Strangers With Candy follows the misadventures of 46 year old high school dropout Jerri Blank and her self  centered teachers at Flatpoint High. Read the transcript below as the cast describes not only how the show started, but also where it’s going.

HOST: Hi everyone, welcome to Comedy Central’s live chat with cast of Strangers With Candy. Can everyone introduce themselves?

AMY SEDARIS: Hello! I’m Amy Sedaris!

PAUL DINELLO: Hi. Paul Dinello.

STEPHEN COLBERT: And Stephen Colbert.

HOST: What was the inspiration for Strangers With Candy?

PAUL DINELLO: Our adolescence.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Amy’s been wanting to do an after school special for years. Dinello found this documentary about this woman who was out of jail and went to high schools and gave speeches…scared the shit out of kids. You can say “shit” on the web, right?

HOST: Now you can.

STEPHEN COLBERT: He found a great character for Amy to do. Then they called me and said, “Can you make it work?”

PAUL DINELLO: “Can you finance it?”

STEPHEN COLBERT: And I said, yeah, I’ll see what I can do with this diamond in the rough.

HOST: So you guys clearly have known each other for a long time. How did you get your start?

AMY SEDARIS: We met at Second City, we’ve known each other for 12 years.

STEPHEN COLBERT: In Chicago – Second City Chicago

PAUL DINELLO: We all got hired on the same day

.STEPHEN COLBERT: All hired on the same day.

AMY SEDARIS: We hated Steven, remember? Paul hated Steven.

STEPHEN COLBERT: I though Paul was a Neanderthal.

PAUL DINELLO: Stephen was pretentious.

AMY SEDARIS: Yeah, he came across arrogant.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Paul came across as barely literate.

HOST: Well if that was the case, why did you start working together after your tenure at Second City?

PAUL DINELLO: When we got hired by Second City we were forced to ride around in a van for two years…

STEPHEN COLBERT: That really separates the men from the boys.

PAUL DINELLO: It was either kill each other or forge some sort of bond.

STEPHEN COLBERT: We found out we had a lot in common.

AMY SEDARIS: We both loved Paul.

STEPHEN COLBERT: We are both madly in love with Paul, and we’ve all been deeply wounded in such tragic ways.

HOST: And where are you all from, originally?

AMY SEDARIS: I am originally from Raleigh, North Carolina.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Stephen is from Charleston, South Carolina

.PAUL DINELLO: I’m from Chicago.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Oh yeah…Oak Park.

PAUL DINELLO: Oak Park, Illinois.

HOST: And you guys did Exit 57 together at Comedy Central.


HOST: What was that like?

STEPHEN COLBERT: Comedy central was a cable company and a storm door store. We had no budget whatsoever. We once wrote a scene with a jackhammer, and our producers said to us, “That’s great, I don’t have a jackhammer, do you? Looks like we’re not going to use a jackhammer.”

STEPHEN COLBERT: They left us alone for 4 months at a time to write. Then we would come back and use what ever we had come up with. A lot of freedom.

PAUL DINELLO: It was always a substitute teacher on the show.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Because there was no cast, just mice.

JWILLMON: Is there any truth to the rumor of a Strangers with Candy Movie?


MY SEDARIS: No one ever told me about a movie!

STEPHEN COLBERT: It’s very secretive. Does that person have some funding?

HOST: No that was just a drive-by question — that was it.

PAUL DINELLO: We’re always talking about it. There’s nothing actually in the works right now.

JWILLMON: Does anyone in the cast have any plans for projects other than strangers?

HOST: I know that Stephen’s a correspondent on The Daily Show– what is everyone else up to?

AMY SEDARIS: I’ll be doing a play when I wrap up this season, a play my brother and I are going to write.

PAUL DINELLO: Stephen and I are writing a film for Miramax.

STEPHEN COLBERT: We are in negotiations right now.

PAUL DINELLO: Then we’re considering doing a film we wrote two years ago. We’re planning to shoot in early Spring.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Spring, 2001.

HOST: What’s it about?

PAUL DINELLO: It’s about two brothers who are planning to steal an ATM machine. Oddly enough we keep finding little stories where people steal ATM machines. It seems like a natural thing to try to steal.

STEPHEN COLBERT: All they need is something they can lift and get away quickly so they soup up a forklift.

HOST: How long did it take for Strangers to take off?

STEPHEN COLBERT: Has it taken off? – We are running down the runway.

PAUL DINELLO: At 50 miles per hour.

HOST: You have quite the cult following.

AMY SEDARIS: We get recognized a lot more and get a lot of mail.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Mostly by people in cults.

PAUL DINELLO: It seems like it’s been sort of a short build. We’ve only had 20 episodes on the air, so far.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Actually, only 17!