United Bodies

Laughter is the Best Medicine with Samantha Irby


February 9, 2024

With Guests:

Samantha Irby is a NYT Bestselling author and the author of five essay collections. Her latest book Quietly Hostile is out now.

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In this Episode:

Welcome to the second half of United Bodies, where we’re focused on building the world we need. A huge part of building a better world is about imbuing our world with joy and there’s nothing that makes me feel more joy than laughter. I love to laugh and I particularly love to laugh about my own problems. This is what I think they call… coping.

Laughter is contagious. It literally extends our lives. Laughter can also help us reckon with circumstances we cannot control, like the ones our bodies put us in. Bodies are embarrassing and laughing about them helps break down the taboo.

So today I’m talking to essayist and humorist Samantha Irby—who has made me laugh out loud about her own body in ways that are resonant and deep and silly and embarrassing and like a salve on the soul. In this conversation we’ll learn how we can all borrow her talent for ourselves in our times of need.

For more, follow: 

Sam @bitchesgottaeat




KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:00:01] Welcome to United Bodies, a podcast about the lived experience of health. I’m Kendall Ciesemier, your host. 

Welcome to the second half of a United Bodies where we’re focused on building the world we need. This is the fun part, I think. A huge part of imagining a better world is about imbuing our world with joy and there’s nothing that makes me feel more joy than laughter. I love to laugh! And I particularly love to laugh about my own problems. This is what I think they call…coping. 

Laughter is contagious, and it literally extends our lives. Laughter can also help us reckon with circumstances we can’t control, like the ones our bodies put us in. Bodies can be embarrassing. And laughing about them helps us break down the taboo. 

So today I’m talking to essayist and humorist Samantha Irby, who has made me laugh out loud about her body in ways that are resonant and deep and silly and embarrassing and like a salve on the soul. In this conversation, we’ll learn how we can all borrow her talent for ourselves in our own times of need. 

Samantha Irby is a New York Times bestselling author and the author of four essay collections. Her latest book, Quietly Hostile, is out now. Sam, welcome to United Bodies, and thank you so much for joining me. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:01:31] Kendall, thank you for having me. I’m so excited to talk about my horrible body. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:01:39] Me too. Me too. So, I have to start the conversation where I found you, which was I think I first read your book, Meaty. And as I was telling you before you hit record, I’m pretty sure my mom got it. And I’m pretty sure that she got it for me because I think at some level saw poop as a as a topic of conversation and as someone who was, you know, basically born with a liver disease and has had many, many liver issues slash two liver transplants, poop has been a real centerpiece of my life. So from like one poop girl to another, I feel seen. I feel heard.

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:02:23] Thank you. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:02:24] And my mom was clearly on to something, is what I’m saying. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:02:27] That’s the highest compliment anyone could ever give me. All the butt problem girlies who reach out, I mean, are obviously––not that I pick favorites, but they’re my favorite, so that is thrilling to me. And thank your mom. Tell her I love her. Moms fucking love me so I’m sure she’ll want to adopt me as soon as you tell her. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:02:55] I’m sure she will. But like the Moms Love Me brand is––that’s a strong one. That’s that. You can really go places with that. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:03:03] Yeah. I’ve, even as a kid, I was like, you know, not really in a suck uppy way but more in a loser way like the one who’s like at a sleepover. Like, what’s Jan doing downstairs in the kitchen? And I’ll go like, find out. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:03:21] And Jan is like, so excited that anyone’s asking her how she is. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:03:26] I’m like, “How’s your day, girl? How’s your –– Menopause getting you down? I know.”

