SM: What joke would you tell the devil at a party in heaven to make him feel more comfortable?
JK: Is there anyone gayer than the devil? Maybe I’d tell him that to break the ice. If that failed, I would try an elephant joke. The ones that are funny because they’re not funny? Like “How can you tell if you’re sitting behind an elephant at the movies?” “You can’t see the screen.” Logic defies expectations in humor, and the devil knows that. He also knows about BARGAINS! Hello!!!
SM: If you were to recelebrate last year’s birthday, how would you go about it?
JK: You know, I actually had a great birthday last year. I wouldn’t do anything differently–in fact, it would be a pleasure to repeat it! I went up to Kate’s Lazy Meadow, which is a renovated Motor Lodge from the 1950’s that Kate Pierson of the B-52’s bought and renovated. It was adorable! The only drawback was having to pass Fred Schneider on the way over. Apparently he’d gotten wind of Kate’s idea and decided to start his own competing motel right across the street from hers. He was really rude about it. I was trying to get a parking spot, and he came up to me and started shouting “DON’T GO THERE! SHE’S GOT ROACHES!” in his devil-like punctuated baritone.
SM: Please recommend some components we could put together to revive a dying dream.
JK: I will, but not in the shameful “recipe” format that, for some reason, refuses to die among the teenage creative writing community. Wait a second—now I have to. Oh, Balls!
A cup of chutzpah!
A tablespoon of derring-do!
Two teaspoons of “Hey, how ’bout it?”
A dash of “What d’ya know, it’s Emily Watson! Wasn’t she fetching in
Punch Drunk Love?”
A pinch of “THE CAT IS ON THE COUNTER! GET THAT CAT OFF THE COUNTER!”
Stir all the ingredients together, put in a pan greased with love and joy and no racism at all, and bake until golden brown. Now, GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!
SM: If we gave you a sackful of money and a pointy hat made of newspaper, how would you spend the rest of the day?
JK: Eating pancakes. Pancakes are kick-ass!
SM: If it was really true that photographs steal a part of your soul, and in order to enter the afterlife properly, you had to get back all the photographs ever taken of you, what would you do to remedy the situation?
SM: Stock a think tank full of vampires and get them on the clock. You can’t take pictures of them, right? Maybe they can tell us how to do that retroactively. Even if they couldn’t, at least they would bring cereal. Nothing’s scarier than the prospect of no delicious cereal.
SM: Please regale us with an anecdote.
JK: One time, I zinged the Belz. Yes, THAT Belz. I was watching a taping of Letterman from the Green Room (impressed?), when, out of nowhere, Richard Belzer popped his head into the room and snarked to me, my boyfriend, the Grinder Girl, the Hula Hoop Girl, and assorted entourage of the show’s guests, “Well, this is a Motley-Ass Crew.” And I remarked back to him, “It is NOW.” He laughed, and said to me, “That was very good.” I zinged the Belz!
SM: Please describe an impressionable moment from childhood.
JK: Going to see Cats at the Winter Garden Theater for my birthday at age 7. It was mind-blowing. I remember thinking that God had somehow intervened in order to combine my two favorite things in the world: Broadway and cats.
SM: When was the last time you took a good long look at your shoes? Please elaborate, if possible.
JK: Elaborate on my shoes? Or on the hectic pace of day-to-day life? My shoes, right now, are Dansko Clogs. The hectic pace of day-to-day life is unfortunate, but lends us the ability to treasure our moments of respite.
SM: What was the last circumstance you found yourself in that left you with a sense of mystery?
JK: I remember thinking to myself last week, “If Angela Lansbury walked into the room right now, and she was wearing a beard of bees, would I still be able to recognize her?” I still don’t know.
SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.
Ode to Gum
by Julie Klausner