My Imaginary Boyfriend

Most people only dream of a love this real


| November-December 2004



AmySedaris-sm.jpg

Image by Belinda Miller / Wikimedia Commons

Amy Sedaris is best known as part of the creative force behind Strangers with Candy, the after-school-special-with-a-twist that ran on Comedy Central from 1999 to 2000 and starred Sedaris as Jerri Blank, an ex-drug-addict runaway who returns to high school in her 40s. The show quickly became a cult classic, and a Strangers with Candy movie is scheduled for release in 2005. An alumnus of Chicago’s famed improv troupe Second City, Sedaris is a playwright, author, performer, and entertainer. True to keeping her fat-suited, fake-toothed characters in the spotlight—and separate from herself—she rarely talks about her intimate life. But Sedaris, who has been in a relationship with her imaginary boyfriend, Ricky, for 12 years, graciously agreed to help us parse the etiology of long-term intimacy. Editorial assistant Laine Bergeson recently spoke to Sedaris about Ricky, their relationship, and the love that they share. 

How did you and Ricky meet? 

Ricky came into my life when I was at an antique store and saw this Christmas stocking with the name Ricky. I decided then that he’d be my imaginary boyfriend. That was 12 years ago. And then a few years later when they were shooting Evita—you remember Madonna’s movie in Argentina?—someone got a hold of my American Express and made all these charges in Argentina. I’ve never been to Argentina in my life. So I was talking to the credit card company and in the middle of explaining the problem, I go, “Oh, I know who it was, it was my imaginary boyfriend, Ricky.” I was like, okay, he’s over there on Evita because he’s a grip and that’s what he did: He ran up my credit card. So, he comes around. I see him on holidays. He shows up a day before Thanksgiving empty-handed and he leaves after Christmas. 

You let him back into your life after the credit card incident? 

Yes. We have an abusive relationship. It’s very unhealthy, I know. It’s codependent. But it works because it’s long distance. Everyone needs space. It’s like dating an airplane pilot or a stewardess. It’s perfect. You don’t want to be around somebody all the time. 

When he’s in town, what do you do together?