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:03:34] I know a thing about bodies too. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:03:36] I’m only eight, but I can imagine. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:03:42] Yeah, I love that. So, in an excerpt from a book that I can’t wait to read, which is Listening in the Dark: Women Reclaiming the Power of Intuition, you wrote, “I have an instinct for what will make people laugh, or at the very least, what will make people laugh at me.” I thought that was so interesting that you had this instinct growing up. When did you first discover that instinct? Do you remember the moment where you’re like, “Ah, I got it.” 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:04:12] I think instinct is me being generous to myself. I definitely learned early… like I was poor, fat, had fucked up teeth. My hair was never like, right. I didn’t have the right clothes. And I learned very early how to use humor as a deflecting tactic. It takes the sting out of what somebody else says. If you say it first, you know, if you’re like, “Well, look at my holy shoes.” I mean, that is a terrible example. But, you know, if you point out. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:04:53] You’re so funny. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:04:57] If you point out what’s going on before someone else can, then at least I mean, for the sensitive among us, I know there are people who can get roasted and don’t care. I definitely cared. And there’s no way to win if you’re like, “Don’t make fun of me.” That doesn’t help. So I very quickly learned how to spin things into a joke. And now as an adult, I mean, I just, you know, and poop jokes always get people going when it comes to like, you know, trying to make yourself Teflon against what other people might say about you to your face. Humor was the thing that worked and kept working. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:05:46] Hmm. Yeah. And so you got better and better and better at it with more and more use of it. Now, it’s part of your a huge part of like, how you make money. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:05:54] Yes. I mean, at this point, it is the way that I make money, which I never I mean, I never would have guessed that, like my anti-teasing tactics would cash in. I didn’t know I’d be able to cash in on those. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:06:13] Your coping mechanisms would. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:06:16] Yes. If only I could monetize the other shit I do to cope. Come on. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:06:24] Yeah. Yeah.  You’ve said that there’s something medicative about taking something that makes me feel like garbage and churning it through my interior joke machine until it becomes something I can laugh at. What does that process look like? Is it intentional? Have there been layers to like, okay, now I have this new thing that I’m dealing with or I have to figure out how to make this funny?

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:06:43] Well, so nine months ago I was diagnosed with OCD, which I thought I mean, you know, just like everyone else. I’m like, Oh, I don’t wash my hands that much. You know what I mean? I was just thinking about, like, the light switches and the faucets of it all. And my psychiatrist was like, “Shut the fuck up. All you do is ruminate on the same thoughts over and over and over.” My first inclination is to just beat myself up and just replay whatever humiliating situation over and over and over again. And like, we all wallow, right? Like, we all get down in the dumps and kind of, like, settle in and feel bad. And so I definitely do that. But to pull myself out of it, I just have to find the nugget of humor, even if I kind of create it in my mind, right? Just finding any piece of anything to laugh at the circumstance has been so helpful in preventing me from swirling down the drain with, like, negative thoughts. So I still get them, but I pull myself out of them by being like, You know, that’s actually fucking stupid and she’s a bitch, so who cares? And then I’ll be like, “Yes, self, who cares?” 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:08:28] Yes. We’re rising out, we’re rising out of this.

