings growing up in 1960’s Raleigh, North Carolina, quick and easy sandwiches were often on the family’s menu. As she put it, “That’s all we got, you know, cold cut sandwich everyday for school… Come home from school, you have a sandwich.” Perhaps that’s why she’s partnered with Hillshire Farm on their Oh, Hill Yeah campaign, which encourages sandwich-lovers everywhere to create custom sandwiches representing their friends and family. The wacky results are on Pinterest’s HF Digital Deli Board and Instagram at #OhHillYeah.

We asked Sedaris about sandwiches, and her responses had us in stitches. Here’s what the funny lady had to say about pickles, lunch meat, and food that “looks like it’s gonna come come alive in the middle of the night.”

Why did you choose sandwiches as a medium to represent your friends?

Because I love the sandwich. Everybody likes sandwiches. Whether there’s meat on it or not, it’s a perfect go-to meal. Especially if you’re out and about. Walking around, hiking, on the airplane, you can pack [one for] lunch. It’s just the perfect little meal.

In your celebrity sandwiches, who is what sandwich and why?

This is the “Andy Co-ham.” I’m friends with Andy [Cohen], and he told me this is his favorite sandwich. He likes a lot of pickles on it.

Andy Coham sandwich by Amy Sedaris for Hillshire Farm
Courtesy of Danielle St. Laurent on behalf of Hillshire Farm

And then I made the “Hamy Sedarwich,” for me, because I think it’s funny-looking… I’m not picky — I’ll put anything on my sandwich. This one’s got lettuce and some peppers, and some ham and Swiss, a big pickle tongue, and olives for eyes. I like food that looks like it’s gonna come alive in the middle of the night. But I wouldn’t eat this whole thing in one sitting. I’d have half of it.

The Hamy Sedarwich sandwich by Amy Sedaris for Hillshire Farm
Courtesy of Danielle St. Laurent on behalf of Hillshire Farm

One sandwich for the rest of your life — what is it? 

Boy! Well, I have to have some really good bread, maybe some kind of whole grain bread; Duke’s mayonnaise, which is big in North Carolina; and I’d probably have roast beef on it. Maybe lettuce, tomato. And some Swiss cheese with some pepper.

If you could choose a deli meat to be your best friend, which would you pick, and why?

I don’t think I’d ask a deli meat to be friends. I want to eat it. I’m not gonna eat my friends.

What if you were a deli meat? 

Maybe Black Forest ham because I like the name of it. And it’s got spices on the outside of it, which is kinda fun. You get a little bit of everything. Thinly sliced. I like thinly sliced.

How is your life like a sandwich?

Well, it’s kind of on-the-go. It’s got a lot of stuff in it, you know, it can change every day. The spread could be different every day. I’m open to different cheeses. I’m open to different meats. Bread has to be good. And I want it to look attractive. But if it’s just a ham sandwich on white bread, I’m fine with that too.

Who else have you turned into a sandwich?

Well, we did the Jane Krakowski. We did a Tom Brady one, a David Hasselhoff one. But now, whenever I see anybody, I’m gonna be like, what’s your sandwich? It’s just in my head. 

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