133 minutes with …Hugh Hamrick
New York magazine|November 23 - December 6, 2020
After 30 years of dating David Sedaris, “Congressman Prude” finally tells his side of their story.
MATTHEW SCHNEIER

AT THE DOOR OF A dignified apartment on the Upper East Side: Hugh. Among David Sedaris’s devoted fans, the ones who read his pieces in The New Yorker and make his books best sellers and flocked to the 50-city live tours he did each year before the pandemic paused them, he’s just Hugh—the way Sedaris’s sister Amy (comedian, crafter, all-time-great Letterman guest) is just Amy. David writes sketch dispatches from the Sedaris clan with himself at the center as nebbish-raconteur. He has made his family the main characters of a decadeslong, clearly very profitable, and reliably amusing page-and-stage act. Everyone in Sedaris’s ambit ends up sounding a little bit off-kilter in that very Sedaris way, at least as reported by David. Or at least everyone save one: his boyfriend, Hugh.

Who is Hugh? In Sedaris’s stories, Hugh is a durable background presence. He isn’t kookified, and he doesn’t get the laugh lines. When the kilter needs to be un-offed, he is deployed; he restores order. When the Sedaris family head to North Carolina to clean up their father’s house after his move to assisted living, everyone is stymied by a turd on the carpet left by some untended animal—but not Hugh, who picks it up with his bare hands and disposes of it. “You people, my God,” says Hugh, which is the kind of thing Hugh can be counted on to say. It’s the kind of thing he does say, over and over, in The Best of Me, the greatest-hits collection Sedaris published this month. It’s the reason Sedaris’s nickname for him is Congressman Prude.

Hugh, whose last name is Hamrick, has steel-gray hair and a strong jaw. He ushers me in, past a small framed Charles Addams illustration in the hall and a medium-size Philip Guston painting in the entryway, looking a little spooked. If Sedaris is antic confession, Hamrick is Wasp reserve. In all his years with Sedaris, he has never given an interview. “I feel like David writes about us, and that’s enough,” he says.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NEW YORK MAGAZINEView All

Torrey Peters Goes There

The author’s debut novel, Detransition, Baby, wades into two of the most vulnerable questions for trans women.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

The System: Zak Cheney-Rice

The Never-ending Coup Against Black America - Historically, “recovery” tends to look a lot like betrayal.

6 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

The Group Portrait: A Beleaguered White House Press Corps

Four years of history, day after day after day.

2 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

Prom King

With a huge Netflix deal and the power to green-light just about anything, Ryan Murphy has become the ultimate insider. And his work is suffering.

10 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

Schlock to Remember

If you can’t wait to relive last year, Netflix has a special for you.

4 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

Leave the World Behind

Shacked up in the suburbs of Kansas City, indie singer-songwriters Katie Crutchfield and Kevin Morby are making some of their best work.

4 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

Extremely Online: Craig Jenkins

Clubhouse Is Close to Becoming Our New Internet Wasteland - If you love mess, you won’t be disappointed.

6 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

A 1915 Crown Heights House That's Only On Its Third Owners

After living all over the world, Thomas Gensemer and Gabe Brotman settled down in a Brooklyn place with “a bit of an English feel to it.”

3 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

220 minutes with … Sarah McBride

Strolling Wilmington with Delaware’s history-making new state senator.

6 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021

Total Boomer

A bumper crop of albums made for contemplating mortality.

6 mins read
New York magazine
January 4-17, 2021
RELATED STORIES

FLOWER POWER

The Dead Daisies is a supergroup with a stellar line-up, in which the great Glenn Hughes brings a career’s worth of songwriting, singing and playing bass to the table. “I’ve fallen in love with bass again,” says our hero, looking back at his days with Deep Purple, Trapeze, Black Country Communion, and more...

10+ mins read
Bass Player
January 2021

HUGH: FAME Almost Killed Me

AFTER BECOMING A SUPERSTAR IN THE ’90S, HUGH GRANT WENT ON A HARD-PARTYING, SELF-DESTRUCTIVE SPIRAL THAT LASTED DECADES.

2 mins read
Star
December 21, 2020

Hughes stepping up in more ways than one

With the Bills desperate for a spark on the defensive side of the ball, Jerry Hughes has stepped up on the field in recent weeks. He’s stepped up off the field, as well.

1 min read
Bills Digest
November 15, 2020

Star ENTERTAINMENT: THE UNDOING

Sun., Oct. 25 on HBO

1 min read
Star
November 02, 2020

HEFNER'S HAREM DISHES THE DIRT!

Cruel Playboy boss lived in foul pigsty & was lousy lover

2 mins read
Globe
October 19, 2020

EXIT Strategy

The Inside Story Of How Finola Hughes (Anna, GH) rought A New Thriller To Life During Quarantine.

9 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
September 21, 2020

An Uncertain 2020, But An Exciting Future In Minnesota

As I write this article, Minnesota is in the middle of our stay-at-home order resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

2 mins read
Musky Hunter
August/September 2020

HUGH'S LOONY LOCKDOWN!

Wacky House star won’t even pick up the phone!

1 min read
Globe
June 1, 2020

Lost and Gone

WHEN TWO HIGH-SCHOOL BUDDIES LOSE THEIR WAY IN A BACKWATER SLOUGH, CAN THEY, AND THEIR DREAMS, SURVIVE?

4 mins read
Field & Stream
Volume 125, Issue 1 - 2020

BLEACHING ON GREAT BARRIER REEF MORE WIDESPREAD THAN EVER

An aerial survey of the Great Barrier Reef shows coral bleaching is sweeping across the area off the east of Australia for the third time in five years.

2 mins read
Techlife News
April 11, 2020