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:08:31] We’re laughing at her. Who cares? 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:08:35] Very interesting. So it starts kind of as a coping mechanism for you personally and then kind of becomes this thing like, oh, maybe if I’m responding to this like, Oh, okay maybe if this is how I’m dealing with something, this can be helpful to other people. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:08:48] Yeah, it lends itself to like if I, I mean, this is such a like gross therapy word, but if I can reframe a thing in my mind and that thing could be amusing or useful or whatever to another person. That is a good way to find things to write about. Or things that I feel are worthy of being included in a book. Lot of stuff I should just journal and burn so no one can read it. But occasionally a thing will happen and I’ll be like, Oh yeah, okay, here’s what’s funny about that. Here’s what I can say about that. Here’s how I will fill a 5000-word essay about this thing. But it’s I always have to find the humor in it first. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:09:42] Yeah, it’s really interesting. I mean, the process by which it becomes like not just your problem, but then the communal problem that then you can, like, really sell as an antidote to, say, the problem. I also think there’s something just so devastating about life that I always it’s the laughing to keep from crying thing. There is that dynamic of, well, this is all really serious. And in order to not just completely become the catatonic ghost of myself, then I have to find some light. I have to create some light. I have to bear witness to some kind of levity of sorts. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:10:19] It’s bleak if you can’t do that, it feels. It’s sort of like, Well, what’s the point? 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:10:25] What’s the point? Yeah. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:10:27] I never want to get back to that place of, you know, what is the point of doing anything, because everything is terrible like that. It’s very seductive, but I feel like it would only lead to a very bad place. So, I try to stay out of that. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:10:44] Yeah. And I think as much as that is available to you trying to make that decision to choose, I think sometimes you can feel a little guilty or weird about laughing about something so hard, right? But to try to make that choice, to not make yourself suffer more, but to help yourself suffer less. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:11:02] Yes. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:11:03] It is sometimes a difficult decision and is something that sometimes you can feel a little bit weird about. How do you reconcile making fun of really serious, hard things? 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:11:15] Well, I think because I keep the lens firmly trained on myself because I never want to do harm to anyone or feel as if I’m speaking for people because I understand that I’m an anomaly. I don’t know how many people with horrible bowel diseases think they are worth joking about. I’m sure there are a lot of people who, who really don’t. And so because I never turn the focus anywhere but me. I don’t ever feel guilty because exactly like you said, this is what’s going to get me to tomorrow. Like, this is how I have to deal with it. I read this Christopher Pike book once when I was a kid, and it was about these kids. They were hot, fun high schoolers driving to a haunted house to stay there. Well, they didn’t know it was haunted or something. And one of the girls in the book, her father had died and they were talking about how she was silent and couldn’t eat and, like, just cried. And I that image has stuck with me because there’s a piece of me that wishes that I could be that way, that I could withdraw from everything, be totally selfish, and just sit in my pain and, you know, assume that everything is going to work out. People will take care of things. The light bill will get paid. And like while I nurse my wounds. And I think partially because. I didn’t have that option. It was always like, Oh, I have to go to work. I had no safety net. My parents died when I was 18. You got to find a way to get your ass up and go to work the next day. And for me, sort of processing my grief and my failures and rejections with humor, with a little levity, approaching life in general with a little levity has helped me get to work the next day. You know, I didn’t have an option. Okay, I’m going to turn all this into jokes and then eventually turn that into what I do for my life. If if I told 18-year-old me that joking about my misfortunes would be what’s going to be my career path, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t believe it. Because truly, it just developed out of a need to keep, find a way to keep going. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:14:18] That makes a lot of sense. Something I have noticed about your humor is that it is typically about like the uncontrollables, whether that’s your body processes to anxiety, to aging, other people’s behavior. Do you think that humor gives a sense of agency over the kind of uncontrollable of life? 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:14:39] Yeah. First of all, that’s so astute that you notice that because that is maybe my biggest struggle. I am not spontaneous, especially as I’m getting older. I have curdled into the kind of person who’s like, who’s coming in the house. What was that noise? What? Where? Where are you going? What’s this? Why don’t I know how this works? You know, I feel adrift. I think one of the things about getting older, especially in the age in which we live, is there are too many new things to learn. And they all involve technologies that I don’t have the skill or interest to become an expert in. I am having a hard time, you know, not knowing a lot of things. And I think having that kind of control is impossible. I would love to control everything. I would love to have a schedule and everyone adheres to it. And I know what’s happening at all times, but that’s not possible. And I think humor at least makes me feel in charge of what’s happening to me. So at the very least, it’s like I can take a thing that I didn’t plan for that was upsetting or jarring or whatever, and then I can take the reins back by filtering it through like my perspective and then writing about it. It is a way to at least control how the narrative will be in the future, you know? 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:16:37] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So typically when when we talk about like uncontrollable, the things in my life that feel uncontrollable typically around my health, right? Like what my body is doing, I feel like…

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:16:47] It does whatever it wants. Yeah. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:16:50] I think a lot of people have this idea that their body is in their control or their health is in their control. And I just think that’s like a hilarious farce and that, you know, if they haven’t experienced an uncontrollable body, they will. They will. Or you can’t control your body from bodying all over you. But one of the major themes that kind of drew me to you was your explicit writing about dealing with Crohn’s and dealing with poop, dealing with all the things that come with having a bowel disease. And I, I wonder, you know, what does humor give to us in talking about the more kind of taboo things? I mean, first off, why are these things taboo? That’s an overarching question, but I feel like you’re what you’re doing is chipping away at that taboo to make it really accessible for people to be like, yeah, I mean, everybody poops, not to borrow from the book. But yeah. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:17:50] It’s shocking and it will continue to shock me forever. You must do it to stay alive. If you eat food, you have to poop out the waste every person around. You know, I’m not a zoologist, but I’m going to go ahead and say every animal. Do insects poop? Probably. All of us must get rid of our waste. And the idea that. That’s something you clown someone for. I mean, I had shame around poop or was shamed around poop, like from an early, early age. And you never consider at least not when I was younger. Of course, you don’t consider that the people making fun of you are wrong. Everybody has to do it every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I don’t know that everyone gets shamed about poop, but I will say this is a thesis I’m coming up with right now, so it’s not going to sound great. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:19:06] Hot off the press. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:19:07] Yes, it’s hot out the butt. But I think there is something to about being a fat person with poop problems because people hate fat people and they do not want to think about fat people eating. So they certainly don’t want to think about the fat people pooping. It’s just like with weight where people are like, It’s your fault, you look like that and it’s your fault your butt doesn’t work. And I don’t know. I’ve never had the experience of being a thin person with Crohn’s disease, but I bet if I were if I were like hospital thin, you know, with a, with a blog about Crohn’s, it wouldn’t have to be funny. And the outpouring of love would be overwhelming rather than the like. You know, you write about what? So the fact that it’s stigmatized in the first place is insane. And then using humor, I mean, it’s easy. It’s easy to make jokes about poop like they’re funny. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:20:23] And it’s honestly one of the first brands of jokes that we navigate towards as children. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:20:29] I was with my friend the other day and her kid was with her and he like, jumped in her lap and started farting on her. And I laughed. We all laughed. It was very funny. I started writing about Crohn’s a lot because it made a social life easier because, you know, being the person who takes longer or walks slower or needs more or has whatever kind of disability, if the people around you don’t. That’s rough, especially when you’re young, because I have found that young people tend to be a smidge less caring or doting or accommodating than those of us in our forties. So I’m going to dinners and clubs and all the stuff you do in your twenties and also being like, “Sorry, I have to have diarrhea at the club.”

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:21:35] That’s a good essay: diarrhea at the club. 


Sorry. I had diarrhea at the club.


The club, featuring diarrhea.

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:21:39] But it’s like the more I wrote about it, the less I had to say in real life. You know what I’m going through. I don’t have to pretend I’m going to check my lipstick or whatever. I can say, “Hey, y’all don’t do the thing where you wait for me to get back from the bathroom before you order, because I’m gonna be gone for 20 minutes.” So no one who knew me or even, like, read something I’d written would not understand the kind of grace I need in social situations. So that was like reason one was just for myself, very selfishly to be like, Stop pressuring me to go out, I told you I don’t feel good. So that that’s reason number one. And then number two, no pun intended. When I started getting feedback from people who were grateful to see their experience mirrored by someone else, because that’s another thing about IBS in particular. I mean, it’s like cute to have T-shirts that are like “hot girls have IBS.” I love that, but I don’t feel like we talk about that in regular life as much. It is nuts to me that anyone who has bowel problems would feel alone because so many of us have them. But so many people do because no one talks about it. No one is like, “Hey. I prolapsed my rectum not from sex, but from shitting.” And I think if anyone who feels alone is feels a connection with me because of this, then that’s golden. Like people who people say to me at signings or whatever, they’ll email me and be like, you know, “thank you for talking about this stuff. I feel like I’m on an island.” And that’s a terrible feeling that no one should have, but certainly not over a bodily function we are literally required to participate in. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:24:07] Yeah, it’s impossible for me to not think about my own experiences in this context. 


Uh huh. 


I drained bile out of my body every night for basically 11 years. I had bile bags and I went to even I think I went to sixth grade with bile bags, actively draining bile out of my body the whole time I was in middle school. And I would empty out the bags and it was it was, you know, I think thank God we were in sixth grade and no one really was paying that much attention. But I had these, like little jean purses that my friend’s mom made me. I know it’s tender. I like, feel for that 12-year-old. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:24:48] Yeah, me too. I wish I could hug her. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:24:50] Yeah, Yeah, totally. But I think part of the difficulty was that, you know, like, poop thing is, like, bile makes your, that’s what makes your poop brown and smelly. Like, that’s those. That’s the substance, baby. And so, yeah. Oh, my gosh. I had some problems where I would, like, have, my tube would be leaking and I’d be like, and Nordstrom shopping and bile just be pouring down my body, you know? But I think all of the experiences that you write about, even if it’s like a different kind of thing, it’s very similar right? Shame and humiliation of having kind of these bodily fluids come out of you. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:25:29] And people jumping back from you like people like flinching away from you as if they don’t have the exact same stuff in their body. Like, what do you think your your intestines are doing right now? Like whistling? No, they’re making poop.

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:25:49] I remember my freshman year roommate in college called me a biohazard. That was a really fun experience. We got over it. We did. We did. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:25:58] You continued. You had to live with this person. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:26:00] For sure. For sure. For sure. I did. But you know. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:26:05] Where she now? Hopefully not successful and in a ditch? 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:26:11] I don’t know. Actually, I don’t know. We kind of lost touch, but… 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:26:15] Good. Sounds like a terrible fucking person. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:26:20] I think. You know, the thing to me, though, that you point out so poignantly is we all have these things. 




And they’re on a spectrum for sure. Right? But like, I mean, you can’t tell me that any person with ovaries and a uterus hasn’t had some kind of accident in menstruation like. Yes, we haven’t had these, these significant experiences that are humbling. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:26:47] If I saw somebody bleeding vaginally in public, I would not be like, Oh my God, look at that horrible thing that’s happening. I would be like, can I help you?” Yeah, I that has happened to me totally. Nobody helped me. Can I do anything for you? Do you want this hoodie to wrap around your butt or whatever it is. The lack of empathy and understanding right now is so bananas to me because we truly are separating ourselves from people who have the same thing going on that we do. You know, an alien didn’t pop out of her butt just a little period blood. It’s okay. You can show her compassion. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:27:40] Absolutely. I do want to touch briefly on your new book Quietly Hostile. Yeah. It just came out for those who are wondering and it’s another essay collection. It touches on mental health, aging, finding success, pooping in public. I completely agree. Just sit on the public toilet sometimes. Damnit.

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:28:00] Just sit. Just sit. Oh, maybe there is a study somewhere that’s like someone caught a something through their butt skin from a public toilet seat. But come on, come on. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:28:18] I love that. Much of your essay collection was written during the pandemic and you address the last normal day. The pandemic was decidedly obviously not funny in a lot of ways. How do you approach writing about it in an entertaining way? Because I think that’s hard to do, especially especially now. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:28:36] So I––knock wood again––still have not caught COVID. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:28:43] Oh, okay. Blessings for you. Maybe you’re one of the immune ones. Maybe you had a low dose and your immune system. I don’t know. You know, that’s probably not it. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:28:56] I just didn’t really go outside. I didn’t go anywhere. I was, like, in the house for a year minimum. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:29:05] Yeah, Same. Yeah. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:29:06] People like us can’t risk it if you have health stuff. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:29:09] Immunosuppressed girlies. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:29:11] I get into this in the book how obnoxious this was, but the news would literally be like, fat people, you’re going to die. I’m like, “Whoa, okay, bitch, I will stay my fat ass in the house, I guess”. So it was in the beginning, it was like, I don’t want to catch this thing that will clearly kill me. So I was like, locked in the house. Luckily, I got to work during the pandemic on Zoom, so there were things to do, and that gives me things to write about. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:29:51] Was this a lot of the writing for the shows like? 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:29:54] Mhmm, yeah, I worked on “Tuca and Bertie” and then “And Just Like That,” those were both Zoom rooms, so that was good for my brain, but also for material to write about. And then one of the essays in the book is about how I got really into QVC, which felt like a natural thing to get into during the pandemic, of course, But I just was I just was thinking about what is happening in my life right now. Right. We got a dog. I wrote about that. I worked on “And Just Like That,” I wrote about that. Like very specific things…and then it was just like, well, what am I thinking about? And what’s funny? So I wrote a thing about how I love chain restaurants and everyone shits on them, even though they are all consistent and good. I wrote about this nun porn that I like to watch. It was truly like me looking around and being like, What do I care about? Oh, this. Okay, I’ll write about it. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:31:12] Have you found that, you know, now as your life gets a little bit more sexy, if you will, in writing for television, that is kind of, you know, you’re a bestselling author that it feels–Is it harder to write about those things than the kind of more seemingly mundane or even harder parts of your life? Like, is it hard to write about those in funny ways? Or do you find you can apply the same level of analysis, humor, analysis? 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:31:44] That’s a great question. The tough thing is that these are my coworkers who I hope to continue to work with. So like with “And Just Like That,” I wanted to write about the show, but I’m not trying to piss off Cynthia Nixon Right. Or Sarah Jessica Parker or any of my coworkers also like that. Working on that job was amazing and the show’s not done. One of the tenets of my writing is I try not to write about anything that’s ongoing or that anything where I can’t land the plane definitively. That’s why I didn’t write about the OCD in this book, because I don’t know what to say about it yet. You know, I’ve been on Zoloft for under a year and I’m still in therapy. What can I say? I could just write a bunch of confusion. And so with “And Just Like That,” I knew I wanted to write about it, mostly because I wanted to complain in public that people had sent me hilarious death threats. And then I was just like, okay, I want to write about this, but I don’t want to write about the show and we’re going to get another season. I’m going to I need to stay employed at this easy job I know how to do by this point. And it was like, okay, so what I can do with this is talk shit about the first iteration of the show. Or, you know, some lady had told me that she, in one of my death threats, she was like, “If you bring Aiden back, I will kill you” or something like that. And it’s like, well, first of all, ma’am. I am the last one on the call sheet.

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:33:42] Yeah, you’re like I’m not making those kind of decisions. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:33:44] Yeah. I’m like, you better call Mr. HBO because I don’t get to. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:33:50] Don’t put my life on the chopping block. You got the wrong guy. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:33:54] I don’t get to decide that. And so I got all these, you know, like, weird mail about emasculating men and ruining the original series. And I was like, okay, I will, I will ruin the original series in a real way. And so I wrote, you know, just kind of like a jokey list of all the shit I would do to fuck up the first show. For me, I always like to kind of go back a little and write about a thing that’s already been settled. I usually don’t write about it or write about anything that I’m currently grappling with and don’t know what I’m going to do. Only because when you write a book, people talk to you about your book, right? And I can’t sit through 20 interviews going, “Well, I know I wrote about that, but I don’t want to talk about it.” Right. That’s not fair. You know, or at a book reading, if somebody is like, “Oh, hey, I missed this part meant so much to me. I want to talk to you about it.” I’m like, I, I will not be the person who’s like, I’m sorry. No, I don’t feel good talking about that. I don’t want to shut anyone down. I don’t put anything in a book that I wouldn’t I couldn’t stomach seeing on the news. Because essentially, for the rest of your life, if you tell someone you wrote a book, they will talk to you about that book. And I don’t think it’s fair to the reader to then be like, “Well, I know I wrote about it in minute detail, but I’m not going to talk to you about it.” Like that feels––that’s not the kind of person I want to be. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:35:47]  Fair. I think that’s a good thing. I really do. Well, Sam, it’s been such a pleasure chatting with you. I love your work. I love what you represent and what you’re doing in the world. And just keep doing it. Keep doing it for yourself and for all of us. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:36:02] I will. I promise. I will. I signed a three-book deal, so this one is the first in that deal. So I’m on the hook for two more minimum. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:36:14] I love that for me. And I love that for you. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:36:18] Thank you. But it is it is structured so that if I don’t have any ideas or can’t do it, I don’t get any penalty. But the flipside of that is they don’t pay you. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:36:31] The penalty is the no money thing. Come hell or high water I will get ideas out of me. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:36:38] That’s great. I got a mortgage to pay, so. But yeah, you there’s at least there’s going to be a couple more. Don’t worry. I’ll be back. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:36:50] I love to hear it. I feel. Yeah. We’ll do this again the next time. Yes. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:36:56] Any time. This was great. I mean, guaranteed there will be. I will keep pooping and there will be more poop to write about. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:37:04] More stories. Good, good, good. Thank you so much. 

SAMANTHA IRBY [00:37:07] Thank you for having me. This was really great. 

KENDALL CIESEMIER [00:37:12] Thank you so much for listening. You can subscribe to United Bodies wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode. It would be so helpful to us if you would rate and review the show that helps more people like you find us. We’ll be back next week with more.

United Bodies is a Ms. magazine and Ms. Studios production. The show is created and produced by me, Kendall Ciesemier. Michele Goodwin is our executive producer.